Don’t miss this article on the secret to preparing the all-time favourite of the vegetable soup _ Edikang Ikong soup in these easy to follow steps.
Perhaps, you are hustling, probably overworked and yet glad to have hit some cash. Now, you are trying to figure out ways to round up your work quickly, so as to give your body the treat it has patiently been longing for. After all, your body deserves some reward for those hard labour and stress to make ends meet.
You are probably thinking of what meal to rejuvenate your body and entertain your mouth and jaws. You desire a balanced and tasty meal. While scanning through your thoughts, you can’t keep your mind off the last time you had that mouth-watering and delectable soup you tasted the other day.
That’s it! You head straight to ‘Calabar Kitchen’. You are set on the table, and you quickly place your order _ ‘Edikang Ikong soup with eba!’ Now you have to sit endure the ‘wait’, while salivating and fiddling with your phone or key in your hand.
Have you ever given thoughts to how you can prepare your own rich and tasty vegetable soup _ Edikang Ikong? What about its nutritional value? What can we learn about the soup? Let’s explore.
Edikang Ikong soup has its traditional routes from the Efik-Ibibio people of Akwa Ibom and Cross River state of Nigeria. It is one of the most popular delicacies of the vegetable soups among Nigerian cuisines.
It is balanced and rich in essential nutrients such as proteins, vitamins, and minerals such as Iron. These are just a few mentioned on the list.
How to Cook Edikang Ikong Soup
Preparing a delicious and nourishing meal of Edikang Ikong soup would require that you pay attention to factors that would enrich its taste without losing the food nutritional contents. Below are some of the factors to consider:
- Ratio of Pumpkin leaves to Water leaves
- Method of washing Water leaves prior to cooking
- Quality and taste of Palm Oil
Ratio of Pumpkin leaves to Water leaves when cooking Edikang Ikong soup
Knowing the right amount of water leaves to use in cooking can be the trickiest part. Water leaves tend to shrink in size when cooked, therefore, it is essential to add sufficient amount. Pumpkin leaves and water leaves have their different taste and water content.
Water leaves have greater water content than pumpkin leaves. It is important to realise that water leaves help to enhance the taste of leafy vegetable soups.
Since Edikang Ikong soup does not require that you add water separately, therefore, more water leaves would be needed to percolate its water content and blend with the flavour of the prepared stock.
Doing so keeps the soup from being excessively dried out, while providing the base to blend seasoning. Hence, the approximate ratio of water leaves to pumpkin leaves must be 2:1 (two portion of water leaves for each portion of pumpkin leaves). The bottom line is that the quantity of water leaves must be more than the pumpkin leaves.
Method of washing Water leaves prior to cooking
Essential nutrients can be derived from water leaves. Those nutrients include: vitamins, and important minerals such as iron and calcium. Iron is an important agent for blood building in our body.
Calcium is an agent for strengthening bones. Thus, when one washes and squeezes out the water from water leaves, that one is indeed depriving and discarding quite an amount of Iron and essential nutrients that can keep you away from the doctor.
Therefore, avoid becoming a serial-killer of food nutrients! Only wash and drain but don’t rub and squeeze out the water.
Seasoning is more like painting. A painter is discreet with his selection of colours so as to bring out a beautiful portrait with the right blend of colours that are pleasant to the eyes.
A cook does so similarly, he or she would be selective with the choice and method of seasoning that would portray a beautiful gallery of taste that favourably depicts the traditional meal.
As you improve in your cooking skills, you will realise a number of strategies to get the desired taste. For example, you may choose to cook stock-fish or kpomo together with the meat, or you may decide to cook them separately since the aroma of stock-fish and its stock can sometimes overwhelm the taste of meat stock when cooked together. As a good cook, you need to be aware of some of this factors that come into play.
Quality and taste of Palm Oil
To attain a tasty and palatable dish of Edikang Ikong, it is very necessary to be choosy with the palm oil you would be using. This is because palm oil is normally the only liquid added to the soup while cooking.
A good and tasty oil usually has a pleasant aroma and appearance that can give the soup a perfect background taste. Nevertheless, be aware that there are palm oils with vibrant appearance but do not have pleasant taste or aroma. So when purchasing one, take these into consideration.
Your tasty kits – Recipes for Edikang Ikong soup
Make sure not to be low in cash, because Edikang Ikong is a soup that has a rich gallery of taste and sight! What do I mean? Let’s go through the requirements.
Your weapon of delicious and tasty meal is as follows:
- 1 portion of chopped Pumpkin leaves (Ugwu or Ikong Ubong)
- 2 portion of chopped Water leaves
- 2 medium sizes of chopped onions
- Pinch of Salt
- Fresh Pepper
- Dried fish
- Cow meat, bush meat or goat meat
- 1 cup large shelled periwinkle
- Large Snail (Ekwong)
- Small snails (Nkoriko)
- Kpomo (cow skin)
- Stock cubes (optional)
- Palm oil
The cooking begins… Procedure to Cook Edikang Ikong Soup
- Wash and chop both pumpkin leaves and water leaves.
- Ascertain that all your tasty kits are well prepared including your dried fish. Your fresh pepper and crayfish must be grounded. Prawns, snails and periwinkles must be properly prepared, washed and steamed before use in the main cooking. Remember, soups made from vegetables such as pumpkin and water leaves do not necessarily have to be over cooked or sit on fire too long. Stock-fish and kpomo is best cooked separately and with seasoning.
- Cook meat and shaki to hot flavour and spicy taste. Preserve a thick stock that would enhance the taste of your soup.
- Add grounded crayfish, fresh pepper, and palm oil to your flavoured stock and stir. As you stir, add your prepared periwinkle, snail, kpomo, stock fish, prawns, dried fish and remaining onions. Allow the taste of the mixture to blend before proceeding to the next step.
- Add water leaves to your tasty blend as it cooks on fire. Cover your pot to allow water leaves seep out its water content for about 3 minutes and then stir.
- Add pumpkin leaves in bits. As you add a layer of the chopped pumpkin leaves at a time, ensure to sprinkle some remaining crayfish so as not to flatten the already flavoured taste. Allow to cook for about 3-5 minutes to leave the pumpkin fresh and edible.
- Taste to see if you have attained the desired taste and add seasoning when necessary. Stir often.
- Remove soup from fire.
…Now food is ready!
Mmmmm….Zesty! Your own delicious and tasty Edikang Ikong soup is now ready to be served with Eba, Fufu or Pounded Yam.
As you mould and dip your Eba in soup with your hand, you can attest to the fact that traditional Edikang Ikong soup will never leave you bored.
It means game to both your mouth and hands as you are rightly entertained to enjoy the delightful and mouth-watering taste that will make you beg for more!
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