How to bleach palm oil

A big thank you to My Diasporan Kitchen, whose blog post was the perfect guide for this experiment. Here’s how to bleach palm oil:

First, read the recipe on ‘how to’ very well. Though most Nigerians are conversant and confident with oil cooking, frying etc, it’s good to read the recipe, become familiar with the steps and plan accordingly.

Then get yourself some good oil…

…to begin with. The end result will only be as good as the starting point so get the best quality oil you can find.

Make space, make space

  • Ensure your space is well ventilated, windows and doors open, ventilator on.
  • Have a tea towel/ napkin to hand in case you need it

The right utensils

  • Get a clean pot with a lid that fits snuggly. Don’t use lined/ coated pots – non stick etc? A stainless steel pot works well to withstand the heat without stripping the pot.

Epo Gbigba - Bleached Palm Oil

Make enough – it’ll take the same time to bleach 2 cups as it would 4 so I’d rather make more than less.

Put the palm oil into a dry pot.

Epo Gbigba - Bleached Palm Oil
Epo Gbigba - Bleached Palm Oil
Epo Gbigba - Bleached Palm Oil

Put the lid on and turn the heat to medium – low.

Epo Gbigba - Bleached Palm Oil
Epo Gbigba - Bleached Palm Oil
  • Leave to bleach for 10 – 12 minutes. DO NOT TAKE OFF THE LID! The kitchen will fill up with acrid smoke which could cause choking
  • It is advisable to stay in the kitchen throughout the process. If there’s a fire, turn off the heat – DO NOT POUR WATER but cover the pot with a tea towel.
  • Turn off heat. I like to put a tea towel over my pot.
Epo Gbigba - Bleached Palm Oil
  • Allow it cool completely
Epo Gbigba - Bleached Palm Oil
  • Once cold, keep in a container.
Epo Gbigba - Bleached Palm Oil
  • Note it tends to solidify when cold.
Epo Gbigba - Bleached Palm Oil

The end. It keeps well and adds that unique smoky taste to some stews. I don’t do this often because the process degrades the healthy orange beta carotene.



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