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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Eat your swallow with otong soup or fumbwa stew

Otong is a rich and traditional okra soup from the Efik people of Cross River State in South Eastern Nigeria, celebrated for its bold flavors and hearty ingredients.
Prep Time: 10 mins.
Cook Time: 45 mins.
Total Time: 55 mins.
Serves: 5

Otong soup

Ingredients
• One cup palm oil
• Seven kilograms fresh prawns
• Two medium-sized smoked catfish
• Two raw crabs, broken and prepared
• Six kilograms mussels
• One large stock fish
• Seven hundred grams assorted meat
• Eight kilograms fresh okra
• Three chopped habanero peppers (Ata-rodo)
• One large chopped red bell pepper
• Two tablespoons dry ground crayfish
• One tablespoon dry ground pepper
• A handful of chopped uziza leaves
• A handful of ugu
• Three bouillon cubes
• Salt to taste

Method
• Start by cleaning the seafood and meat in lukewarm salted water, scrubbing carefully to remove any impurities, particularly from the mussels. Repeat this process three times to ensure thorough cleanliness.
• In a large pot, bring the cleaned meats and seafood to boil seasoned with salt and bouillon cubes.
• Meanwhile, clean the okra under running water, then chop into your desired size.
• Add the chopped habanero and red bell peppers to the pot along with the crayfish. Stir in the palm oil and let everything simmer together for about five minutes.
• Once the prawns turn pink and the mussels open (discard any that do not open), it’s time to add the okra and your choice of leafy greens.
• Mix well and add a bit of water if the soup seems too thick. Adjust the seasoning and continue cooking uncovered for another five minutes.
• Take the pot off the heat and cover it. Let it sit to allow the residual heat to finish cooking the okra.
• Serve hot with Ayan Ekpang, Fufu, or your favorite type of swallow.

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Fumbwa — Congolese spinach stew

Fumbwa — Congolese spinach stew
Fumbwa, also known as Congolese Spinach Stew, offers a nutritious and deeply satisfying experience, featuring smoked fish and a rich peanut butter base.
Prep Time: 10 mins.
Cook Time: 30 mins.
Total Time: 40 mins.
Servings: 8

Ingredients
• Four tablespoons peanut butter
• Two tablespoons palm oil
• Four cups spinach, chopped and drained
• Three pieces smoked catfish (approximately eight ounces)
• Two tomatoes, chopped
• One onion, chopped
• Two garlic cloves, minced
• One cup stock
• One cup water
• One habanero pepper, chopped (optional)
• One teaspoon bouillon powder
• Half a teaspoon salt
• One teaspoon black pepper

Method
• Begin by soaking the smoked catfish in hot water for a few minutes to soften. Then clean and debone it, breaking the fish into medium pieces.
• Prepare your vegetables by chopping the spinach, tomatoes, onion, and habanero (if using). Mince the garlic.
• In a large pot, combine one cup of water and one cup of stock. Bring it to a boil.
• Add the spinach to the boiling liquid and let it simmer for ten minutes.
• Introduce the smoked fish, tomatoes, habanero, onion, garlic, bouillon, salt, and black pepper to the pot. Allow the mixture to boil, then reduce to a simmer for about ten minutes.
• Stir in the peanut butter and palm oil, mixing thoroughly. Continue to simmer the stew for another ten minutes until everything is well combined and the flavors are melded.
• Serve hot, enjoying the rich flavors and nutritional benefits of this traditional Congolese dish.

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