Catfish pepper soup is another Nigerian delicacy that is highly medicinal with aromatic spices which can be eaten any time of the year especially during time of recuperation after illness and child birth.
The ingredients required in cooking catfish pepper soup include:
Thyme is used as seasoning ingredient in preparing catfish pepper soup. It gives your pepper soup that classic taste and aroma, though care should be taken not to over – apply it, otherwise it will suppress the taste of other ingredients used in cooking the chicken stew, so when applying it should be done with caution because too much of a particular thing spoils the food no matter how sweet it is. In order words, thyme should be applied moderately in cooking catfish pepper soup.
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2. Chilli Pepper
Pepper is yet another useful ingredient in preparing catfish pepper soup, it gives it that peppery taste, and makes the soup sharper in taste.
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 catfish pepper soup, though other species can still be used depending on the way you ground it.
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Just like you find in other dishes, onions is vital in cooking chicken stew, it makes the stew or it gives the stew that sassy taste. Onions can be put more than one times in the course of cooking the catfish pepper soup.
It can be put intermittently as the cooking goes on. Without it catfish pepper 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.
Crayfish is another important ingredient in preparing catfish pepper soup, it is as well a source of protein and gives the catfish 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 tell. Cray fish 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.
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5. Ehu seed
Ehu seed, popularly used and found in the Eastern part of Nigeria, is a highly spicy ingredient or seed. It appears in the form of a small seed and brownish in colour.
Ehu is mainly used for local Nigerian dishes, like the achi soup, the ofo or oho soup, etc. Ehu seed is a tough seed, which before you use it you must first heat it on the fire, so that the outer membrane will come out easily.
After heating it, ehu seed is then relieved of its outer membrane by using your hand to peel it off. After that you then clean your pestle and mortar and put the ehu seeds in it for pounding.
Note that the pestle and mortar should be kept dry before using it to grind ehu seed, in order to avoid being clumped together.
6. 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 catfish pepper is as follows:
a. 1kg catfish
b. 4 seeds Ehu
c. Chilli pepper
d. 2 teaspoons uziza
e. 2 medium bulbs onions
f. 2 teaspoons of ground crayfish
g. 3 maggi cubes
h. 1 teaspoon of thyme
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Method of Preparation
1. Using an old frying pan, roast the ehu seed, stirring constantly until you can smell it. You should not worry when to take it off, because it has distinctive aroma.
Another way to know when it is okay is to take one of the seeds and try to remove the outer membrane, if the outer membrane comes out easily, then know that it is done.
2. Peel off the membrane from all the ehu seeds and grind with a dry mill. Cut the onions into tiny pieces. Rub the uziza with your fingers to break them into pieces.
3. Place the pieces of the catfish in a pot and pour enough water to cover the contents of the pot, add the stock cubes,thyme and onions and cook till done.
4. By now you should notice that the water has dried, add more water to bring it to the level of the contents of the pot.
5. Add the groundehu,crayfish, dry uziza, chilli pepper and salt to taste. Ehu has some spicy taste ,so you should add the chilli pepper with care, even though it is called pepper soup , you still want to be able to taste and enjoy the receipe itself. Too much chilli pepper will ruin it for you.
6. Cover the pot and leave it to cook for 10 minutes on medium heat. The pepper soup is ready.,
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