Afang Soup (Spinach and Okazi leaves) – slimy-textured soup loaded with chunks of protein and spices and seasonings. A healthy way of adding more greens to your table. Best paired with your favorite starchy side.
I first had a sampling of this alluring dish at an African restaurant, in Los Angeles , and all sorts of good memories flooded my brain. I instantly took a fondness for this soup . It reminded me of eru (a soup that is cooked in Cameroon using the same ingredients). This one is slippery , and oh so tasty!
Afang Soup is of Nigerian origin–a much-celebrated recipe from the efik ethnic group in the southern part of Nigeria –and often served at ceremonial occasions such as weddings, child birth and to honored guests. It has spread its wings throughout Nigeria and has been embraced in neighboring countries.
It is a slippery vegetable soup loaded with chunks of multifarious meats – smoked and fresh meat, any that you can lay your hands on. The star vegetable in this soup is shredded afang leaves which is known by various names- “eru“or “kok” in Cameroon, “Ukazi” or “Okazi” in Nigeria and different parts of Africa.
Traditionally the leaves are sliced thin, then pounded with mortar and pestle and mixed with waterleaves to achieve the slimy consistency. Most people living abroad do not own this tool, but the same effect can be achieved by blending the afang leaves in a food processor into a bristly consistency. Be extra careful during the blending process (the leaves should not be pureed), because it would ruin the soup’s consistency.
Okazi leaves are not available in major supermarkets. So, if you are living abroad you can locate these leaves in most African stores and even online. Swap the water leaves for spinach it would not hurt. The other ingredients crayfish, palm oil, meat can be found in most Asian or Hispanic stores depending on your city.
Afang soup is generally eaten with pounded yam or any sort of fufu or eba and is best served warm.
Watch How To Make It
- 1-2 pounds of meat tripe, cowskin, meat
- 1/2 medium onion chopped
- 2 maggie cubes or 2 tablespoons bouillon
- 1/2 pound smoked fish
- 1/2 cup crayfish
- 1-2 cups of red oil
- 5 cups okazi leaves
- 6 cups fresh waterleaves I used spinach
- salt and pepper to taste
- Soak the dried okazi leaves for about 10 minutes or more, wash and drain the water.
- In medium–sized sauce pan boil meat, season with salt, pepper, and Maggie, and onions until tender (approximately 20-40 minutes depending on the choice of meat). You can shorten this process in half by using a pressure cooker. Reserve the stock
- Boil the cow skin and tripe together or you may do so separately until tender. Drain the water from the cow skin, and tripe.
- In a large pot combine all the meat and smoked fish with about 1- 2 cups of the stock.
- If using smoked fish, pick out the bones and cut it chunks, add to the pot of meat. Cook for about 3-5 minutes.
- Pulse the okazi leaves in a blender or food processor with a little bit of water to make it pliable.
- Repeat the same process with the chopped fresh spinach.
- Stir in the oil, Maggie and crayfish. Cover and let it simmer for a couple of minutes -3-5
- Add the okazi leaves to the pot, stir, then include the spinach.
- Mix everything together and let it simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Adjust for seasonings salt, pepper, and Maggie.
- Serve warm with eba.
Tips & Notes:
.Feel free to include periwrinkle in this meal - am not a big fan
.If you really want it slimmy blend one okra with the spinach