Today will be discussing the most controversial soups in Nigeria especially in the Igbo land. Yes! I said “controversial”, you will get to know after reading this article on how to make to Ofe Owerri. Join me as I take you on this journey.
Before I start any story about this soup, am very sure that you can already tell where this soup originated from by its name. Ofe means soup and Owerri is the place the soup originated from.
This soup is a special delicacy for the people of Owerri in Imo state. Different names have been given to this dish, such as ‘The king of soups’, The jewel of Igboland e.t.c. In fact in Igboland, beautiful women are likened to this soup.
Some people also tag this soup ‘As a special soup prepared for a loved one’.If your friend from Owerri prepares this dish for you, just know that you are been honored. This soup symbolizes royalty and honor
However, the people of Owerri are divided when it comes to the ingredient used in making this dish especially with the vegetables used. Some say that the vegetables to be used for this soup are ugu and okazi leaves while others say it should be uziza and oha leaves.
Due to my findings, I discovered that Ugu and Okazi leaves are the main vegetables used in the origin of Ofe Owerri. However, with that being said, I believe that there will always be alterations to the original version of any cultural dish because times are changing, new recipes are being discovered and new flavors are also discovered.
I will advise that when these changes come, we shouldn’t shove them down but try and see if it will enhance the taste of our cultural dish. Furthermore, we shouldn’t totally change the dish leaving out the originality of the dish.
As the popular saying goes by “The only thing that is constant in life is change” so embrace it when it comes. That being said, I prefer using Okazi and Ugu so that the originality can still be retained; you can add uziza leaves to add more flavor to the soup and also uziza goes with any soup.
Facts About Ofe Owerri
- This soup is not cheap, it is meant for the rich because the ingredients used are expensive.
- It is a soup that should be consumed in a day. The Igos ask in their popular saying “How many people can actually consume Ofe owerri in a day”
- This soup has a light and running consistency. It is eaten with a spoon with pounded yam or any swallow of your choice.
- The soup is made with Azu okpo(dry fish), chunks of stockfish. Assorted meat and snail add more riches and beauty to the soup( but it all depends on your pocket).Periwinkle can also be added,it is not the Owerri thing, it is just added to enhance the richness of the soup.
Other Popular NIGERIAN SOUPS:
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- HOW TO MAKE NIGERIAN OKRO SOUP
- How to make pepper soup
- How to Make Egusi Soup
- HOW TO MAKE EWEDU SOUP
- HOW TO MAKE GARDEN EGG SAUCE
- HOW TO MAKE FRESH FISH PEPPER SOUP
- Regulates blood pressure and heart health due to potassium content in it.
- It helps the thyroid gland to function well due to the amount of iodine it contains. It also prevents goiter.
- Okazi leaves used in the making of this soup helps in the treatment of sore throats, nausea, and enlarged spleens.
- The use of periwinkle, snail, and meat in the soup makes it rich in vitamin A,c and E, iron, potassium and calcium which are essential for strong bones, good eyesight, good heart function, and fresh youthful skin.
- It can fight against cancer: This is due to the use of cocoyam and ugu in the soup.
- 500 g of assorted meats (goat meat, beef, cow leg e.t.c. You can use snail if you can afford it)
- A bunch of ugu leaves(sliced)
- A bunch of okazi leaves(sliced)
- 1 handful of uziza leaves (sliced)
- 5-7 pieces of medium-sized cocoyam(Ede). This can be substituted with Achi
- 3-4 pieces of dry fish
- 4-5 pieces of stockfish
- 3 Tbsp. of grounded crayfish
- 2 Tbsp. of dry pepper
- 1 wrap of ogiri
- Seasoning cubes
- 1/4 cup of palm oil
- Salt to taste.
- Season the assorted meat with seasoning cube and salt. Cook till the meat till it becomes soft.
- Add in the stockfish to the cooked meat and cook for about 10 minutes.
- Wash the cocoyam completely, boil the cocoyam with the skin for about 10-15 minutes.
- When the cocoyam is cooked, peel the skin off and pound it to paste. Cocoyam is usually sticky when pounding so add 1 tbsp. of palm oil to make the stickiness stop.
- Add the cocoyam paste in small bits to the cooked meat and stockfish and keep on cooking. Reduce the heat and stir completely in order to prevent the soup from having lumps.
- Add the palm oil and dry fish(make sure it is washed)
- Cover the pot and cook the soup till the raw taste vanishes.
- Add your ogiri, grounded crayfish, dry pepper, and stir.
- Wash the vegetables thoroughly and add it to the boiling soup. Stir the vegetables on low heat and allow to simmer for about 3-5 minutes and turn off the heat.
- Your rich Ofe owerri is ready
- Serve with any swallow of your choice i.e Pounded yam, fufu, eba e.t.c.
HOW TO MAKE OFE OWERRI:
I hope you have learned a lot from this article on how to make Ofe Owerri. Please don’t forget to share this article with your friends and family. You can also check our other articles on how to make Afang, Ogbono and Nsala soup