Edikang Ikong soup has got to be my favourite Efik delicacy. I’d always wanted to share this recipe but I had a very hard time getting fresh water leaves. I had to settle for frozen in the end. I also couldn’t get Periwinkles, I tried so hard to source it to no avail, oh well.
I would advise to use fresh leaves as much as you can, this is because frozen leaves aren’t as fresh cos they would have been stored in a freezer for quite some time. Being preserved in water for so long waters down the nutrients and of course, this alters the colour of the leaves, they won’t be as green as fresh ones, mine were a tad bit brownish but had to make do. If you can’t get fresh leaves, then no bother, you can settle for frozen.
Edikang Ikong soup has a thickish consistency, not watery, so be mindful of the amount of stock you use.
To get the best out of your water leaves as well as reduce the amount of moisture incorporated into your Edikang Ikong, try to steam the water leaves after washing for 5 minutes, this process helps to release most of the water contents, this also reduces the slime. Leave to dry for a bit before adding this to your soup.
So, let’s start…
500 Grams Assorted Meats (Mixture of beef, goat meat, cow leg, Ponmo, Shaki)
3-4 cups Water Leaves washed and thinly sliced
1.5 Cups Ugu Leaves washed and thinly sliced
3-5 Pieces Yellow Scotch bonnet (Ata todo)
2 Cooking spoons Palm Oil
1 Medium Size Smoked/Dried fish
2 Medium size pieces Stockfish
1/2 Cup Raw King Prawns
3 Heaped Tablespoons Ground Crayfish
Boullion Cube (I’m using 1 Maggi Crayfish)
Salt to Taste
My core ingredients:
Blend your yellow peppers and set aside. You can choose to just slice, blend or just throw them in wholely. It’s up to you. Set aside.
Soak your smoked/dry fish in hot water and clean to get rid of the dirts. Set aside.
Wash your meats thoroughly and transfer into a cooking pot. Place the pot on a hob on low heat, add the Boullion cube(s) and salt to taste. Steam the meats for 15-20minutes, this is so the meats release their own juices. Do NOT add water but remember to check every now and then so they don’t burn.
After 15 minutes, add 2 cups of water and the blended yellow Ata Rodo and cook on medium heat till tender…
The amount of water you add will depend on the toughness of the meats you’re using. Whatever you do, don’t add too much water, this is so the stock can be very rich and you don’t end up with too much, in which case, you’d have to decant some. It’s best you start off with little and add more as you go.
I didn’t add beef from the start cos I had precooked pieces which were added later…
When the meats are half cooked, add the Stockfish and cook till the Stockfish softens up…
When it’s soft, take out the stockfish and shed to smaller pieces, add back into the pot, also shred the smoked fish and add. Also the king prawns, cook for 3 minutes thereabouts..
As you can see here, I decanted some of the stock, leaving just about 1/4 cup….After 3 minutes, by this time, the prawns should have cooked, add the palm oil. Stir and combine, let this cook for 5 minutes, this is so the palm oil is fully dissolved and well combined with the meats.
I added more one more blended Ata Rodo as I found it wasn’t hot enough. Probably because they had been stored in my freezer for months and have since lost their “hotness”….
Now, add the washed water leaves, combine thoroughly, turn the heat down to low, leave to combine for 3-5 minutes.
Now add the crayfish, stir and combine, cook for a minute….
Now add the washed Ugu leaves….
Combine the Ugu thoroughly, taste the soup for salt/seasoning and adjust if necessary. You wouldn’t need much seasoning if your stock had been well seasoned from the start. Turn off the heat, then leave to simmer with the residual heat for 3 minutes. Be careful not to over cook your vegetables.
And it’s done…
See how dry the pot is?
Serve with your any “swallow” of your choice.