Ekpang Nkukwo Recipe: How to Prepare Ekpang Nkukwo (Cocoyam Pottage)

Photo of Ekpang Nkukwo Recipe: How to Prepare Ekpang Nkukwo (Cocoyam Pottage)

Ekpang Nkukwo has been on my mind for a while now, I have not really had much time to prepare this and show the procedures involved, not until now. I love epkang Nkukwo so well, in fact it is one of the sweetest porridge I will want to eat over and over at any time of the day.

Ekpang-Nkukwuo as the name implies is refers to a special cocoyam porridge, wrapped with tender cocoyam leaves or spinach.It is commonly prepared in traditional ceremonies like christening, weddings, and in many homes.

Ekpang-Nkukwo is a native porridge well known among the Efik and Ibibio people in south-south Nigeria; it is a one pot delicacy thatcontains almost all the six classes of food if not all because in it you can find the protein (fish, meat, shrimps, crayfish and periwinkles), Carbohydrate (cocoyam and wateryam), vitamin (palm oil,) minerals (lettuce, spinach, or scent leaves) andlastly, water is not left out.

Sometimes back, Ekpang nkukwuo used to be a fattening food for most pregnant women, nursing mothers and newly married wives, this rich and nutritious dish was commonly used by the EFIKS and IBIBIOS to fatten of pregnant women and little babies who were weaned from breast milk, because of its rich and nutritious benefits. Now a days, ekpang nkukwo is prepared in many homes from time to time and not just for fattening or used as babys food.

However, there are different versions of ekpang Nkukwo such as:

Ekpang nkukwo is never complete without periwinkles, however, periwinkles, crayfish, fish and or assorted meat are usually the basic condimentsfor this delicious delicacy. I understand that a lot of people are not familiar with periwinkles because they are not common everywhere, if at all you are unable to find them, you can skip these, your ekpang Nkukwo will still taste awesome at the end.

Obviously, the preparation of ekpan nkukwo can take up to two hours or more, Someone once said that; ekpang nkukwuo’s preparation can be liken to a man embarking on a wedding planning. This is to say, thepreparation usually takes a longer time, which means you have to prepare all the things you would need to make this dishin advance and keep all in place before you start cooking this.

The two major things that delay Ekpang nkukwuo are the aspect of peeling, grating of cocoyam and water yam. Another aspect is the wrapping of the grated cocoyam, but this can be hasten if you have many hands assisting.

Ekpang- Nkukwo is usuallyserved hot such that, if you are not careful while eating it ,you may burn your tongue due to it savoury taste. Ekpang nkukwo tastes delicious and better the next day.The taste is irritably inviting, you can scoop some into the fridge if it remains. Don’t forget to watch Ekpang Nkukwo video above.

Ingredients for Ekpang-Nkukwuo

  • 10 medium size of cocoyam tubers
  • 1 medium sized water yam tuber (share into two)
  • 3 cups of shelled periwinkles (mfi)
  • cup of ground crayfish
  • cup of dry shrimps (optional)
  • A handful of fresh lettuce, tenderpotato leaves, fresh cocoyam leaves, spinach) or any of the above
  • 3 scotch bonnets/ dry pepper
  • 1 medium sized cow hides (ganda, kpomo) cut into tiny pieces
  • Dried catfish, boneless chicken, smoked fish or beef
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 cupsof palm oil
  • 4 cups of water or chicken stock
  • 4 cubes of maggi or knorr (seasoning cubes)
  • salt to taste
  • Basil leaves (scent leaves) to garnish
Ekpang Nkukwo Recipe: How to Prepare Ekpang Nkukwo (Cocoyam Pottage)

 

I used edible cocoyam and not the one for preparing bitter leaf soup
I used edible cocoyam and not the one for preparing bitter leaf soup

 

Just Before You Start Preparing Ekpang Nkukwo

  • Wash and season chicken or beef and cow hide, cook till very soft. If you are using smoked or dried fish, dress it and keep aside for later use.
  • Chop the shelled periwinkles at the tail, wash itseverally in salted water and keep aside.
  • Blend crayfish and pepper and chop onions and keep aside.
  • Peel ,wash and grate the cocoyam and water yam into an open bowl, add 2 seasoning cubes with a little salt and 2 tablespoons of palm oil to it. Mix it properly with your finger tips and keep aside.
  • (Note: some cocoyams are so itchy, be careful not to allow it pass your ankle when grating or you can use a removable gloves to prevent the itches.
  • If you are going to use any of these leaves:tender cocoyam leaves,uguleaves,spinach (Alehu), sweet potato leaves, wash and segment them by pulling them away from the stalks and keep aside.
  • Cut the scent leaf or curry leaf and keep aside. this is going to serve as vegetable spice at the end of the cooking.
About to grate the cocoyam and water yam
About to grate the cocoyam and water yam

 

This is what the grated cocoyam looks like
This is what the grated cocoyam looks like

 

I mixed the paste with salt, stock cubes and a little palm oil
I mixed the paste with salt, stock cubes and a little palm oil

 

