1 Delicious Otong Soup: Efik Style Okra Soup

1 Delicious Otong Soup: Efik Style Okra Soup. pinit View Gallery 1 photo

1 Delicious Otong Soup: Efik Style Okra Soup.
Miss Nigeria? Otong soup’s your answer! This Efik seafood delight is smoky, comforting, and perfect with swallow. The okra’s chopped just right for a delightful texture too!

1 Delicious Otong Soup: Efik Style Okra Soup

Prep Time 5 mins Cook Time 22 mins Total Time 27 mins
Servings: 4


1 Delicious Otong Soup: Efik Style Okra Soup.
Otong Soup, a vibrant dish from Nigeria's Efik people, is a celebration of the sea and land's bounty. This okra soup is a true Efik experience, bursting with smoky notes, rich seafood, and a unique okra texture.

A Symphony of Flavors and Textures:
The magic of Otong Soup lies in its harmonious blend:
Smoky Delights: Smoked fish, a staple, adds depth. Choose catfish, mackerel, or even crayfish for their unique smoky touch.
Seafood Symphony: Fresh or smoked prawns, stockfish, and sometimes mussels or clams create a rich seafood layer.
Spicy Kick: Scotch Bonnet peppers bring the heat (adjust to your preference!).
Earthy Elegance: Uziza leaves, with a peppery hint, add a subtle earthiness, while Ugu leaves bring a touch of bitterness and vibrant green color.
The Star: Okra: Chopped okra is the heart of the dish. Some recipes call for finely chopping part of it in a food processor for thickness, while leaving other pieces larger for a satisfying crunch. This creates a delightful contrast in textures.

The Cooking Journey:
Otong Soup seems complex, but it's a manageable process:
1. Prepping the Meats: Start by boiling tougher meats like tripe, cow foot, and cow skin until tender. Softer meats like prawns and fish are added later.
2. Sweating the Aromatics: Blended onions, salt, and bouillon cubes join the meats, releasing flavor and infusing the meat.
3. Simmering the Seafood: Once the meats are tender, add stockfish to soften. Then comes the seafood symphony with chopped pepper, half the crayfish, smoked/fresh prawns, and shredded smoked catfish.
4. The Magic of Palm Oil: Palm oil, used sparingly here, adds a subtle richness.
5. Introducing the Okra: Here's where the texture magic happens. The prepared okra is added and cooked briefly. Remember, no lid after adding okra to prevent it from becoming slimy.
6. The Finishing Touches: Ugu leaves and Uziza leaves are added for their flavors, followed by the remaining crayfish. The heat is turned off, and the soup simmers with residual heat for a few minutes.

Beyond the Basics:
Otong Soup offers customization options:
Spice It Up: Feeling adventurous? Add chopped habanero pepper or your favorite hot sauce for an extra kick.
Veggie Extravaganza: Explore adding chopped spinach, shredded zucchini, or even chopped cauliflower for more nutrients and texture.
Gluten-Free Fun: Use gluten-free bouillon cubes and ensure your other ingredients are gluten-free for a suitable version.

The Perfect Pairing:
Otong Soup is traditionally served with a "swallow," a Nigerian staple made from starchy flours like fufu, pounded yam, or semolina. These swallows are the perfect foil, allowing you to scoop up every delicious morsel.

A Dish for All Occasions:
Otong Soup's versatility makes it perfect for:
Weeknight Comfort: This soup is a satisfying and soul-warming meal for busy weeknights. With minimal prep and cleanup, it's a lifesaver.
Potluck Perfect: Otong Soup is guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser at potlucks and gatherings. It's easy to transport and always a hit.
A Celebration of Culture: Otong Soup is a delicious way to experience the rich flavors and traditions of Efik cuisine.

So, the next time you crave a comforting and flavorful meal, dive into the world of Otong Soup!



For a mix of textures:

  1. Chop ¾ of the okra finely using a food processor.
  2. Then, chop the remaining ¼ by hand for a bit of crunch.

For fully chunky okra:

  1. Chop the entire okra, leaving little to no elasticity (sliminess).
  2. Clean the smoked fish and soak it in hot water to remove any dirt. Shred the fish and set it aside.
  3. Chop or blend the Scotch Bonnet pepper and set it aside.
  4. Blend the onion and set it aside as well.
  5. Start by boiling the tougher meats like tripe (shaki), cow foot, and cow skin (ponmo).
  6. As the pot simmers, add softer meats progressively.
  7. Place the meats in a large pot, add the blended onions, salt, and bouillon cubes.
  8. Don't add water yet.
  9. Let the meats sweat out, stirring occasionally, and allow them to steam for 5 minutes.
  10. After 5 minutes, add enough water to cover the meats and bring to a boil.
  11. Cover the pot and cook until the meats are tender.
  12. Once the meats are soft, add the stockfish and simmer for 6-8 minutes to soften it.
  13. Then, add the chopped pepper and half of the crayfish.
  14. Next, add the smoked/fresh prawns and the shredded smoked catfish.
  15. 5. Let everything simmer for 2 minutes.
  16. Add the palm oil and simmer for another 2-3 minutes.
  17. Use palm oil sparingly in this recipe.
  18. Now, add the prepared okra and stir to combine.
  19. Leave it to cook for a minute.
  20. Important: Once the okra is added, don't cover the pot anymore.
  21. Covering will make the okra slimy.
  22. Add the Ugu leaves and Uziza leaves (Nigerian herbs). Simmer for 2 minutes.
  23. Finally, add the remaining crayfish.
  24. Turn off the heat and let the soup simmer for an additional 2 minutes using the residual heat.
  25. Your Otong Soup is ready!
  26. Enjoy it with your favorite swallow (Nigerian starchy side dish).
Keywords: okro soup recipe, how to cook nigerian okro soup,

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