Seafood Okra Soup
I have to reiterate that okra is one soup I never liked, but here I am again, making not just okra soup, but seafood okra.
For this soup, I sourced everything from a local market. It is cheaper that way. The elderly woman I bought the periwinkle from helped me cut it and I gave her a token. She was happy and I was happy. The shrimp/crab seller also helped me clean it. So, you can ask them to do it for you, it is like an after sales service to them, they don’t even charge for it. Except you choose to appreciate them.
I opted for tilapia fish. Bought from this elderly woman and I bargained so much she had to ask me in Yoruba, “My daughter, are we fighting? Price me well na.” Hahahaha
You can find another okra soup recipe HERE.
INGREDIENTS FOR SEAFOOD OKRA
Tilapia (or any fresh fish of your choice)
Salt to taste
1- DO NOT grate your okra. If you grate/blend your okra, you’ll end up with a very slimy soup. Chop them like you chop your carrots.
2- Use fresh okra. To know fresh okra, try to snap off the tip with a finger. If it goes off easily- FRESH. If it doesn’t- RETREAT…
3- Some people use kaun(potash), I don’t. I don’t even know how to use it. However, I know it helps in activating the draw nature of okra if used appropriately.
4- DON’T use crayfish, these days I use prawns in place of crayfish. The flavour of crayfish could be overwhelming, especially for a soup like this.
5- DON’T put too much palm oil in your soup, it reduces the slime of your okra.
6- If you buy unshelled periwinkle, cut off the base. 3-4 spirals from the base would do. If you don’t cut well, you can’t suck it out. Wash well with warm water and the final wash with a little salt.
7- DON’T soak your stockfish in hot water, so you don’t lose flavour. I’ll suggest you buy any part but the head and a very clean one.
8- Be VERY careful with water. I have seen people ruin a pot of okra with too much water.
NOW TO THE COOKING
STEP 1: CHOP your okra. The size is up to you, but I suggest from medium to thick sized chunks. Also rough blend your fresh pepper, you’ll need it in STEP 2.
STEP 2: Put your fresh fish, stock fish and seafood in the pot. Season with salt, stock cubes and your blended pepper from (1).
Allow it to cook on low heat. That way it absorbs the flavour. In fact, learn to cook food on low heat. I have this burner that is always on medium-low heat, everyone wonders how I cook with it, but it remains my burner. That is until I changed the whole unit though.
STEP 3: You will notice your shrimp/crab has changed colour. At this point, add your palm oil and leave it to boil together.
After this, I took out my tilapia fish. It is pretty soft and I didn’t want it to scatter while I am stirring my okra.
STEP 4: Check for seasoning, if it isn’t right, you can add a LITTLE salt/stock cubes. If it is perfect, add your okra and stir. (Put back my fish at this point) Give it 2minutes, then you add a few leaves of uziza. I used about 6, they were small. No matter what you do, don’t allow any external ingredient to take the glory from the seafood. It is all about the seafood.
STEP 5: Take your pot down and allow the residual heat to finish the cooking.
Food is ready.