Ofe Owerri: How to Cook Ofe Owerri (Owerri Soup Recipe)

Photo of Ofe Owerri: How to Cook Ofe Owerri (OwerrI Soup Recipe)

Ofe Owerri: How to Cook Ofe Owerri/ Ofe Owerre Recipe

Ofe owerri is a savoury rich soup common among the owerri people, this is a one-pot soup prepared with assorted meat and cocoyam as a basic thickener. Ofe means soup, Owerri is the capital of Imo state in Nigeria, hence the name Ofe Owerri which literally means Owerri soup.

There is no where you see the phrase Ofe Owerri that there wont be disagreement between the chefs and the readers, this very soup has stirred up a big controversy among folks especially the Owerri people and the non-indigene, one of the major arguments is simply concerning the leaves used in preparing Ofe owerri. Some folks saidit is only ugwu that is used, other saidit is Okazi, some said you have to combine okazi and Uzizi and some saidit is oha leaves that are used in ofe Owerri preparation. Another person will be telling you that it is the combination of ukazi and ugu that makes up ofe owerri; it is prepared this way and that way and all that. At the end of the day, if you dont have a stand, you will end up mixing things up or very confused.

I am not from owerri per say, but I was thought how to prepare ofe owerri by my neighbour who is an Owerri lady; ever since then, I held on to that method because I dont want to get myself confused. She actually used ukazi and uziza leaves to make Ofe Owerri. Whether it was her own twist or not, I didnt want to get confused any further so I just agreed with her method; someone said uziza is a borrowed ingredient in Owerri soup, but personally, I love Uziza and I believe it goes well with almost every soup. So, to make Ofe owerri, I simply combined uziza and ukazi and at the end of the day the soup came out unbelievably delicious.

I was also told that based on tradition, Ofe Oweri contains stockfish (Okporoko), dried fish (Azu Okpo)and snails and that assorted meat are only added because many people cannot just cook without adding meat to their soups which means it is optional. I believe that assorted meat add to the richness and texture of this soup; you can add as much as can.

Traditionally, Ofe Owere has a light runny consistency just like ofe nsala, one important ingredient that Im sure contributes to the richness of this soup is the Ogiri. Sometimes I dont know how to describe the flavor of this specific spice- it sure has a pungent smell but when added to simple souplike this it blends with allother ingredients and gives the soup another taste which is incredibly amazing to the taste bud. Ogiri is made from fermented castor seeds. Other soups like oha soupofe onughbo and egusi soup can be prepared with ogiri as well.

Ofe Owerri ingredients

  1. 500g assorted meat
  2. 8 mediumof cocoyams
  3. 8 pieces of snails, optional
  4. 1 cup of dried prawns
  5. 1 medium sized stockfish head
  6. 3 medium sized dried fish (Azu Okpo)
  7. cup of dried ukazi
  8. A handful of uziza/ugu leaves
  9. 2-3 stock cubes
  10. 1 wrap ogiri igbo
  11. 3 scotch bonnets or dried pepper
  12. 2 tablespoons ground crayfish
  13. Salt to taste
Ingredients for preparing Ofe Owerri
Ingredients for preparing Ofe Owerri

 

Step by Step Preparation ofOfe Owerri

  1. Rinse meat and stock thoroughly into a pot, season with pepper, stock cubes, salt, add 1 cup of water to it and place on heat to boil.
  2. While the meat is cooking, wash the cocoyam into another pot, add water and boil without salt for 20 minutes.
  3. Take off the cocoyam from heat, leave to cool. Peel them into a mortar or blender and mash into a smooth paste.
  4. Dress the Ugu or uziza and shred into smaller pieces, rinse the dried fish with salt, remove the centre bones and set everything aside.
  5. When the meat is almost cooked, add the dried prawns and snails if using that and increase the water level if needed.
  6. Add palm oil, Ogiri, ground crayfish and stir the content, leave to boil until the Ogiri starts to bring out its flavour.
  7. Cut small portions of the pounded cocoyam with a spoon or with your fingertips into the content and leave the pot uncovered, watch the cocoyam melts into the stock gradually; as it melts, it will begin to thicken the soup giving it a nice creamy look.
  8. Stir the soup well and add the dried fish and leave to simmer for 5minutes, you are adding the fish just after the cocoyam becauseyou don’t want it to disintegrate into the soup just before time. Taste for pepper and seasoning and adjust if needed.
  9. Add the sliced ukazi and stir. Add the uziza or if it is Ugu you are using and stir to combine, let the soup sit on low heat for 3 minutes while it simmers slowly.
  10. Take Ofe Owerri off heat and serve with pounded yam, red Eba or as you would love it.

