11 Common Gabonese Dishes and Foods to Try

Gabonese dishes are a blend of French culinary influences with local staples like cassava, yams, and a variety of meats and fish.

Lastest Updated April 19, 2024
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Basic Information

Gabonese Food: Basic Overview

Common Ingredients

Chicken, beef, mutton, fish, vegetables, cassava, plantain, bananas, fruits, milk

Common Cooking Methods

Boiling, stewing, grilling, simmering, deep-frying, baking, assembling


Main course, soup, dessert


Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Key Taste

Savory, sweet, salty

Eating Etiquette

Meals are often communal, with dishes served in the center for everyone to share.||Using hands for eating is common, especially for dishes like fufu.

Meal Presentation

Presentation varies from simple, focusing on the richness of flavors, to elaborate for special occasions.||Starchy sides are typically served alongside main dishes to soak up sauces.

Culinary Festivals

New Year

Influence and Fusion

French cuisine
Origin and Region

Gabonese Food: Origin and Region



Cuisine’s Geographical Territory

Central Africa
Gabo Map
Ingredients and Preparation

Popular Types of Gabonese Food

  • Stews

    Gabonese stews are a cornerstone of the culinary landscape, often featuring a rich blend of local meats, vegetables, and spices, slow-cooked to create deeply flavorful and comforting dishes.

  • Dessert

    Gabonese desserts often utilize the natural sweetness of local fruits, incorporating them into simple yet delightful treats that provide a refreshing end to a meal.

Gabonese dishes are a combination of cooking traditions, practices, and foods associated with Gabon, a country on the west coast of Central Africa. It is notably influenced by delicacies of French, especially in larger cities where various French specialties are available.

In rural areas, staples such as cassava, rice, and yams dominate. Meats include chicken, fish, and bush meats like antelope, wild boar, and monkey, with sauces often enhancing dishes, including the hot red-pepper berbere paste.

The cuisine also features a variety of fruits such as bananas, papayas, guavas, mangoes, pineapples, coconuts, avocados, and peanuts, with plantains, tomatoes, corn, and eggplant being common vegetable ingredients.

Make sure to uncover more about the dishes of Gabon before figuring out your favorite pairings with some flavorful refreshments.

Traditional Gabonese food offers a cuisine deeply rooted in the country’s rich natural resources and cultural diversity. Here are some key characteristics that you should take note:

  • Diverse Ingredients: Gabonese cuisine makes extensive use of locally available ingredients, including tropical fruits, vegetables, and a variety of meats and fish.
  • Rich Flavors: The food is known for its rich, bold flavors, often achieved through the use of unique spices and cooking techniques.
  • Cultural Influences: The cuisine reflects a blend of indigenous traditions and influences from French colonial history, creating a unique culinary identity.
  • Cooking Methods: Traditional cooking methods include stewing, grilling, and steaming, often using banana leaves for wrapping and cooking food.
  • Community and Celebration: Food plays a central role in Gabonese community life and celebrations, with special dishes prepared for various cultural and family events.

Afterward, you should take a look at the popularity of Gabonese food to have a better picture.

Gabonese cuisine has made its mark globally, with countries like the United States, France, Brazil, and Canada embracing and adapting its rich flavors.

In the US, a diverse population of African immigrants and descendants, along with Americans familiar with Gabon through travel or work. France, with its historical ties as Gabon’s former colonial ruler, pairs traditional Gabonese dishes with its renowned wine, cheese, and bread.

Brazil’s tropical climate and cultural affinity with Gabon have led to the incorporation of Gabonese dishes, enhanced with coconut milk, lime, or chili. Canada, maintaining strong diplomatic relations with Gabon, has welcomed Gabonese cuisine.

Next, make sure to find out the healthy side of Gabonese food, which plays an essential role for many to enjoy the cuisine.

