Bitter Leaf Soup, also known as Ofe-onugbu is a popular Nigerian dish peculiar to the Igbo tribe of Eastern Nigeria.
A lot of people shy away from bitter leaf soup because they think the soup is bitter as the name suggests. On the contrary, is a very tasty meal. The leaves have to be thoroughly washed to get rid of the bitterness before it’s added to the soup.
Thinking of a new recipe to prepare this weekend, take a look at the ingredients and process to make bitter leaf soup.
- Assorted meats (beef, goat meat, ponmo, shaki are ideal)
- 2 Cooking spoon of palm oil
- 1 Cup of bitter leaves (fresh or dried)
- 3-4 Medium size cocoyam
- 2 Smoked of fish (Optional)
- 2-3 Stockfish (Optional)
- 3 Tablespoons of ground crayfish
- 1 Tablespoon of ogiri (local seasoning)
- 3 Tablespoons of ground dry pepper
- 2 Seasoning cubes
- Salt to taste
— Start by boiling your meats, start with the tougher meats like cow foot and the tripe ( shaki ) first. When they’re slightly tender, add beef or other softer meats. When all the meats are tender, add the stockfish, leave to cook till soft.
— While the meats are boiling, boil the cocoyam with the skin on. Do not add salt. Boil till tender, this should take roughly 20 minutes on medium heat.
— When they are soft, gently peel the skin off and pound till smooth in a mortar. Alternatively, chop them into small chunks and blend to purée in your electric blender or food processor then set aside
— Wash the bitter leaves with hot water to get rid of as much bitterness as you can. If you find yourself struggling to get rid of the bitterness, simply boil the leaves with enough water for 15 times, then rinse with cold water. If you’re using dried bitter leaves, you’ll need to soak in warm water to plump it up and also get rid of dirt.
— When the meats and fish are all soft, add crayfish, smoked prawns, then add the ground or blended pepper. Stir and combine.
— Add palm oil, leave to thoroughly combine for 3-4 minutes.
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— Now, turn the heat done low, add the blended cocoyam into the stock. Be careful not to add too much. The consistency should be semi-fluid. The cocoyam will dissolve, thickening the soup. Leave to dissolve and combine for 2-3 minutes.
— The thickness will depend on your preference. Ofe-onugbu is light and semi-fluid though some role prefers thick.
— Then add the Ogiri, stir and combine. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
— Add the washed Bitter Leaves, leave to cook for 2-3 minutes. Do not overcook your vegetables.
And your Ofe-onugbu is done. You can serve with Eba or Fufu.
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