Ofe Ukazi “Igbo” or Afang Soup “Efik” is a tasty Nigerian soup that is quite popular in the Eastern & south eastern Cross River and Akwa Ibom.
The major ingredient which the name of the soup was coined from is the wild spinach leaf (Ukazi/Afang leaf).
The Igbos prepare Ofe Ukazi in two ways; With Egusi Or With Achi which serves as the soup thickener.
Usually, when it’s being prepared with Egusi, Achi wouldn’t be added as egusi serves as a good thickener.
Also, When prepared with Achi, some Igbos prefer grinding the Okazi leaves a little bit more after Slicing.
This helps in bringing out the real taste of the soup. Similarly, the Efiks prepare Afang soup slightly different from the Igbo version.
For Afang, Waterleaf is usually substituted for Achi or Egusi, just like Edikaikong. Also, The Efiks grind the Okazi leaves further after slicing.
Afang or Okazi leaves are a rich source of protein and both essential and non-essential amino acids. it also has an anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic and antioxidant properties.
- Okazi leaves (4 Handfuls), Sliced thinly
- Red Beef
- A handful Achi (About 3 tablespoon full, ground)
- 2 Scotch bonnet pepper (Yellow)
- 1 Red Onion
- 2 Seasoning cubes
- 1 Small Stock fish part
- 1 small dry fish – optional
- 1 cooking spoon crayfish
- 1 cup Palm oil Salt to taste
Step 1: To prepare the Okazi leaves, you’d have to choose between Grinding, pounding or leaving the leaves like that. The consistency of the ground okazi soup is usually thick.
If you intend using it like that, simply wash the sliced leaves and set aside. If you want to pound, wash and place the leaves in a mortar and pound with a pestle till it breaks up further.
You can also grind the leaves at home or with a commercial mill in the market.
Step 2: Grind the Achi with a dry mill and set aside.
Step 3:Wash the periwinkles thoroughly to remove the mud. Rinse clean and set aside.
Step 4: Wash the Beef, Stockfish, Dry fish and place in a small pot. Add the Seasoning cubes, Salt, ground pepper and Onions.
Add a little water, just enough to cover the contents of the pot and cook for about 15 mins till tender. At this point, add more water into the cooked meat. This would serve as a base for the soup.
Step 5: Once the stock starts to boil, Simply add the palm oil and mix. Add the Achi, mix and leave to cook for about 15mins till the soup thickens.
Step 6: At this point, you can now add the Crayfish and Periwinkles, Leave for 5 minutes
Step 7: Add the ground or sliced Okazi/ Afang (if cooking Afang, mix the afang leaves with chopped waterleaves). Leave to cook futher for 12-15mins more.
Turn off the burner and Serve with your favorite swallow; Garri/Eba, Fufu, wheatmeal, pounded yam.