Afang soup: How to Cook Afang Soup the Calabar Way (Okazi soup)

Photo of Afang soup: How to Cook Afang Soup the Calabar Way (Okazi soup)

The southern part of Nigeria isactually fond of eating different kinds of leaves, when it comes to leafy soups, you can’t beat them down. Even the lowest class among them could just prepare thisleafy soupwith just snails, periwinkles,crayfish with dried fish. The major soups they prepare there include, Afang, editan, edika-ikong, abak atamaafia-efere. Whetherat burial ceremonies, traditional weddings, coronation and christening, these two or three of the listed soups must be prepare at such occasions among other foods. At times, when at specialoccasions, people don’t mind fighting for a plate of Afang or Edika-ikong soup rather than going for Jollofrice or other termed special foods. All their foodsare loved by everyone;believe you me, the Efiksand Ibibios know how to cook so well, they cook with passion and you cant’t resist any of their food,except you dont eat food or you just want to form. You can orderfor someof theirdishes atresturants or eateries and am sure you will be offered the best.

Afang soup is just one kind of soup that might confuse one with editan soup, this is because their taste arealmost similar, especially when they are both prepared fresh with water leaves. Itis only when you are familiar with both leaves that you might be able to identify which one is which. Afangleaves are available in all seasons, theycould be prepared fresh or dried depending on your location since theleavescan’t withstand heat or dry wind, the best you can do, is toshred themand dryin the sun before using itor use it while it is fresh. Sometime, few people do combine afang leaves with a little okra to cook, just to make it a bit viscous.

What usually givesthis soup the unique taste is the use of Afang leaves ( Gnetum Africana) and the water leave (talinum Triangulare). other things include, Cod/stockfish, crayfish,smoked fish and goat meat which are the major ingredients in Afang soup.

“Afang soup” is the name given to this delicious dish by the Efiks and Ibibios, “Okazi soup” is what the Igbos call it,cameronians call it “Eru” while the Congo people call it “Koko or Mfumbwa”.

The following are the nutritional values of Afang leaves or soup:

  1. Afang leaves servedietary fiber that helps in proper digestion.
  2. It gives a bulk feeling for a good weight control diet
  3. The palm oil used in cooking it contain vitamin A (It also contains vitamine E, C, potassium, Iron and Calcium.
  4. Afang soup ishighly nutritious, since it contans various blend of vegetables,fish, meat,sea foods and also provides good eye sight, strong bones,good heartfunction,fresh and youthful skin
  5. Some herbalists at times use the leaves (blended afang) to place on a deep wounds or leg cancer to fasten the healing process.
 Shredded Afang leaf
Shredded Afang leaf

 

Ingredients for preparing Afang soup

These Are the Ingredientsyou need for afang soup’ preparation

  • A generous amount of afang or Ukazi leaves
  • A good quantity of water leaves
  • 1 kg ofmeat(goat or beef)
  • Head of stock fishor you can use the flesh parts
  • 8 Medium sized snails washed in lime water or alum( or you can substitute it with cow hide I.e kpomo)
  • 2 Medium sized dry fish
  • 2 Cups of crayfish (grounded)
  • 4 scotch bonnet peppers
  • 2Cups of shelled periwinkle
  • 4 seasoning cubes(royco,knor or maggi)
  • 1/2 bottle of palm oil
  • A little salt to taste
  • 1 bulbonionto season the meat with it
 Ingredients for preparing afang soup
Ingredients for preparing afang soup

 

