1 Delicious Oha (Ora) Soup: Ofe Oha

1 Delicious Oha (Ora) Soup: Ofe Oha pinit View Gallery 1 photo

1 Delicious Oha (Ora) Soup: Ofe Oha.
Craving a taste of comfort? Look no further than Ofe Oha, a Nigerian soup bursting with flavor! Tender meats simmered in a rich broth, thickened with creamy cocoyam, and vibrant with the unique taste of Oha leaves. Enjoy this delightful dish with your favorite swallow for a satisfying and authentic Nigerian meal.

1 Delicious Oha (Ora) Soup: Ofe Oha

Prep Time 15 mins Cook Time 42 mins Total Time 57 mins
Servings: 4

Description

1 Delicious Oha (Ora) Soup: Ofe Oha.
Dive into a symphony of bold flavors with Ofe Oha, a beloved Nigerian soup. This fragrant dish, a staple in the southeast, bursts with vibrant green hues and celebrates local ingredients with culinary flair. Each spoonful is an explosion of textures and tastes, from the melt-in-your-mouth meats to the unique essence of Oha leaves.

The Heart of the Ofe Oha: A Rich and Flavorful Broth
Ofe Oha relies on a variety of meats to create its rich, complex broth. Here are the usual suspects:
Hearty Beef: Chunks of beef, typically from tougher cuts like cow leg or tripe, add a deep, satisfying flavor.
Umami Infusion: Soaked and simmered stockfish adds a unique savory taste to the broth.
Smoky Delight: Smoked fish brings a touch of smokiness and sweetness, adding another layer of complexity.
Seafood Essence: Ground or whole crayfish provides a burst of seafood flavor and a hint of saltiness.

The Secret to Success: Slow Simmering
The key to a truly delicious Ofe Oha lies in the slow simmering of the meats and stockfish. This allows the flavors to meld beautifully, creating a rich and flavorful base for the rest of the ingredients.

Cocoyam: The Magic Thickener
Cocoyam, a starchy African root vegetable, plays a crucial role in Ofe Oha. Boiled until tender, it's mashed or blended into a smooth paste. This paste is gradually added to the simmering broth, thickening it to a delightful and creamy consistency.

The Star of the Show: Oha Leaves
Ofe Oha wouldn't be complete without its namesake ingredient, the Oha leaves. These delicate green leaves, also known as Ora leaves, are what give the soup its unique flavor and vibrant green color. They offer a subtle bitterness that perfectly complements the other ingredients. Traditionally, Oha leaves are shredded by hand to preserve their taste.

Aromatic Touches: The Finishing Flourish
Several additional ingredients elevate Ofe Ofe from simply delicious to truly exceptional:
Peppery Kick: Uziza seeds or leaves add a touch of heat and a unique fragrance.
Savory and Sour: Fermented melon seeds (Ogiri Ije) contribute a savory and slightly sour taste, adding another dimension of complexity.
Richness and Color: Palm oil adds richness and a beautiful reddish hue to the final dish.
Optional Heat: A touch of scotch bonnet peppers brings a welcome kick for those who like it spicy.

Building a Perfect Bowl of Ofe Oha
The beauty of Ofe Oha lies not just in its taste but also in its versatility. Here's how to create your perfect bowl:
The Flavorful Base: Pour a generous amount of the hot Ofe Oha into a bowl.
A Selection of Meats: Add your favorite cooked meats, like tender beef, flavorful stockfish, or smoky fish pieces.
The Perfect Accompaniment: This is where Ofe Oha truly shines. Fufu, pounded yam, eba, or even semovita are all perfect accompaniments for scooping up the delicious soup and savoring every bite.

A Feast for Any Occasion
Ofe Oha is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed on any occasion:
Comfort Food at its Finest: There's nothing quite like a steaming bowl of Ofe Oha to chase away the blues and warm your soul.
Family Feast: This dish is perfect for a gathering of loved ones. The rich flavors and hearty portions are sure to please everyone at the table.
Special Occasion Staple: Ofe Oha is a frequent guest at Nigerian celebrations, adding a touch of tradition and deliciousness to any event.

Beyond the Recipe: Tips and Variations
Here are some additional tips for making a perfect Ofe Oha:
Fresh is Best: For the most vibrant flavor, use fresh Oha leaves whenever possible.
Spice it Up: Adjust the amount of scotch bonnet peppers to your desired level of heat.
Vegetarian Delight: A vegetarian version can be made by omitting the meat and using vegetable broth instead.
Seafood Symphony: For a twist, add some cooked shrimp or prawns to the soup.

Ofe Oha is more than just a soup; it's a vibrant journey for your taste buds, a celebration of Nigerian cuisine, and a dish that connects you to tradition.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Soak and wash your stockfish and smoked fish to remove any dirt.

  1. Set them aside.

  1. In a large pot, bring the water to a boil.

  1. Add the tougher meats first, like cow leg and shaki.

  1. Add the stockfish, Maggi crayfish, and salt to taste.

  1. Let the meats simmer until they become tender.

  1. While the meats are simmering, boil the whole cocoyams (with skin on) in separate pot, without adding salt.

  1. Cook for about 20 minutes on medium heat, or until tender.

  1. Once the cocoyams are soft, remove the skin and mash them in a mortar until smooth.

  1. Alternatively, chop the cooked cocoyams and blend them in a food processor until smooth.

  1. Set the mashed or blended cocoyam aside.

  1. Blend the yellow scotch bonnet peppers and set them aside.

  1. When the meats are tender, add the smoked fish and blended pepper to the pot.

  1. Simmer for 5 minutes to allow the flavors to combine.

  1. You should have about 4 cups of flavorful stock.

  1. If not, add more water and adjust seasonings as needed.

  1. You can optionally remove the smoked fish at this point to prevent it from disintegrating further.

  1. Add the palm oil to the pot and stir it in.

  1. Add the crayfish and combine everything well.

  1. Let the mixture simmer for 6-8 minutes, or until the palm oil is fully incorporated into the stock.

  1. Slowly add the blended cocoyam in small amounts to the stock, stirring constantly.

  1. Be careful not to add too much, as you want a semi-thick consistency.

  1. Taste the soup and adjust salt or other seasonings if needed.

  1. Let the cocoyam dissolve completely and simmer for another 5-6 minutes.

  1. Add the Ogiri (fermented melon seeds) and simmer for a minute.

  1. Add the washed and chopped Uziza leaves (or seeds) and simmer for another minute.

  1. Finally, add the Oha leaves and turn off the heat. Let the soup sit for 2-3 minutes to absorb the flavors of the Uziza and Oha leaves.

  1. Enjoy!

  1. Serve your delicious soup with your favorite swallow (e.g., pounded yam, fufu).
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