Some may refer to this meal as a particular type of peppersoup, but Ofe Nsala is one meal that is second to none.
Ofe Nsala or White Soup is a mouth-watering delicacy peculiar to the Igbo tribe of eastern Nigeria.
It is a very rich fresh fish soup, traditionally made with Catfish. Efik people have their own version of White Soup, it’s known as Afia Efere.
Ofe Nsala is known as white soup because Palm oil is not used for the preparation, unlike other traditional soups.
The proper thickener used for Ofe Nsala is pounded yam but if you can’t get, you can use yam flour or Cocoyam.
Below is the simple way of preparing Ofe Nsala.
- 500gms Assorted Meat or Chicken
- 1 Medium Size Fresh Fish
- 2-3 Pieces of Stockfish/Panla
- 1 Medium Size Smoked fish
- 1 Tablespoon Crayfish
- 2 Tablespoons Dry Ground Pepper or 3 Fresh Yellow Atarodo
- 1 Small Chunk of Ogiri Okpei/Dawadawa
- 2-3 Tablespoons Uziza Leaves
- 1 Tablespoon Utazi or Both
- 2 Calabash Nutmeg seed (Ehuru)
- 1 Uda pod
- 1 Teaspoon Uziza seeds (you can use 2 tablespoons pepper soup spice)
- 4 Medium Slices of Yam
- 2 Seasoning Cubes
- Salt to taste
- Pound/grind the Uziza seeds and Ehuru and Uda (pepper soup spices) in a dry mill till smooth and set aside.
- Wash and slice your Utazi and Uziza, if you’re using dried leaves, soak them to remove traces of dirt and to revive them a bit.
- Place a pot on medium heat, add the Stockfish, or tough meats if you’re using any and water to cover. Add 1 seasoning cube, 1 tablespoon ground pepper and the crayfish and salt to taste. If you’re using fresh yellow pepper (Atarodo), blend coarsely and add. Cook till the Stockfish is tender.
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- While that’s cooking, boil the yam till soft.Then pound in a mortar or just use your blender or food processor and set aside.
- When it’s tender, add the ground Uziza seeds, Uda and Ehuru or Pepper Soup spice. Also add the rest of the Crayfish, dissolve the Ogiri/ Dawadawa in water and boil for 2 minutes.
- Now, add the fresh fish and cleaned smoked fish. Reduce the heat to low, cook for 7-10 minutes.
- Take the fresh fish out afterwards, you may wish to shred your cooked Stockfish at this time and add back into the broth. Now, add more water to the broth depending on the quantity of soup you require.
- Taste for seasoning, Add the 2nd seasoning cube if needed, be careful when adding salt as your broth already contain salt.
- Now, add the pounded yam or your preferred thickener. Give the contents a good stir and leave to cook till the yam is completely dissolved. This should take 8-10 minutes.
- Add the fresh fish back into the pot, stir gently to combine, this is so you don’t break the fish using a spoon.
- Turn the heat off and leave to simmer for 2-3 minutes. And your Ofe-nsala is ready.
The weekend does not have to be boring because you are staying home all through. Allow this delicious meal to make your Saturday beautiful.
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