One of the great things about the southern part of Nigeria, particularly Akwa Ibom and Cross River, is the variety of delicacies you are exposed to.
One of the special ones is called Afang Soup.
This is one of the foods that make it to all the parties and celebrations, and you can not really say you spent time in those States if you didn’t get to taste afang soup.
Also, I hear Cameroonians list it as one of their delicacies, which isn’t a surprise as they share borders with Akwa Ibom and Cross Rivers.
What you need to know about Afang soup
- It is known as Eru in Cameroon and Ukazi in some other parts of Nigeria.
- Its botanical name is Gnetum africanum. Some other countries you can find these leaves are Congo, Angola, and Gabon, where it is called Koko.
- Afang and Ukazi soup prepared in the eastern part of Nigeria are quite different. Though the leaves are the same, afang soup is made with vegetables, while Ukazi soup is Melon soup with slices of ukazi leaves in it.
- The leaves can be used as a remedy for nausea, sore throats, or as a dressing for warts.
- Some people believe the stem of the plant has medicinal benefits, so they ingest them.
- Afang leaves have also been proven to be rich in folic acid and Vitamin A. These are essential nutrients for pregnant women and unborn babies, especially during the first trimester.
Afang soup is an excellent way of replenishing the body with these nutrients while enjoying your meal.
What are the ingredients of Afang soup?
- Afang leaves
- Water leaves (Malabar spinach)
- Palm Oil
- Stock Fish
- Assorted Meats
- Meat Stock
- Salt and pepper
- Seasoning cubes
How to prepare afang soup?
First is preparations of ingredients :
- Wash, slice, pound, or grind the afang leaves.
- Wash and slice the waterleaves.
- Grind your pepper and crayfish.
- Wash your periwinkle four to five times to ensure that you get all the first out.
- Rinse and parboil your stockfish
- Lastly, wash and parboil your meat. Add salt, pepper, and seasoning cubes to it. Add enough water to the meat so you can have sufficient meat stock for the soup.
Step by step preparation of Afang soup
Now that the ingredients are ready, you can start your soup cooking process properly.
- With the parboiled meat and stockfish in one pot, add your pepper, crayfish, periwinkle, and other “chewables” you must have prepared to the pot, turn down the heat and let it steam for 5minutes.
- Next step, add the already sliced water leaves to the pot. Waterleaves give off lots of water, so be careful not to add too much. Leave this for another 3 to 5minutes.
- Time to add the palm oil. Stir after adding and let it steam for 3minutes.
- Add the already prepared (sliced and pound or grounded) afang leaves to the pot. Stir and leave to cook for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on how fresh looking you want it to be.
- Taste and add more seasoning if necessary.
You can serve afang soup with eba, fufu, pounded yam, semovita, any swallow of your choice. Other Efik delicacies will feel great when you taste them like Edikanikong, Atama, ekpankukwo, and some others.
Enjoy your meal!