To know about the healthy side of Gabonese food, you should be aware of the following information:

  • Diverse Ingredients: Gabonese cuisine includes a wide range of fruits, vegetables, and proteins, contributing to a balanced diet.
  • Rich in Nutrients: Many dishes are prepared with ingredients like leafy greens, fish, and lean meats, which are sources of essential vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Use of Whole Foods: Gabonese recipes often utilize whole, unprocessed ingredients, minimizing the intake of added sugars and refined grains.
  • Medicinal Plants: Some traditional dishes incorporate ingredients with known medicinal properties, contributing to overall health and well-being.

With that said, you’re more than ready to uncover all the specialties that Gabon has to offer.

11 Most Popular Gabonese Dishes with Filters

Before you go and explore the specialties of Gabon, utilize the handy filter system to have a look at these dishes in alphabetical order, dish types, ingredients, tastes, cooking techniques, and worldwide popularity.

Get to know more about the specialties of Gabon by taking a look at these most popular, traditional, street, and fusion delicacies in the country:

  • Widely enjoyed across Gabon, these dishes are recognized for their appeal among locals and visitors alike.
  • Often feature ingredients and cooking methods that are emblematic of Gabon’s culinary traditions.
  • Rooted in Gabon’s history and culture, these dishes are passed down through generations, preserving the culinary heritage.
  • Utilize local ingredients and traditional cooking techniques unique to Gabon.
  • Easily accessible and ready-to-eat foods sold by vendors and at markets throughout Gabon, offering a taste of local flavors on the go.
  • Showcase the everyday eating habits of Gabonese people, providing quick and affordable meal options.
  • Combine elements from different culinary traditions, incorporating foreign influences into Gabonese cuisine.
  • Showcase creativity and innovation in Gabon’s culinary scene, blending local ingredients with international flavors.
Poulet Nyembwe


  • Traditional

Nyembwe is a Gabonese dish consisting of palm butter or oil, called “moambe” or “nyembwe”.

While traditionally prepared with chicken, variations include beef, mutton, or fish, enriched with vegetables and spices to enhance its richness.

Thanks to a thick consistency, nyembwe goes well with starchy elements like rice, cassava, or plantain.

Nkumu Ofula

Nkumu Ofula

  • Traditional

Nkumu ofula is a traditional Gabonese dish created using the nkumu leaves. They are known for their medicinal properties and are indigenous to Gabon.

This dish offers a unique salty flavor derived from local salt. It can be enriched with a variety of proteins such as fish, meat, shrimp, bacon, mushrooms, or even caterpillars.

The soup is typically served with rice, plantain, or cassava, which is great at soaking up the sauce.

Brochettes Gabonese


  • Street Food

Brochettes are simply grilled skewers in Gabon, where chicken often stars as the favored meat. This skewered delight features chicken marinated in a blend of garlic, cumin, parsley, and paprika.

Furthermore, the skewers are also accompanied by onions and bell peppers. Despite the simplicity of its ingredients, these brochettes offer a smoky bite from the grilling process.

Dongo Dongo

Dongo Dongo

  • Traditional

Dongo dongo is a thick and slimy stew from Gabon, combining fish and okra for a surprisingly delicious taste.

Often compared to the renowned Cajun-Creole Gumbo, dongo dongo can complement any starchy side, like fufu or rice, serving both as a sauce and a soup.

Enhanced with hot peppers, stir-fried onions, and garlic, dongo dongo offers a rich yet non-greasy flavor profile.

Poisson Salé

Poisson Salé

  • Traditional

Poisson salé is a Gabonese stew of salted cod cooked with various kinds of veggies to enhance the flavors. With a savory broth, the stew is a favorite when served with many other starchy bases.

Also, rice is an excellent option for pairing with poisson salé. Plus, you can enjoy it with attiéké, a type of African fermented cassava semolina.

In terms of flavor, poisson salé offers a unique sourness coming from the cassava paste.

Bananes Au Four Croustillantes

Bananes Au Four Croustillantes

  • Traditional

Bananes au four croustillantes is a Gabonese dessert bringing together bananas and plantains. This simple culinary creation involves slicing bananas thinly and dipping them in a blend of orange juice with egg before coating them with breadcrumbs.

