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It is true that each tribe in Nigeria has its own special food unique in its own taste, colour and ingredients, but when it comes to one particular soup in Nigeria which is the popular Edika ikong soup, everyone can testify about it. This soup is tasty, unique, enticing, irresistible, colourful, flavourful, nutritious and loved by many.
In most popular restaurants, edika ikong stands as the best choice for clients, for visitor in Nigeria; edika ikong serves as a welcoming surprise to them, for newly married couple, the soup serve as a secret of happiness. For women that recently put to birth, edika ikong soup helps to generate lost blood and support proper lactation, for kids suffering from malnutrition; edika ikong speaks for them by helping to increase blood flow and also for the elderly one, edika ikong helps in slowing down ageing process and eliminates -stress. There is more to say about this soup.
Edika ikong soup, is of great benefits to everyone and everyone loves the soup because it contains some of the nutritional health benefits such as:
- protein, iron anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties, (gotten from water leaves and deep greenish pumpkin),
- mineral, healthy protein, vitamin12, iron, iodine, zinc, high selenium, low fat, omega-3 fatty acids and anticancer (from stockfish, snails, crayfish, fish periwinkles and meat)
- And vitamin E, Vitamin A (beta carotene), gotten from the red palm oil. At least once in a week, you should be able to prepare this delicacy and package some in the refrigerator to be consumed as lunch before the week runs out. You cant afford to miss out the fantastic flavour and taste in this soup, keep reading down to learn more on the recipe for preparing edika ikong soup.
Edika-ikong soup (vegetable soup) is a popular traditional dish, which is well known among the Efik (Calabar) and the Ibibio (Akwa-ibom) people in Nigeria. “Edikan ikong”or Edika ikong as the name implies is a very nutritious soup commonly prepared during special ceremonies such as traditional wedding (Ndo) Ordination, funneral, Dedication, Festivity, etc. Edikaikong is usually nicknamed as “The King Soup” because it is mostly prepared for the Kings. This is as the result of the many ingredients and the procedures involved in its preparation. It is commonly prepared using large quantity of pumpkin leaves (nkong ubong or ugu), waterleaf (mon mong ikong or Talinum Triangulare), Goat meat or beef, cow hides, palm oil, with large quantity of crayfish among other ingredients
Ingredients for the preparation of edikaikong soup
- kg pumpkin leaves (nkong ubong or ugwu)
- 500g water leaves (talinum triangulare).
- 4 tablespoons groundcrayfish.
- 2 cups palm oil
- 2 cups shelled periwinkles.
- 1 kg of goat meat / beef or assorted meat
- 1 stockfish head
- 1 medium sizecow hide.
- 8 pieces snails (optional) washed in lime or lemon water.
- 5 scotch bonnet peppers,
- Traditional ingredients (okpei or agidi)
- 1 medium size red onion.
- Seasoning cubes (Knorr, Royco, soupy, or Maggi).
- Salt to taste
Just before the preparation of edikaikong soup
The procedures for preparing of edika ikong soup is quite similar to that of Afang, editan and abak tama un-like afia-efere and egusi soup which aretotally different and faster. Since enormoussoups like these, require much time procedures. Certain things need to be done before the main cooking which would make it faster and easier. The following are the things that should be kept in place before you start cooking edikan ikong soup.
- Wash the meat very well and put it in a big pot, add sliced onions, two seasoning cubes, salt and pepper. Cook the meat on medium heat. Add water to the meat after 10 minutes because by then the meat water would have dried up or reduced.
- Cut the periwinkles at the tails and wash severally in salt water, also crack and remove the snails from the shells and wash them in lime or lemon water and keep aside. The snails are washed in a lime or lemon water in order to kill all the bacteria and also to stop the slippery substances quickly.
- While the meat is on heat boiling, pluck off pumpkin leaves from the stalks, wash them thoroughly for many times. With your hands, try to feel some sand particles at the bottom of the bowl used for washing the leaves, if you cant feel any; rinse the ugwu leaves in salt water and leave to rest for 3 minutes in salt water. After 3 minutes, use a wide tray, chopping stick and a sharp knife to shred the leaves thinly until you achieve some short but thinly shredded leaves.
- When you are done shredding the ugwu leaves, transfer into a medium bowl, do exactly the same thing to your waterleaf, and keep all side. While you are doing this, keep putting your eyes on the meat on the stove to know if there is still water in it.
- Some species of waterleaf comes with a lot of slimy foamy liquid especially during rainy season. You would have to add enough clean water to the water leaves while it is inside the bowl, and then drain out excess liquid with a colander. If you find yours without such slimy foamy liquid, there would be no need to do this.
- When the meat is soft or almost, add the snails, periwinkles, stockfish and (kpomo) cow hide with another cup of water, you can adjust the seasoning after adding water to the meat and cook till they are all soft. The stock fish and the cow hide should be rinsed in salted water and then cut into smaller pieces before adding them to the pot containing the meat.
Steps on how to prepare edikan ikong soup
- After all the above preparation have been carried out, add the shredded water leaves into the pot containing the meat, measure 3 spoons of palm oil and add too. Leave it to simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add crayfish, seasoning cubes, pepper, onions traditional ingredients and salt, slightly cover the pot and let it boil until the authentic aroma starts to diffuse around the entire kitchen.
- Add the dried fish to the pot on heat after washing it with a little salt to remove sand; the reason why the fish is added as one of the last ingredients is to avoid it from being mashed or broken by heat before time during the cooking process.
- Finally, add the pumpkin leaf and stir the soup properly, and do not cover the pot, just allow it to simmer on a low heat for 5 minutes.
- Stir the soup and taste for salt and other seasonings, if it is not enough, adjust them
- Put off the heat and serve your edikaikong soup with fufu, semolina, alebo, eba (garri), etc. Enjoy your sweet soup!
Easy steps to prepare edikaikong soup
1. Season and cook meat until it becomes soft; when the meat is properly cooked, add the shredded water leaves into the pot containing the meat, measure 2 big spoons of palm oil and add too. Leave it to simmer for 5 minutes.
2. Add crayfish, seasoning cubes, pepper, onions traditional ingredients and salt, slightly cover the pot and reduce the stoveto enable the soup simmer on a medium heatuntil it bring out sweet aroma.
3. Add dried fish to the content, but do not stir the soup too much, so that fish don’t get broken completely.
4. Once the soup has simmer for 5 minutes, add the pumpkin leaf and stir the soup properly, and do not cover the pot, just allow it to simmer on a low heat for just a minute.
5. Taste the soup and adjust the necessary seasonings.
6. Put off the heat and serve your edikaikong soup with fufu, semolina, alebo, eba (garri), etc.