Steps on how to prepare Ekpang Nkukwo

  1. In a large cooking pot, add a little palm oil to grease inside of the pot, spread the washed periwinkles in the pot, this will serve as the base and also prevent the porridge from burning at the bottom.
  2. Add equal part of the cow hide Kpomo, dried fish and leave the remaining for later use.
  3. Bring the mixed cocoyam, use your hand to scoop a little on one side of the bare leaves you have segmented.
  4. Gently wrap it cylindrically till the edges of the cocoyam are sticking out on both ends of the leaves. Place the wrapped cocoyam in the pot carefully. You may want to get a bowl of water close by while doing this to deepen your fingertips.
  5. Repeat the process until the whole grated cocoyam is finished from the tray. When you are done wrapping this, place the content on low heat to boil for about a minutes without stirring or adding water.
  6. Now, pour two cups of hot water to the pot containing the wrapped cocoyam and leave it to heat up for 5 minutes.
  7. When the content starts to boil, add the remaining seasoning: dried fish, boiled chicken, stock cubes, pepper, onion, crayfish, shrimps and any other seasoning. You may not need salt because of the chicken stock.
  8. Cover the lid and leave the content to cook on medium heat without stirring for 15 minutes.
  9. When the folded cocoyam starts to become swollen,pour the remaining palm oil into it and stir it gently till all the ingredients are well mixed. At this point, the consistency will look very thick and dry, add the chicken stock or more waterand stir properly to combine. You can taste for salt and stock cubes.
  10. If you dont like the porridge lumpy like me or if the lumps appear too large, use a kitchen knife to cut throughall the folded cocoyam to reduce their sizes while it is still on fire; some people prefer it with the large chunks though. Cover the pot and leaveit to simmer on low heatfor 5 minutes more.
  11. After that, add the shredded scent leaves or curry leaves of you are using these and stir the content again to incorporate and leave to cook slowly for 3 minutes.
  12. Ekpang nkukwo is ready, put off the heat and serve it warm with chilled drink.

Steps on how to Prepare Ekpang Nkukwo with Pictures

1. In a large cooking pot, add a little palm oil to grease inside of the pot, spread the washed periwinkles in the pot, this will serve as the base and also prevent the porridge from burning at the bottom.

2. Add equal part of the cow hide Kpomo, dried fish and leave the remaining for later use.

The periwinkles serve as the base; they prevent the content from burning at the bottom
The periwinkles serve as the base; they prevent the content from burning at the bottom

 

3. Bring the mixed cocoyam, use your hand to scoop a little on one side of the bare leaves you have segmented.

Ekpang Nkukwo Recipe: How to Prepare Ekpang Nkukwo (Cocoyam Pottage)

 

Drop the wrapped leaves carefully in such a way that it won
Drop the wrapped leaves carefully in such a way that it won’t lose

 

4. Gently wrap it cylindrically till the edges of the cocoyam are sticking out on both ends of the leaves. Place the wrapped cocoyam in the pot carefully. You may want to get a bowl of water close by while doing this to deepen your fingertips.

Here is the outcome of the wrapped cocoyam paste
Here is the outcome of the wrapped cocoyam paste

 

5. Repeat the process until the whole grated cocoyam is finished from the tray. When you are done wrapping this, place the content on low heat to boil for about a minutes without stirring or adding water.

Add the remaining ingredients when it has started boiling
Add the remaining ingredients when it has started boiling

 

6. Now, pour two cups of hot water to the pot containing the wrapped cocoyam and leave it to heat up for 5 minutes.

7. When the content starts to boil, add the remaining seasoning: dried fish, boiled chicken, stock cubes, pepper, onion, crayfish, shrimps and any other seasoning. You may not need salt because of the chicken stock.

Palm oil is introduce after it has cooked for a while
Palm oil is introduce after it has cooked for a while

 

8. Cover the lid and leave the content to cook on medium heat without stirring for 15 minutes.

I used chicken stock, but you can use plain water and make sure you add more stock cubes to it taste
I used chicken stock, but you can use plain water and make sure you add more stock cubes to it taste

 

9. When the folded cocoyam starts to become swollen,pour the remaining palm oil into it and stir it gently till all the ingredients are well mixed. At this point, the consistency will look very thick and dry, add the chicken stock or more waterand stir properly to combine. You can taste for salt and stock cubes.

leave to cook for a while after water or chicken stock
leave to cook for a while after water or chicken stock

 

10. If you dont like the porridge lumpy like me or if the lumps appear too large, use a kitchen knife to cut throughall the folded cocoyam to reduce their sizes while it is still on fire; some people prefer it with the large chunks though. Cover the pot and leaveit to simmer on low heatfor 5 minutes more.

Ekpang Nkukwo preparation
Ekpang Nkukwo preparation

 

11. After that, add the shredded scent leaves or curry leaves of you are using these and stir the content again to incorporate and leave to cook slowly for 3 minutes.

Adding of scent leaves ( basil) to garnish ekpang nkukwo
Adding of scent leaves ( basil) to garnish ekpang nkukwo

 

12. Ekpang nkukwo is ready, put off the heat and serve it warm with chilled drink.

Ekpang nkukwo is ready
Ekpang nkukwo is ready

 

Ekpang nkukwo recipe
Ekpang nkukwo recipe

 

Ekpang nkukwo is best serve warm
Ekpang nkukwo is best serve warm

 

Ekpang nkukwo food
Ekpang nkukwo food

Leave a Reply