Step by Step Preparation ofOfe Owerri with Pictures

1. Rinse meat and stock thoroughly into a pot, season with pepper, stock cubes, salt, add 1 cup of water to it and place on heat to boil.

Boiling of assorted meat for Ofe Owerri recipe
Boiling of assorted meat for Ofe Owerri recipe

 

2. While the meat is cooking, wash the cocoyam into another pot, add water and boil without salt for 20 minutes.

Boiling of cocyam
Boiling of cocyam

 

3. Take off the cocoyam from heat, leave to cool. Peel them into a mortar or blender and mash into a smooth paste.

4. Dress the Ugu or uziza and shred into smaller pieces, rinse the dried fish with salt, remove the centre bones and set everything aside.

5. When the meat is almost cooked, add the dried prawns and snails if using that and increase the water level if needed.

Bring the dried prawns in to the content once the meat is almost cooked
Bring the dried prawns in to the content once the meat is almost cooked

 

6. Add palm oil, Ogiri, ground crayfish and stir the content, leave to boil until the Ogiri starts to bring out its flavour.

This is the best time to add other ingredients, so that by the time the pounded cocoyam is added, it will have the chance to absorbed the flavor that that comes from the stock
This is the best time to add other ingredients, so that by the time the pounded cocoyam is added, it will have the chance to absorbed the flavor that that comes from the stock

 

7. Cut the pounded cocoyam with a spoon or with your fingertips into the content and leave the pot uncovered, watch the cocoyam melts into the stock gradually; as it melts, it will begin to thicken the soup giving it a nice creamy look.

Now, cut the cocoyam paste in smaller portion and drop into the content
Now, cut the cocoyam paste in smaller portion and drop into the content

 

8. Stir the soup well and add the dried fish and leave to simmer for 5minutes, it is best you add the fish towards the end so that it won’t break completely into the soup.Taste for pepper and seasoning and adjust if needed.

Let the soup simmer on low heat until the cocoyam dissolves into the stock completely
Let the soup simmer on low heat until the cocoyam dissolves into the stock completely

 

9. Add the sliced ukazi and stir. Add the uziza or if it is Ugu you are using and stir to combine, let the soup sit on low heat for 3 minutes while it simmers slowly.

Once the soup has cooked for a while and the cocoyam has dissolved, add the shredded Ukazi and the Uziz/Ugu depending on which one you are using
Once the soup has cooked for a while and the cocoyam has dissolved, add the shredded Ukazi and the Uziz/Ugu depending on which one you are using

 

Ofe Owerri is supposed to have a light runny consistency, not so thick and not watery as well
Ofe Owerri is supposed to have a light runny consistency, not so thick and not watery as well

 

10. Take Ofe Owerri off heat and serve with pounded yam, red Eba or as you would love it.

Ofe Owerri is ready once you are happy with the consistency
Ofe Owerri is ready once you are happy with the consistency

 

Picture of Ofe Owerri
Picture of Ofe Owerri

 

Serve Ofe Owerri with pounded yam or Eba swallow
Serve Ofe Owerri with pounded yam or Eba swallow

 

Please if you have your own contributionespecially on which leafis used to cook Ofe Owerri, let me know in the comment section below, Im ever ready to learn from you too.

Leave a Reply