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from: Central Africa | cooking method: boiling-simmering

Koko na Nyama

In the tropical forests of Central Africa, leaves of Koko (or Gnetum africanum also known as afang, mfumbwa, okazi, and ukazi) are collected from the wild, cut into thin strips, and cooked as greens. They are now known as an "NTFP" (non-timber forest product) and are even exported to Europe and America where they are sold in African grocery stores. Popular in Cameroon and the Central African Republic, Koko na Nyama or Koko à la Viande (Koko with Meat) is a greens and peanut dish similar to Beef and Greens in Peanut Sauce.

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This dish can also be made with smoked fish -- the smoked fish should be added with the greens.

All over Central Africa, koko (Gnetum africanum) is cut into thin strips before being cooked. This is usually accomplished by rolling it, like cigars, and then using a very sharp knife to shave the end into thin strips. Koko is available already-cut and ready-to-cook in many Central African markets. The women selling it cut it fresh throughout the day. The more thinly cut the koko is, the higher it can be piled -- a tall pile of koko is definitely a selling point. Cutting the koko into such thin strips probably makes it easier to cook.


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