This delicious soup is native to the Efiks, the major occupant of (Cross River & Akwa Ibom State). It really doesn’t matter your language, background or ethnic group, you can go ahead and try different foods from different Nigerian cultures and ethnicity.
Over the last few months I have been focused on Efik delicacies, afang sits right on top of the list and today we are going to learn how to make this soup and other delicious Efik/Calabar foods.
I think After Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba; Efik is another popular group in Nigeria; they have delicious foods that have left the rest of us salivating. Apart from this soup, they also have Edikang-Ikong, atama, nsala and a few other delicious soups.
This is made with afang leaves (ukazi) and water leaves, this two different leaves combines seamlessly to make a delicious looking afang soup. The Ukazi leaf is usually sliced and then ground with either a kitchen blender or hand-grinding machine while the water leaf is just sliced with a kitchen knife.
I just like this soup because it is made with just vegetables; and I love vegetables! – They are nutritious, medicinal and contain fiber that helps the body cells to function properly. Don’t let your focus be on just Foods alone, also make sure they are also healthy for consumption.
So let’s make a delicious pot of afang soup, the list of ingredients below would make enough soup that would serve about ten persons.
Most people complain that vegetable soups are not easy to prepare, usually because it takes time to pick and slice the different leaves. But once you pass that phase, the rest is chocolate! and no, I don’t eat chocolates. 😀
- Sliced fresh water leaves (1kg)
- 1/2 cup of ground crayfish
- Ground fresh Ukazi leaves (200g)
- 3 cubes of knorr (sweetener)
- 1 stock fish head (medium size)
- 2 medium sized dried or roasted fish
- 1.5 cups of palm oil
- 1 cup of Periwinkles (optional)
- Snails (optional)
- Salt and Pepper to taste (red fresh pepper)
- Pkomo (Optional)
- 1-2KG of any meat of choice.
Assorted meat is the most suitable for afang soup but if you can’t find it in your location you can use any meat you can find. I used a combination of assorted meat and pkomo.
Wash the snails with lime juice or grape juice and be sure it is rid of its slimy fluid. The periwinkle (isam) are usually cleaned by the sellers, you just need to wash.
The ground ukazi leaves act as thickener for this soup, I use fresh leaves for all my soup but if you can’t find fresh stuff in your location, go ahead and substitute with the dried alternative. You can tell from the image above that the leaves are fresh.
Just go ahead and start parboiling the meat with all the necessary ingredients. (2 cubes of knoor, half cup of sliced onions, salt and other spice of choice)
Some people wash the water leaves before slicing them while other choose to slice them before washing; I prefer the later. Slice and wash the water leaves and set aside in a plastic sieve to make sure that water is properly drained away.
Most people don’t like trace of water in their afang soup, that can be easily arrange, just try to squeeze the waterleaves tightly before you add them to the soup.
Soak the dried fish with warm water, remove the center bones and wash thoroughly with just water; also wash the stock fish head with warm water. Add them to the cooking meat and cook till they are soft and the pot is almost dry. Add the palm oil, crayfish and stir all together. Add the remaining cube of knoor, ground pepper, snails and salt to taste, allow cooking for 3-5 minutes.
Add the water-leaves; allow to simmer for 5 minutes before adding the ground ukazi. Stir all together, cover the pot and allow another 5 minutes and you are done with a delicious afang soup.
That is how to prepare afang soup, it can be served with fufu, eba, pounded yam, wheat. Any nice soft drink would be a welcome addition.
Source: All Nigerian Food