On our menu is ofe uziza. This soup is the Igbo version of the native soup, the culinary jewel of Rivers State.
Ofe uziza is thickened with cocoyam but in the absence of this thickener, ofor or achi can be used. Like all cocoyam thickened soups, ofe uziza combines well with palm fruit extract. Today’s recipe, however, was made with original village palm oil.
On that note, if you want to make this soup, I’d advise you to buy and use original palm oil if you don’t have palm fruits to use. Don’t go for akulu aku palm oil oh! It will ruin the taste of your soup with its weird taste and stickiness. Oya, let’s cook.
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How to Prepare
Rinse meat severally to remove dirt and blood. Transfer the meat to a pot that can accommodate the quantity of soup that you want to make. Season meat with stock cubes and salt. Set the pot to steam on medium heat.
After about 5 minutes, add some water to the pot. Rinse the stockfish and the soft kpomo. Cut the kpomo into tiny bits. When the meat is slightly tender, add the stockfish to the pot. Cook both meat and stockfish till tender.
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Rinse the cocoyam to remove dirt and boil till tender as well. Peel off the skin and pound or blend till it’s smooth.
Rinse and debone the dry fish. Set it aside for later use.
Bring out the quantity of pepper and crayfish that you require. Rinse and blend them. Set aside for later use.
Pick the vegetable off the stalk. Rinse thoroughly to eliminate sand. Add a little salt to the water before rinsing. Afterwards, slice the leaves thinly and set aside for later use.
Add more water to the pot of meat. Pour palm oil into the pot and let it boil with the meat and meat stock.
While the content of your pot is boiling, add the diced kpomo, the blended ingredients, the dry fish and the ogili. If you’re using correct ogili, then, you’ll be able to taste and smell it once it dissolves. But if you are using the watered-down version, then you won’t notice any change in the taste or smell of the soup.
Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning if need be. Otherwise, allow the content of the pot to boil till the meat stock and palm oil are well combined.
Scoop the cocoyam into the pot of soup. Let the soup boil till the cocoyam dissolves. Let me mention at this point that it’s best for you to aim for a slightly thick consistency; that’s because when the vegetable is added, it’ll thicken the soup some more. Once you’ve achieved this consistency, add the uziza leaves.
Stir and after 2 minutes, turn off the heat. Serve hot with any swallow of your choice.
Featured Image Source: Dooney’s Kitchen
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