Nigeria – Ofe Owerri

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by Mimi Joseph

Ofe Owerri is another cuisine with an interesting background. Ofe means soup while Owerri is a capital of Imo state in the country, this correspondingly form a meaning of Owerri soup.

Nigeria is an African country found in the western part of the continent bordering Niger to it’s north, Chad and Cameroon to the east, to the south by the Gulf of Guinea of the Atlantic Ocean, and Benin to the west. Nigeria is famous for holding a good number of all African cuisines. They may be in soup category or the other ones.

Ofe Owerri is as well confuses a lot of people because of the name carried by. Some say it shouldn’t be called with a place name as it borrows some ingredients from other places , that’s not our case.

The soup mainly contains cocoyam to thickens the soup. It is then added with flavor meat, it may be beef, snails, cow skin, as well as fish meat; but most fishes are sea food prawns and smoked fishes.

With other best tastes like ukazi and ugu leaves, the soup becomes amazingly taste to the buds.

So, let’s catch up with our kitchen for the really Nigerian taste of Owerri soup right in our homes, welcome to the recipe. Mind that you may use any selected meat or fish but cocoyam is highly important.

Ingredients

  • 5 cocoyams
  • ½kg of beef
  • 2 medium sized dried fish (Azu Okpo)
  • dried prawns(1 cup)
  • a cup of dried ukazi
  • a handful of ugu leaves
  • 2-3 stock cubes
  • 1 wrap ogiri igbo
  • 3 dried pepper
  • 2 tablespoons ground crayfish
  • salt
  • palm oil

Cooking steps

  • Wash and shred ugu into small pieces, clean and wash Azu Okpo with warm water and then remove the center bone to set it’s meat aside.
  • Prepare meat, make it into pieces, marinate with stock cubes, salt and pepper, add a cup of water and boil to cook.
  • Take the cocoyam and wash to remove sand. Cook for 20 minutes in another pot while meat is cooking.
  • Notice meat readiness to not confuse with cocoyam cook, some meat get cooked under 20 minutes depending on heat supplied. Add prawns once meat is nearly to get cooked, you may consider adding water for soup.
  • Once cocoyam is cooked, cool them. Peel and chop into a food processor, blend to smooth paste.
  • Add oil and ogiri into the meat mix and cook until ogiri gives out it sweet flavor all over the kitchen.
  • Add cocoyam paste in a small amount to find the exactly soup thicken texture you need, once added leave it to melt.
  • Once you get the corresponding needed texture, add dried fish and cook for about 4-7 minutes.
  • Add your best seasonings and flavors at this step.
  • Add ukazi then mix well followed by ugu, stir. Leave the soup to cook for 4 minutes under low heat supply.

Once all the steps have been followed at well, our cuisine is ready for meal take off. Enjoy with family and friends.

Ofe Owerri with Fufu
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