Recipe: How To Prepare Abak Atama Soup, A Delicacy from Cross River/Akwa Ibom


Abak Atama Soup is a delicious soup popular amongst the Efik and Ibibio tribe of Cross River and Akwa Ibom State in Southern Nigeria.

Its name is derived from the two dominant ingredients: Palm Fruit Concentrate (Abak) and Atama Leaves.

The base palm fruit concentrate used in preparing Abak Atama makes it similar to the Banga soup of the Niger Delta origin and the Ofe Akwu of the Igbos but the difference is in the spices and vegetables used for each of these soups and stews.


  • Beef (1/2 kilo)
  • Fresh or smoked fish (1 medium size)
  • Cow skin (10 medium pieces)
  • Stockfish head (1 medium head)
  • 1 cup of Periwinkle in shell
  • 1 small bunch of Atama leaves
  • Palm fruit
  • 3 tablespoons of ground crayfish
  • Uyayak (local spice)
  • 1Knorr cube
  • 2½ litres of Water (for extraction of the oily liquid)
  • Salt and seasoning to taste.
  • Pepper

Learn How To Prepare The Best Pot Of Banga Soup (Ofe Akwu) With This Simple Recipe


1.Wash and boil the palm fruits for about 30 minutes. Strain off the water and pound the palm fruit until the pulp/fibre separates from the nuts.

2. Boil some clean water and add to the pounded palm fruit and mix thoroughly to separate the oily extract from the rest of the pulp, then strain off the oily extract.

3. Wash, cut up and season your meat with salt, seasoning and small pepper, then steam for about 5 minutes on low heat. Then add about 1½ cups of water and the stockfish head and continue boiling for about 20 minutes till the meat is almost cooked, and remove from heat.

4. Cut the Atama leaves into very fine pieces. Pound them for about 10 minutes till the leaves are finely pounded. Then place the oily extract on the burner and allow to boil for about 5 minutes to remove all moisture.

5.Add cooked meat and washed smoked fish, meat stock, periwinkle, crayfish, pepper and seasoning cube and Uyayak. Stir and allow to boil for about 10 minutes. Add the atama leaves and boil without stirring for another 10 minutes. Stir and add salt to taste.

6. Allow to simmer for another 15 –10 minutes or until slightly thick. Remove from heat and serve with pounded yam, garri or cassava fufu.

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