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Recipe for Fisherman’s Soup

My Akwa-Ibom friend, Rose introduced me to this soup. I told her I was coming to spend the day with her and she made this soup for lunch. When she placed a tray of Eba and Fisherman’s Soup before me, I was like, “Wow! You made Native Soup!!”

“No,” she replied “this is Fisherman’s Soup not Native Soup.”

“She don come again,” I mutteredwhich one is Fisherman’s soup, bikonu?”

On hearing my muttered complain, Aunty gave me a full lecture on the origin of this soup and its nutritive value. I won’t bore you with all the information she bombarded me with, not that I can remember all oh! But I sha ate the soup and it was delicious. A well-prepared pot of Fisherman’s Soup is fully loaded. You will happily whine your mouth with all manner of seafood from the start of your meal to the end.

Fisherman’s soup can be thickened with garri or pounded yam. Today, I bring you Rosemary’s recipe for Fisherman’s Soup. 


Fresh catfish

Fresh crabs

Smoked fish








Fresh Ugu leaves

Fresh Nchanwu (Scent) leaves


Palm oil

Salt and stock cubes to taste



Cut the yam into small cubes and rinse. Put the yams in a pot and boil on medium heat. When it is tender, pound and set aside for later use. Clean the cat fish and remove the intestine. Rinse in cold water. Afterwards, pour boiling water into the bowl of fish and cover it for a few minutes. The hot water will get rid of the slimy exterior and harden the fish. Prepare the other sea foods and set aside.

The next step is blending the blendables, if you’ll excuse the term. Rose usually pounds the pepper, crayfish and onions because she wants to achieve a rough blend of the ingredients. On the other hand, I’m a member of the smooth blend club. I don’t like seeing crayfish, onions or pepper in my food so I blend everything smoothly. Guess this freedom of expression is one of the reasons why cooking is considered an art.

Back to our discussion, rinse and slice the ugu and scent leaves. Put stockfish in a clean pot and steam till it’s almost tender. Add the blended ingredients into the pot. Add water, enough to cook the soup as well as stock cubes and salt. Add palm oil and the pounded yam to the pot. Allow to cook for about fifteen minutes. Add the catfish, crabs, shrimps and clams. Cook for about seven minutes. Gently stir the soup (you don’t want to scatter the catfish in the process) before tasting. If you’re satisfied with the taste, stir in the scent leaves, smoked fish and the periwinkles. After about two minutes, stir in the ugu leaves and turn off the heat. The steam would cook the ugu leaves.

You can enjoy Fisherman’s Soup with any swallow of your choice.

Featured image source: Television Africa Network

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Obiamaka Angela Udevi

Udevi, Obiamaka Angela holds a Master of Arts degree in History & International Studies. She's a freelance writer with a passion for food and healthy living. She can be contacted through her email address,

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