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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Bitterleaf Soup (Efere Etidot) a.k.a Ofe Onugbu

Bitterleaf soup known in Efik and Ibibio as Efere Etidot is a kind of soup prepared from bitterleaf. The Igbos call it Ofe Onugbu. This soup is popular because it requires less effort to prepare and also because it can be refrigerated for a very long time.




 I like to add a handful of uziza leaves. This soup can be made with either egusi (melon seeds), ede (cocoa yam), ofor, achi or even ogbono. But the most popular of them all is the cocoa yam and bitter leaves.

how to prepare Bitterleaf Soup (Ofe Onugbu)


Bitter leaf soup, like most other Nigerian soups is named after the particular leaf which is used in preparing it. But of course you need to wash this leaf to remove at least ninety percent of the bitter taste, just so you don’t end up with a very bitter soup.

Ingredients For making Bitterleaf Soup

This would serve about ten person person or more depending on stomach size and all. You are free to increase the size of the ingredients if you want to serve a larger number of people. You can also refrigerate the remainder in case you have a smaller family.

Ingredients For Nigerian Bitter Leaf Soup (Efere Etidot)

    2kg Meat of choice (beef, chicken, pork, turkey)
    Bitter leaf (wash to desire)
    Half cup of ground Crayfish
    Maggi or knorr seasoning (3 cubes
    Ogiri (a product of castor seeds)(optional)
    Dry fish (2 medium sizes)
    Stock fish head (1 big size)
    Palm oil (about 25cl)
    Salt and pepper to taste.
    Cocoa-yam (pounded) or
    4 cups of Egusi (if you choose to make bitter leaf soup with egusi)

The bitter leave soup takes almost the same process as the making of uha soup, as a matter of fact, one pot of soup could be cooked up to the point of adding the leaves then you divide it to add uha to one and bitter leaf to the other.

Below is the images for Ofe Onugbu (bitterleaf soup)

Bitterleaf Soup (Efere Etidot)

It is better and more hygienic to wash the leaves yourself, it is a bit of time consuming but the result is worth the effort. This is possible if you live in Nigeria and can find them in your garden. But you can also get the “already made” from any market in Nigeria.
Bitter Leaf Soup Preparation

To soften the leaves and further remove the bitter taste, it is advisable to boil alone in ordinary water for 10 to 15 minutes, most people like to add a little quantity of edible potash to hasten this process but I highly advise against it. My reason being that this catalyst (potash) tend to affect the entire soup in a slightly negative way.

If you still want to add potash, it will completely wash off the bitter taste and soften the leaves in less than 3 minutes of boiling (the reason most people like using it), but then you would want to boil again alone and wash thoroughly with just water to remove every trace of the potash.

Parboil meat with every necessary ingredients, add the (hot-water) washed dry fish, stock fish and cook until it is tender, add more water then add palm oil, ground crayfish, pepper, maggi seasoning, salt and pepper to taste. Stir and allow boiling.

At this point it should give a good soupy taste (even though it would be watery). Then add the pounded cocoa yam as you can find in the video below (at this point you can add the ground egusi if you choose to make bitter leaf soup with egusi), also add the ogiri now.

Cook till the cocoa yam dissolves, (this would likely take about ten minutes) then add the bitter leaves, stir, taste, add more salt if necessary then cook for three to two minutes and you are done with the making of Nigerian Bitter Leaf Soup (Ofe Onugbu)

Either of these five can go along with it – Eba, Fufu, Semo, Wheat or pounded yam


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