Diets

How to Cook Ofe Nsala (White Soup Recipe)

Ofe-nsala
Ofe-nsala

Ofe Nsala – White Soup is a delicious soup, popularly cooked by Anambra state in  Igbo tribe of Nigeria. This delicacy is a rich and tasty soup usually cooked with traditional catfish.

Though protein varies by choice such as chicken, turkey, goat meat.

In Efik, the white soup/ ofe nsala is known as Afia Efere. Ofe Nsala is mostly cooked by people who are surrounded by water.

Ofe Nsala is known as white soup because no Palm oil is used for the preparation, unlike other soups.

How to Cook Ofe Nsala ( White soup)

Notably, the actual thickener you can use for the recipe is pounded yam.

Alternatively, you can use Flour, Achi or cocoyam but I prefer using pounded because other thickness doesn’t really give it that nsala taste, and also it may affect the consistency of the soup.

Moreso, if you have issues getting Uziza or Utazi leaf, you can do without them. Nationally, I like using the fresh leaves, had to settle for dried ones. Uziza does add a very nice aroma and hotness to the soup.

Ingredients Needed:

  • 1 Medium Size Fresh Fish (Catfish)
  • 2-3 Pieces of Stockfish ( the head)
  • 1 Tablespoon Crayfish
  • 2 Tablespoons Dry Ground Pepper or 3 Fresh Yellow Atarodo
  • 1 Small Chunk of Ogiri Okpei/Dawadawa
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Medium Size Smoked fish
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Uziza Leaves OR
  • 1 Tablespoon Utazi or Both
  • 1 Teaspoon Uziza seeds (If you can’t source Ehuru, Uda, or Uziza seeds, just use 2 tablespoons pepper soup spice)
  • 4 Medium Slices of Yam
  • 1 Uda pod
  • 2 Knorr Cubes
  • 2  Calabash Nutmeg seed (Ehuru)

Preparation:

Grind and Pound the Uziza seeds and Ehuru and Uda in a dry mill till smooth and set aside

Now wash and slice your Uziza and Utazi. Alternatively, if you’re using dried leaves, make sure to soak them to remove dirt and to soften them a bit.

Put your pot on a hob on medium heat, add the Stockfish, and water to cover. Normally stockfish takes time to cook. Add 1 Knorr cube, 1 tablespoon ground pepper, and the crayfish and salt to taste.  If you’re using fresh yellow Atarodo, blend coarsely and add. Cook till the Stockfish is tender.

While waiting for protein to tender, cut and boil the yam for easy pounding/grinding.

Then pound in a mortar or just use your blender, set aside.

Allow to tender, add the ground Uziza seeds, Uda and Ehuru or Pepper Soup spice, also add the Crayfish, dissolve Dawadawa in water and add, boil for a further 4 minutes.

Wash your catfish with warm water to remove bad odors. Now, add your fresh fish and cleaned smoked fish. Reduce the heat to low, cook for 7-10 minutes.

Now, add more water to the broth depending on the quantity of soup you require.

Make sure not to add lots of salt, taste for seasoning. Add the 2nd Knorr cube.

Now, add the pounded yam or your preferred thickener. If you’re using Achi, mix with water before adding, this is to restrict your soup from being lumpy. Stir and leave to cook till the yam is completely dissolved, this should take 8-10 minutes.

Add the fresh fish back into the pot, rock the pot gently to combine, this is so you don’t break the fish using a spoon…

Now add the washed Utazi or Uziza or both.

Be mindful when adding Utazi as it’s quite bitter, too much will make your soup really bitter.

Turn the heat off and leave to simmer for 2-3 minutes. Your recipe is ready.

About the author

Lucy Perpetua

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