An Efik Bitter Leaf Soup (Ukwogho Etidot)
Ukwogho Etidot is an Efik bitter leaf soup. Made with waterleaf and bitter leaf, this soup gives Afang soup and Edikan Ikong Soup vibes, albeit with some bitter taste.
I dedicate this recipe and my knowledge of various South-South dishes to my friend who happens to be an Efik lady. Someday I will make a post on how we met, but for today, just know I am am Igbo lady with an Efik plug, lol.
Anyway, I have seen my Efik friend prepare this soup many times, especially when she is cooking afang. She simply divides it into two, puts afang in one half and bitter leaf in the other. Interestingly, she never knew the name and I thought it was just one of her kitchen experiments. I told her I was going to make this soup and let her know how it goes. So, be my buddy on this Ukwogho Etidot journey.
– Bitter leaf
– Meat (goat meat, kpono and assorted)
– Dry fish
– Palm oil
– Scotch bonnet (yellow and red)
– Ground prawn
– Seasoning cubes
– Salt (to taste)
1) Pick the waterleaf, wash and slice it. Squeeze well and put in a sieve so it can keep draining.
2) Wash the bitter leaf well, but if you bought washed one in the market and it still has much bitter taste, boil for about 5 minutes.
3) Soak your stockfish and dry fish in hot water. Pick out the bones and set aside.
4) If you are using unshelled periwinkles like me, wash well to remove sand particles.
NOW TO THE COOKING
The steps are almost the same with edikan ikong and afang soup.
STEP 1: Put all the meat in a pot, season properly and leave to cook. DON’T PUT WATER. When it has brought out its own juice, add more water, add the shelled periwinkle too and cook till almost tender. When it is almost tender, put in the stock fish and allow them to cook together till they are all tender.
STEP 2: The water should be almost dry, ukwogho etidot IS NOT COOKED WITH WATER, your waterleaf would bring the needed water to support the PALM OIL. Go ahead and put in your waterleaf, dry fish, ground prawn, palm oil, fresh pepper, periwinkles (if you are using shelled ones), seasoning cubes and salt. Stir and allow to boil.
STEP 3: The waterleaf should have released its water content by now, put in your bitter leaf…a little at a time. Stir and check for seasoning. Feel free to readjust if need be. Add some ground prawn, stir again, allow to boil for 2 minutes and turn off heat.