Are you ready for the most delicious (and probably most expensive) soup of your life? Today we are going to tell you how to cook Ofe Owerri, a traditional Nigeria soup. List of required ingredients, step-by-step instructions and even curious facts about the soup. You can find it all in this article. Just continue reading and you will not regret it.
What is Ofe Owerri?
If you have never heard or tried Ofe Owerri (sometimes spelled as Ofe Owere), you are definitely in for a treat. Literally translated as ‘the soup from Owerri’, this flavorful concoction is one of the traditional Igbo soups. Just so you know, Owerri is the capital of Imo state.
Even though it is considered to be a Nigerian vegetable soup, there are barely any vegetables there. It contains lots of vegetable leaves, yes, but the main attraction of this soup is the meat. There is so much meat that goes in this soup that you can barely taste anything else. And we mean it in the best way possible.
We have not yet mentioned that most people prefer to cook it with snails. You read that correctly. You don’t have to add them to your soup, if you don’t want to. However, snails actually add that special flavor to it that cannot be compared with anything else.
Meat, snails, fresh vegetable leaves and other various ingredients add up to a hefty amount of money. Be prepared to dish out at least #4,000. If you go for the best quality products, it might cost you up to #10,000. No wonder there is a saying that ‘A person with no money can’t eat Ofe Owerri’.
Okay, we have told you everything we know and warned you about the cost, which means it is time to get cooking!
How to prepare Ofe Owerri?
READ ALSO: Intercontinental dishes in Nigeria
For your delicious pot of Owerri soup, you will need:
❖ 600g of meat of your choice (goat or beef are perfect, you can chose different types of meat)
❖ 2 tablespoons of palm oil
❖ 1 1/2 cups of Ugu leaves (pre-washed and sliced)
❖ 1 cup of Okazi leaves (pre-washed and sliced as thinly as possible)
❖ 3 medium-sized cocoyams
❖ 1 medium-sized stockfish head
❖ 3 tablespoons of ground crayfish
❖ 1 1/2 cups of smoked prawns
❖ 1 tablespoon of ogiri
❖ 2 Knorr or Maggi flavor cubes (chicken flavor)
❖ Salt and pepper (to your taste)
❖ 3-5 snails (up to you, but we highly recommend it)
❖ 3 Uziza leaves
Step 1. Place your meat in the boiling water. Use lots of water and leave it to cook while you are preparing other things. Add your flavor cubes, salt and pepper.
Step 2. Wash your stockfish head with plain water and leave it for later. Wash your snails in grape or tangerine juice (you can also use dry garri) to remove the slime. If you use dry leaves for the soup, soak them as well.
Step 3. Add your stockfish head to the meat and let them cook together
Step 4. Cook your cocoyams. Leave the skins on, don’t salt them. It should take about 15 minutes on medium flame until they are of the right soft consistency. When they are ready, peel them and make a puree out of them. You can either use a masher, or cut the cocoyams into small pieces and drop them in a blender. Make sure your mixture is nice and smooth.
Step 5. When meat and stockfish are soft, add your ground crayfish, prawns and snails (if you decided to use them). Leave the soup for a few minutes to boil and lower the heat.
Step 6. Start slowly adding your cocoyams. Don’t add all at once, as you’ll end up with a very thick mixture. Stir and let it cook for a few minutes and add your palm oil. If your soup keeps getting thick, just add more stock.
Step 7. Add your ogiri, stir, give it another few minutes and make sure your palm oil is mixed in. Give it a taste and add more seasonings if necessary.
Step 8. Add the Okazi leaves, let it cook for a bit, then add your Uziza and Ugu leaves, turn the stove off and let it simmer for about three minutes.
Step 9. Your soup is ready! You can eat it with your favorite swallow, some garri, pounded yams or Akpu (also known as Loi-Loi or Fufu).
Share your delicious Owerri soup with your family, friends and loved ones. We guarantee that they are going to ask for seconds!