Growing Chefs! Ontario Yassa Sauce with Mushroom or Chicken and Steamed Fonio

Yassa Sauce with Mushroom or Chicken and Steamed Fonio

Guest Chef Maryam’s Yaro Yassa Sauce and Mushrooms with Steamed Fonio, a flavourful vegetarian version of a West African dish. Fonio is a small but mighty millet, traditionally grown and cooked in Sahel regions of Africa.
Serves 4

Yassa Sauce with Mushroom or…

4 onions, sliced1 onion, diced1 1/4 cups cooking oil2 limes, juiced1 1/2 teaspoons salt2 bay leaves1 seasoning cube (like a bullion cube)1 teaspoon garam masala250 grams container brown mushroom, or 2 chicken breasts2 cups water

Steamed Fonio

1 cup (200 grams) fonio, rinsed1 tablespoon olive oil1/4 teaspoon salt1 cup water
Measuring cupsMeasuring spoonsCutting boardParing knife or chef's knifeBowlsPot with lidDeep pan with lidDish towelTasting spoons

Get Organized!

Measure out the ingredients for the steamed fonio and yassa sauce. Keep them separate in bowls. Gather all of the equipment on the list.

Get prepped!

For the yassa: Have a grown-up help peel and cut 4 onions in half, then slice into thin strips. Peel and dice the 5th onion. Thinly slice the mushroom or chicken if using. Juice the limes into a small bowl. If the seasoning cube is hard, soak in hot water.

For the fonio: Rinse the fonio by pouring it into a bowl of water. Use clean hands to mix the fonio with the water, Be careful when pouring off the water not to lose too much fonio! It’s a very small grain. If using a strainer, make sure it is fine enough.

Get cooking!

Put a deep pan over high heat. Add 14 cup of cooking oil with the diced onion and allow to cook for 3 – 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms, or chicken with ¼ teaspoon salt. Stir the onion and mushroom until it starts to brown. Remove from the pan into a plate or bowl. Set aside.

In the same pan, add 1 cup of cooking oil. Turn the heat to medium and add the sliced onion, bay leaves, garam masala, seasoning cube, and lime juice. Season with salt. Stir everything together, cover, and allow it to cook for 5 – 8 minutes until the onions begin to turn translucent. Add 2 cups of water with the sautéed mushroom or chicken, cover, and cook for another 11- 12 minutes, checking from time to time. Once the onions have cooked down, take off the heat. Taste for seasoning. Serve with steamed fonio.

While the yassa sauce is cooking, steam the fonio. To a medium pot, add water, salt, and oil. Place over high heat. Once water has boiled, stir in the fonio and cover. Reduce heat to low. Allow to steam for 2 – 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow it to sit until ready to eat.

To make the Steamed Fonio with Yassa Sauce a full meal, Chef Maryam would typically serve it, with steamed collards, spinach or kale. Very simple – cooked quickly in a pan with salt and pepper depending on the green.


Introducing Chef Maryam Yaro Wright of Yaya’s Kitchen

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Read more about Introducing Chef Maryam Yaro Wright of Yaya's Kitchen