from: Western Africa | cooking method: boiling-simmering
Afang Soup -- a soup made from afang leaves (a.k.a. ukazi, okazi, Gnetum africanum, a type of greens usually gathered from the forest), with meat, seafood, and palm oil -- is from the Calabar and Cross-river region of southern coastal Nigeria, near the border with Cameroon, which has long been a center of the African palm oil industry.
What you need
- water, broth or stock
- one pound meat (some combination of stew meat, oxtail, tripe, or bushmeat); cleaned and cut into bite-sized pieces
- one hot chile pepper, left whole (for mild soup or chopped (for spicy soup)
- one onion, chopped
- several periwinkles (sea snails or other edible snails -- where snails are not available clams or muscles may be used)
- one or two pieces dried fish (stockfish and/or other dried fish); skin and bones removed, soaked and rinsed in hot water
- one to two pounds afang leaves (ukazi leaves, or similar -- outside Africa, any other greens may be substituted); cleaned, stems removed, and torn into pieces or pounded with a mortar and pestle (or crushed with a rolling pin)
- one pound waterleaf (or spinach); cleaned, stems removed, and torn into pieces
- one cup dried shrimp or prawns, crushed
- one to two cups red palm oil (or canned palm soup base, cream of palm fruit, sauce graine)
What you do
- In a large dutch oven heat a few cups of water (or broth or stock) to a near boil . Add meat to pot. Cook for a few minutes on high heat. Add onion and chile pepper. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer.
- While meat is simmering: In a separate pan bring a few cups of lightly salted water to a boil. Place the periwinkles in the boiling water. Cover and cook for two or three minutes. Remove snails from water. Use a pick or small fork to remove the snails from their shells. Remove the inedible hard "foot" from each of the snails. Rinse the snail meat in cool water. Drain and sprinkle with lime or lemon juice. If using other shellfish, process in a similar fashion. Add the snails (or their substitute) and the dried fish to the pot with the meat. Cover and simmer for several minutes.
- Add the greens (afang and waterleaf, or their substitutes), and the crushed dried shrimp or prawns. Add more water, broth, or stock as needed. Pour palm oil (or canned palm soup base) into soup. Add salt (or other seasonings) to taste. Cover and continue to simmer until the greens -- and everything else -- is completely cooked and tender, half an hour or more, stirring occasionally.
- Serve with Fufu, or pounded (mashed) boiled yams.
The edible species of periwinkles (sea snails, a type of univalve or gastropod) are found in shallow waters of the North Atlantic. Similar species also live in fresh water. They are not as prized as clams oysters or other bivalve mollusks, but they are eaten in parts of Europe and Africa, though seldom in North America.
Waterleaf (Talinum triangulare) is used in the manner of spinach throughout the world's tropics. It is called bologi in Africa, cariru in Brazil, and is also known as purslane.
Search this website: