Cameroon – Okok With Cassava Stick

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by Wirba Brice Divine Ransinyuy

Okok is known by all Cameroonians and most like it due to the fact that it is very sweat in the mouth as a result of the ingredients they use in its preparation. . In the french language, Cassava stick means manioc and okok with cassava stick means l’okok avec le manioc. Okok is a meal eaten by the Ewondos. The Ewondos are inhabitants of Cameroon, located precisely in the centre region, bordered by the South and the East, though pre-dominantly found in the centre region of region. This ethnic group bring to the cultural scene of cameroon, in terms of food. The reason for this is to enable each reader of this local cuisine to versed with the French and english name of this local cuisine.

Ingredients

  • Two bundles of cassava stick
  • Okok leaves
  • One kilo of sugar
  • Salt to taste.
  • Palm kennel seeds.
  • A handfull of crayfish

As it can seen and observed, things needed in the preparation of okok with casava stick is not a long one, but its cooking process is a long one as compared to the list of things needed.

Cooking process

I shall start with the cassava stick before moving to the okok itself.

  1. Clean the cassava sticks
  2. Peel off the skin
  3. Place in a bowl of water.
  4. Wash the cassava stick thoroughly.
  5. Boil the cassava stick in a pot of water.
  6. Boil for a period of thirty(30) minutes.
  7. After thirty minutes, remove from fire.
  8. Allow the pot open. Do not close it.

Now the Okok.

Cooking process and method,

  • Slice the okok leaves into very small sizes.
  • Wash in a bowl of water for three to four times.
  • After washing dry it under the sun.
  • Wash the palm kennel seeds also known as mbanga.
  • Make sure to wash well so as to remove any dirt or stain.
  • Boil the palm kennel for a period of one hour. Make sure that it becomes very soft, then allow it to become cold.
  • Now, pound the palm kennel so hard. Pound using a mortar and a pistle.
  • When pounding, you will notice a red substance.
  • When I finish pounding, the next thing to do is to squeeze the red substance out. The red substance is known as red oil. It is the red oil I will use to cook the Okok. Squeezing the red substance is done by my hands in order to properly squeeze it.
  • Take the dried Okok and place in a pot.
  • Pour the red oil into it and stir.
  • Little by little add crayfish, then salt to cook.
  • When cooking the Okok, sure that the squeezed red oil is superior to the okok leaves.
  • Allow it on fire for a period of 45 minutes to one hour. At times, it can go above one hour.
  • When ready, add in sugar. The quanity of sugar depends on you.

NB : Just like wine, the more it gets old, the more it gains its taste, that is how Okok is. Eating it the next day is more nice than eating it the day it was prepared.

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