Procedures on how toprepare Afang soup

  1. Wash anddry afang leaves with water and drain with a sieve. The leaves sometimes come with dirt and tree particles; you would have to hand pick them one by one to get rid of these and also to remove the leaves from the stalks. Afang leaves can be driedin a chiffon cloth or sack bag by flapping the bag containing the leaves severally to drain out excess water.
  2. Using a tray or chopping board with a wooden supporter and a sharp knife,shred the afang leave into tiny pieces and then pour it into a mortar and pound it until it forms a smooth paste andwithout chunks and set it aside. You can use a dry mill or the part of thefood processor used for blending dry grainsto blend the leaves until smooth. If you do not want to go through all these long procedure, you can get the already shredded afang from the market to save time.
  3. Wash and shred the waterleaves into tiny pieces too and set aside.
    Please Note:During rainy season or so, water leaves usually containexcessgreenish and slimy water after they have been chopped;which if it is added to soup, could make it taste sour. You have to rinse the leaves with water and squeeze the slimy liquidout and drain with a colander. Afang soup does not need too much water.
  4. Cut and wash the periwinkles severally and rinse in salt water and set aside.
  5. Wash and cook the stock fish; when it issoft, season the meat with seasoning cube,salt, pepper and onions together with thecow skin cook themfor about 25minutes till they are very soft.When the meat is cooked, add the snail if you are using that, periwinkles and cook them properly.
  6. Add a cup of water to the meat or you can pour the water you used to cook the stockfish into the meat.
    Note: Do notaddtoo much water to the meat because the waterleaves would still bring out its own water when it starts to boil.
  7. Add the shredded waterleaves into it, measure 2 cups of palm oil, addgrounded crayfish with pepperand the remaining seasoning cubes into the pot and leave it to boil properlyfor about 8minutes. You do not cover vegetable soup; you want it to stay greenish all through, since you would be warming it subsequently.
  8. Stir it properly and allow it to bubblefor another 1 minute.
  9. Finally, addthe pounded Afang into the content on heat, stir and allow for just 5 minutes depending on how fresh you want your soup to be
  10. Put off heat, bring the soup down and scoop some into the freezer.
  11. Serve with fufu,semolina, eba or any starchy foodof your choice.

After cutting your waterleaf, if you feel it is a bit viscous, transfer into a sieve and rinse with water to get rid of the excess slimy liquid

  1. Wash anddry afang leaves with water and drain with a sieve. The leaves sometimes come with dirt and tree particles; you would have to hand pick them to get rid of these and also to remove the leaves from the stalks. Afang leaves can be driedin a chiffon cloth or sack bag by flapping the bag containing the leaves severally to drain out excess water.
Washed afang leaves
Washed afang leaves

 

2.Using a tray or chopping board with a wooden supporter and a sharp knife,shred the afang leave into tiny pieces and then pour it into a mortar and pound it until it forms a smooth paste andwithout chunks and set it aside. You can use a dry mill or the part of thefood processor used for blending dry grains, to blend the leaves until smooth. If you do not want to go through all these long procedure, you can get the already shredded afang from the market to save time.

Shredding of fresh Afang leaves
Shredding of fresh Afang leaves

 

3. Wash and shred the waterleaves into tiny pieces too and set aside.
Please Note:During rainy season or so, water leaves usually containexcessgreenish and slimy water after they have been chopped;which if it is added to soup, could make it taste sour. You have to rinse the leaves with water and squeeze the slimy liquidout and drain with a colander. Afang soup does not need too much water.

Water leaf is usually combined to make afang soup
Water leaf is usually combined to make afang soup

 

After cutting your waterleaf, if you feel it is a bit viscous, transfer into a sieve and rinse with water to get rid of the excess slimy liquid
After cutting your waterleaf, if you feel it is a bit viscous, transfer into a sieve and rinse with water to get rid of the excess slimy liquid

 

4. Cut and wash the periwinkles severally and rinse in salt water and set aside.

5. Wash and cook the stock fish; when it issoft, season the meat with seasoning cube,salt, pepper and onions together with thecow skin cook themfor about 25minutes till they are very soft.When the meat is cooked, add the snail if you are using that, periwinkles and cook them properly.

Add a cup of water to the meat or you can pour the water you used to cook the stock fish into the meat

Cooking of assorted meat for Afang soup
Cooking of assorted meat for Afang soup

 

7. Add the shredded waterleaves into it, measure 2 cups of palm oil, addgrounded crayfish with pepperand the remaining seasoning cubes into the pot and leave it to boil properlyfor about 8minutes. You do not cover vegetable soup; you want it to stay greenish all through, since you would be warming it subsequently.

Waterleaf is being added to the content
Waterleaf is being added to the content

 

Cooking process of afang soup
Cooking process of afang soup

 

8. Stir the soupproperly and allow it to bubblefor another 1 minute.

Pounded afang
Pounded afang

 

9. Finally, addthe pounded Afang into the content on heat, stir and allow for just 5 minutes depending on how fresh you want your soup to beFinally, addthe pounded Afang into the content on heat, stir and allow for just 5 minutes depending on how fresh you want your soup to be.

Afang leaf is being added to the soup
Afang leaf is being added to the soup

 

Afang is ready
Afang is ready

 

10. Put off heat, bring the soup down and scoop some into the freezer.

Enjoy your delicious afang soup
Enjoy your delicious afang soup

 

11. Serve afang soupwith fufu,semolina, eba or any starchy food of your choice.

Watch the above short video on how to make afang soup, it explains more.

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