International Cooking: Food from Côte d’Ivoire

Côte d’Ivoire, also known as Ivory Coast, is located on the southern coast of West Africa. Despite becoming a French colony in 1893, many indigenous languages are still spoken today, though French is the official language.

In 1960, Côte d’Ivoire became independent and enjoyed a few decades of stability before a coup in 1999, followed by two civil wars. Since then, the country’s economy has grown quickly, in part due to being one of the world’s largest exporters of cocoa beans.

This was another difficult country. I had to request permission to post in the Ivorian subreddit, and by the time the moderators approved me, it was too late. So unfortunately I could not get any information from people who live in the country.

What Do People Eat In Côte d’Ivoire?

Cassava and plantain are staples of the Ivorian diet and are often served with meals. Cassava may be grated and made into attiéké, which is said to be similar to couscous, while plantain and cassava can both be mashed to form fufu.

Seafood and chicken are the most popular meats and they are often grilled. Guinea fowl is popular too.

There’s a wide variety of stews and sauces, both vegetarian and meat-based, but from what I have seen this is true in a lot of African countries. Peanuts show up in a lot of these dishes.

Tropical fruits such as mango, passionfruit, and coconut are widely consumed, as are a range of vegetables, particularly eggplant.

What I Made

Pain Brochette (Grilled Meat on Baguette)

Pain brochette

Brochette is a common dish in many African countries, consisting of grilled, skewered meat. In Côte d’Ivoire, the meat can be put on a baguette once it’s cooked, along with a variety of other toppings. This is known as ‘pain brochette’.

I follow a recipe from Sinaba Food except I cooked the steak in a cast iron skillet. This recipe doesn’t call for skewering the meat, which would be more authentic, but it was easier for me to do it this way. Along with the beef, I topped my baguettes with onion, tomato, and mayonnaise.

This turned out to be a really good meal, and it was easy too! Next time though, I will put more salt on the meat.

Beef Sokossoko (Beef, Tomato, and Onion Stir Fry)


This is a simple stir fry consisting of beef, onion, and tomato. In Côte d’Ivoire, it’s seen as a meal you make when you want something delicious but don’t have a lot of time. It’s made primarily of beef, tomato, and onion. The recipe I was following also included garlic powder but there must have been some kind of mistake because it was calling for a cup. I used a few cloves of garlic instead.

This was easy and really good! I served it with rice, as suggested. Sokossoko can also be served with attiéké, which is made from grated cassava.

The recipe I used is from Archynetys. For the beef, I used sirloin cut into strips, and I reduced the cooking time a bit. I’m not sure which cut is intended. You could probably use chuck if you want but I think you’d need to cook it for longer than stated in the recipe in order for it to be tender.

Kedjenou (Chicken Stew)


This is a chicken stew with a variety of vegetables, including onion, bell peppers, tomatoes, scallions, and eggplant. I omitted the eggplant because the eggplants at the grocery store looked like someone had been attempting to juggle them or something. This often happens; I think eggplants are kind of delicate and people don’t handle them properly. The stew is seasoned with garlic, ginger, bay leaves, thyme, paprika, and habaneros. It is often served with fufu, which is a mash made out of either plantains, cassava, or yams, but I served mine with rice.

This dish was very easy to make. All I had to do was prepare the ingredients, combine them in a large bowl, and leave them to marinate for about 2 hours. If using eggplant, it is added to the vegetables after marinating. Then you layer half the vegetables in a Dutch oven, followed by the bay leaves, habaneros, chicken, and more thyme. Then add the rest of the vegetables on top. This gets cooked, covered, for an hour. I was a little unsure of this method, because I generally like to sautee vegetables first. And there was no liquid added, and this was meant to be a stew! But the vegetables of course created a broth, and the result was really good. This is probably one of the best African stews I’ve made so far, and I’m sure it would have been even better with the eggplant.

I got the recipe from Gypsy Plate. I did use whole chicken thighs but I took the meat off the bone once it was done since it’s much easier to eat in a stew that way, even if it doesn’t look as nice.

Bofloto/Puff Puff (Ivorian Doughnuts)

Bofloto or Puff Puff

Bofloto have many different names depending on which part of Africa you’re in, but they also seem to be known as ‘Puff Puff’ just about everywhere. They are essentially a doughnut made of water, yeast, flour, sugar, a little salt, and nutmeg. They are deep-fried, which is probably what makes them so good, since otherwise they would be quite plain. The recipe I used didn’t include a sugar measurement, which is odd in a baking recipe. I used 2 1/2 tablespoons for half the recipe, but I probably needed another tablespoon. Still, they were quite good, and the nutmeg was not overpowering, which was something I was worried about.

I used the recipe from Food 278.

Final Thoughts

This was a pretty good week! My favorite was the pain brochette.

Next week, I will be cooking food from Croatia.

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