#Cookingguilde: how to make Ofe Owerri
Ofe Owerri is a delicious traditional Igbo soup from the Owerri region of Nigeria. It is known for its rich flavors and variety of ingredients. Here’s a simplified recipe to make Ofe Owerri:
Assorted meats (such as beef, goat meat, and/or cow tripe) – 500g
Assorted fish (such as catfish, tilapia, or mackerel) – 2-3 medium-sized pieces
Assorted vegetables (such as Ugu leaves, spinach, bitter leaves) – a handful of each, washed and chopped
Cocoyam or Achi (thickener) – 6-8 medium-sized corms or 2 tablespoons of Achi powder
Palm oil – 1/2 cup
Stockfish – a small piece (optional)
Dry fish – a small piece (optional)
Ground crayfish – 2 tablespoons
Pepper – to taste
Seasoning cubes – to taste
Salt – to taste
Onion – 1 medium-sized bulb, chopped
- Prepare the Cocoyam/Achi: If using cocoyam as a thickener, peel and wash the cocoyam. Boil them until soft, then pound or blend into a smooth paste. If using Achi powder, mix it with a little water to form a smooth paste. Set aside.
- Cook the Meats and Fish: In a pot, add the assorted meats, stockfish, dry fish, chopped onions, seasoning cubes, and salt. Add enough water to cover the ingredients and cook until the meats are tender. You can use a pressure cooker to hasten the cooking process. Remove any scum that forms on the surface during cooking.
- Add the Palm Oil and Thickener: Once the meats are cooked, add the palm oil to the pot and allow it to melt. If using cocoyam as a thickener, add the cocoyam paste bit by bit, stirring continuously to prevent lumps. If using Achi, pour the Achi paste into the pot, stirring gently to combine.
- Add the Grounded Crayfish and Pepper: Add the grounded crayfish and pepper to the pot, stirring well to incorporate the flavors.
- Adjust the Seasoning: Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning with salt and additional seasoning cubes if necessary. Remember to consider the saltiness of the meats and fish already in the pot.
- Add the Assorted Vegetables: Add the chopped Ugu leaves, spinach, and bitter leaves to the pot. Stir gently to combine the vegetables with the soup.
- Simmer and Serve: Allow the soup to simmer for about 5-10 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together and the vegetables to cook slightly. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Once the vegetables are cooked to your desired tenderness, remove the pot from the heat.
Ofe Owerri is typically served with fufu, pounded yam, or any other swallow of your choice. Enjoy the rich flavors and hearty goodness of this traditional Igbo soup!
Duru Eunice Adaku