Cookbook:Ibirayi n'Ibishyimbo (Rwandan Bean Soup with Fish)

Ibirayi n'Ibishyimbo (Rwandan Bean Soup with Fish)
CategoryAfrican recipes

Cookbook | Ingredients | Recipes

Ibirayi n'ibishyimbo is a delicious and hearty Rwandan bean soup that features a combination of tender beans and fish. It is a popular dish in Rwanda, often enjoyed as a nutritious and comforting meal. This soup is packed with flavors from aromatic spices and herbs, making it a satisfying and flavorful option.






  1. Drain and rinse the soaked beans. In a large pot, add the beans and enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until the beans are tender, usually for about 1–2 hours. Drain the cooked beans and set them aside.
  2. In the same pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic, and sauté until the onion is translucent and fragrant.
  3. Add the diced tomato, carrot, potato, and green bell pepper to the pot. Stir well to combine.
  4. Add the cooked beans back to the pot and pour in enough water to cover the ingredients. Add the bay leaf, cumin, thyme, and fish stock cube (if using). Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Bring the soup to a simmer and cook for about 20–30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and the flavors have melded together.
  6. While the soup is simmering, prepare the fish fillets by seasoning them with salt and pepper. Grill or pan-fry the fish until cooked through. Once cooked, flake the fish into smaller pieces using a fork.
  7. Add the flaked fish to the soup and simmer for an additional 5 minutes to allow the flavors to combine.
  8. Remove the bay leaf from the soup and adjust the seasoning if needed.
  9. Serve hot, garnished with fresh parsley or cilantro.

Notes, tips, and variations

  • You can use any type of fresh fish fillets that are readily available in your area. Tilapia or catfish are commonly used in Rwandan cuisine.
  • Feel free to add additional vegetables such as cabbage or spinach to the soup for extra nutritional value and flavor.
  • To enhance the richness of the soup, you can use homemade fish stock or substitute it with vegetable stock.
  • Serve the soup with Rwandan accompaniments like cooked plantains, steamed rice, or Rwandan bread.
  • Adjust the spices and seasoning according to your personal preference.
  • This soup is a good source of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.