Otong is a popular soup in Calabar, the south Eastern part of Nigeria, originally prepared with plenty of rich okro with bokoto meat. Bokoto meat is a meat gotten from beef called bokoto meat and served in every eating houses in the country.
The ingredients needed to prepare otong soup with bokoto include:
1. Ground Pepper
Pepper is yet another useful ingredient in preparing otong soup with bokoto, it gives it that peppery taste, and makes the soup sharper in taste.
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Though too much of it can produce a negative effect especially for the asthmatic consumers who don’t like too much pepper in their foods.
Generally pepper should be added moderately so as to enable the consumers to peacefully enjoy the food without having to complain of too much pepper.
Dry ground pepper is most suitable for the cooking of otongsoup with bokoto, though other species can still be used depending on the way you ground it.
Just like you find in other dishes, onions is vital in cooking otong soup with bokoto, it makes the soup or it gives the soup that sassy taste.
Onions can be put more than one times in the course of cooking the otong soup. It can be put intermittently as thecooking goes on.
Without it, otong soup may not be that enjoyable to the mouth because it will not be that tasty as you expect it to be, despite the presence of these other ingredients.
Onions comes in different types, we have the white onions and the red onions. Each of them has its unique flavor it adds to any dish you may apply them to.
The white onions is mainly used in preparing such dishes such as fried rice, jollof rice, different types of stews including chicken stew, etc, while the red ones are used mainly in preparing different types of soups.
Every onions is first peeled to remove the outer cover, then after removing the outer cover , you then wash it thoroughly and chop it or slice it, or you may prefer to blend it as the case may be. Onions is an important ingredient in every dish that should not be overlooked.
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3. Palm oil
Palm oil is also needed in the preparation of otong soup with bokoto, as it gives that reddish coloring. It is required to fry some of the ingredients that require to be fried slightly like the onions and the rest of them, without red oil or palm oil, otong soup would look dull in appearance ,and consequently may result in people loosing appetite for the soup. Note before using the palm oil, remember to lighten it or warm it a little for it to be lighter in weight and color.
Crayfish is another important ingredient in preparing otongsoup, it is as well a source of protein and gives the otong soup that crayfish taste.
Crayfish is first ground before use, but before it is ground you must make sure that it is well sieved from crayfish chaffs or sand that might have entered the crayfish in the process of handling it in the market place.
Crayfish is brownish in color with tender thungs at its tall. Crayfish comes in different sizes depending on the specie. We have the large size crayfish which they call prawn or oporo in some parts of the Eastern region of Nigeria.
While the other species is the small sized ones which is commonly seen in the market and as well less expensive compared to that of the bigger sized ones called prawn or oporo.
Crayfish is sieved and ground, though some people prefer heating it first in a dry pan or pot before grinding it so as to remove moisture from it.
Periwinkles areimportant ingredients in the cooking of otong soup with bokoto. It is a source of protein and is added to the meat or fish used in cooking otong soup.
The presence of periwinkles go a long way in making the otong soup more palatable and appetizing to the eye and to the mouth.
It is used not only to prepare otong soup with bokoto, but also to prepare most local and international dishes and soups.
For instance, in Imo state, periwinkle is used to prepare one of their indigenous soups called ofeowerri, which I included in my series of articles.
They believe that even if you cannot afford meat or fish in the market at least with the presence of periwinkle , you can still enjoy your soup because periwinkles are palatable and yet cheap source of meat.
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Prawn is another important ingredient in preparing otong soup, it is as well a source of protein and gives the otong soup that crayfish taste. Prawn is first ground before use.
7. Uziza Leaves
This is another spicy leaf used in cooking most local Nigerian dishes. Uziza can be used as a leaf or as its seed, which is usually dark and tiny in size.
Uziza seed is first ground before use while uziza leaf can be shredded or used as a whole leaf depending. The list of ingredients required to cook oxtail meat pepper is as follows:
1. 1kg bokoto,
2. 450g periwinkles
3. 225g whole dry prawns
4. 225g ground crayfish
5. 225g ground pepper
6. 1 medium onions
7. 1kg pumpkin leaves (washed and shredded)
8. 450 g fresh okro (sliced and pounded)
9. 6 ozetinkirin (uziza) leaves,
10.200ml palm oil
12. salt to taste
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Method of Preparation
a.Wash the bokoto thoroughly and place in a large pot
b. Add some sliced onions, ground chillies and some stock.
c. Place on the heat and cook for 30 minutes
d. Add the dry prawn, periwinkles to the meat and cook for a further 10 minutes, add more stock and bring to the boil
e. Finally add the shredded pumpkin leaves and pounded okro.
f. Mix it properly and allow it to simmer for 15 minutes, then add crayfish,palm oil and etinkirin leaves.
g. Give it a good stir and allow the soup to bubble for another 10minutes until well blended and the aroma fills the kitchen.Remove from heat and serve hot with fufu or ayangekpanClick here to see the latest work from home jobs
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