The slices are deep-fried to achieve a crispy texture before being baked in the oven for a brief period. Served with sour cream or a sprinkle of brown sugar for added sweetness, this dessert is a common treat in Gabon.

Boar with Odika

Boar with Odika

  • Traditional

Boar with odika is a stew in Gabon, specifically created using the meat of boar. Marinated with herbs and spices, the dish is infused with odika, a type of grated kernel of mango.

Thanks to the special spice blend, the sauce has a chocolatey profile and a relatively thick consistency, For that, the stew is best when presented with starchy elements like cassava, plantain, and rice.

In Gabon, boar with odika is a common serving during wedding occasions along with festival events.



  • Traditional

Chakery is a Gabonese pudding dessert consisting of a refreshing blend of couscous, milk, yogurt, fresh fruits like pineapple, and sour cream.

The treat comes in many variations, including cinnamon and other spices to elevate the flavor. Chakery offers a sweet, smooth, and irresistibly tasty treat on summer days.

Beignets Gabonese


  • Fusion

Beignets are Gabonese desserts that were inspired by French cuisine. They are small, crispy pillow-liked pastries dusted with icing sugar, making them look like flaky white snow.

Served as a snack, beignets are often offered at the end of a meal.

Fufu Gabonese


  • Traditional

Fufu is a staple porridge in the cuisine of Gabon, Ghana, and other African nations. With a smooth, dense texture and mild flavor, the porridge complements well with savory dishes and stews.

The specialty primarily uses root crops like cassava, yams, or plantains to produce the desired texture.

Atanga Butter Fruit


  • Traditional

Atanga is a unique fruit from Gabon that is often boiled the before removing the outer skin to enjoy the flesh. Suitable to savor plain or seasoned with salt or sugar, these fruits are a popular snack among the Gabonese population.

Its texture is reminiscent of avocado, while the flavor brings a mild tartness similar to olives.

What Gabonese Dishes to Pair with Beverages?

Pairing your Gabonese dishes with the right drinks in Gabon can make a whole difference in elevating your Gabonese dishes. Consider some of these dishes and beverage ideas:

  • Nyembwe Chicken: This dish, rich in flavors from palm oil and spices, pairs well with robust red wines or palm wine, enhancing the dish’s deep flavors.
  • Dongo-Dongo: The okra soup’s unique taste complements light, crisp white wines or fresh fruit juices, balancing its richness.
  • Brochettes: These grilled meat skewers go well with cold beers or tangy, citrus-infused cocktails, cutting through the meat’s smokiness.
  • Nyembwe: The national dish, with its savory palm nut sauce, is best enjoyed with smooth, dark ales or slightly sweet white wines that can complement its hearty nature.
  • Fufu: As a versatile side, fufu pairs well with almost any traditional drink, but particularly with light-bodied beers or non-alcoholic ginger beer, providing a refreshing contrast to its dense texture.

Have you ever tried any of these Gabonese suggestions? If you did, please leave your comment and share these dishes with others around you.

Jamie Scott

Jamie Scott

Editor in Chief, Senior Content Writer


Home Cooking, Meal Planning, Recipe Development, Baking and Pastry, Food Editor, Cooking-video Maker, Western Food Evaluation Expert


Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts

  • Program: Bachelor’s degree in Culinary Arts
  • Focus: Gained foundational knowledge in French and European culinary techniques. Participated in workshops and hands-on training sessions under the guidance of seasoned chefs.

Local Community College, New York, NY

  • Program: Associate’s Degree in Nutrition
  • Focus: Acquired basic understanding of nutrition principles, dietary needs, and the importance of balanced diets in daily life.

Jamie Scott is a skilled culinary expert and content creator specializing in Western cuisine. With over 15 years in the culinary field and formal training from Le Cordon Bleu, Paris, Jamie deeply understands how to blend nutrition with delicious flavors. His passion for cooking matches his commitment to making healthy eating accessible and enjoyable.

On Fifteen.net, Jamie brings a fresh perspective to classic dishes and beverages, offering readers insightful recipes, cooking tips, and a fresh view on meal planning that emphasizes taste, health, and simplicity.

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