EDIKANG IKONG SOUP one of the most nutritious soup in Nigeria, garnished with assorted meat and dried fish, and fresh vegetables. This African food is believed to have its origin among the Efiks in Cross River State and Ibibios in Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria.
Edikang Ikong contains a variety of rich proteins used in making the soups which is why it has been tagged “Soup of the Rich“
There are regional differences in how this soup is prepared but there is a particular ingredient that is almost never left out, from which this soup got its identity and that is the Ikong Ubong or Ugwu leaves (fluted pumpkin leaves) usually cooked in combination another vegetable – the water leaves. And in the absence of both leaves, Spinach, Kale or Mache/lamb lettuce can be used.
Whichever leave is used one thing is for sure, this Efik/Ibibio recipe will keep you wanting more…
The Basic Recipes
* 500g of assorted meat (Cow tripe or cow skin, snails, goat meat)
* Smoked fish
* 250ml of palm oil
* 2 tablespoon of ground crayfish
* 1 medium sized onion
* 2 scotch bonnet pepper (fresh pepper)
* 200g of water leaves or spinach
* 1Kg Ugwu (fluted pumpkin leaves) or Kale
* Stocked fish (optional)
* 1 cup of periwinkles (Optional)
* Salt according to taste
* Wash the assorted mean properly and cut it into bite-able sizes and then rinse again.
** Clean the periwinkles and then wash the dried fish and stock fish properly also before you set them aside.
*** Prepare the vegetables by washing and cutting them into tiny bits (Thin chew-able slices) and set aside.
****Clean and cut the onion into tiny bits and put it aside.
Note: The cooking process is pretty much the same for whatever combination of vegetables you will like to use but Kale and spinach vegetables will be the focal point.
The Cooking Process
i. Place the assorted meat and smoked fish in the pot; add a little water, the chopped onions and one stock cube. (You can boil the meats separately because of different cooking times.) Cook all meats until tender and there is little or no water left in the pot.
ii. As soon as the meat and smoked fish is done softened catfish, add palm oil and fresh ground pepper with the heat on medium to allow the palm oil to dissolve into the stock. Then let it simmer for about 10 minutes.
iii. Now add the chopped spinach leaves (Water leaves or lamb lettuce as case may be), Stir a bit while you add your fresh prawns and then leave it to boil for 3 minutes.
Check Out Spinach Tip by Dooney’s Kitchen
iv. Add the already chopped Kale (Leafy cabbage leaves) into the pot and salt to taste. Stir everything thoroughly, Leave it to simmer for 2 minutes (on low heat). Please do not add water!! The palm oil is the only liquid in this soup.
v. Add the ground crayfish, stir gently and then leave the vegetables to mingle with the other ingredients for 2-3 minutes (Tips: Always add your crayfish towards the end of your cooking so as to retain its maximum flavor). Taste for seasoning salts and cubes, and adjust as you deemed fit. Do not add extra stocks and again do not add water but if the veggies have absorb the liquids and make it look “dry”, add 1-2 tablespoon of palm oil.
Once its 5 minutes (iv and v), your Edikang Ikong soup is ready for your enjoyment.
Edikang Ikong soup is best served with pounded yam, Usi (starch), Eba, akpu (fufu), semolina, wheat meal (Tuwo alkama) or Amala.
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