My Afang Soup Recipe with Okazi and Spinach
This was my first time of cooking Afang soup, ever, and I'm very happy at how it turned out. On one of our irregular trips to the African store, I picked up Utazi for my Nsala and when I saw a dried vegetable pack labelled Okazi, I also picked it up. I knew it was used in Afang soup, I had eaten it before and remembered it was a bit similar to Edika Iikong soup. I had made the latter before and thought, hey, I can make Afang with that recipe too.
To give kudos to whom it is due though, this would have been a disaster if not for coming across Eya's Afang recipe post before I made my soup. She mentioned that her Afang was pounded/ground. I was confused, but almost overlooked it. Her Afang was fresh and leafy, while mine was dry, store-packed and already cut. Still, that stuck.
Thank God for the internet. When I was ready to make mine, I googled ground Afang, and up popped some other Nigerian recipe sites. One specifically mentioned that when you buy dry, cut, store-packed Afang, you had to soak it in hot water for at least an hour, and then blend like a smoothie. And so the cooking began, with my adapted recipe below...
1 pack, dry, cut Okazi
5 pounds of your choice of beef, cut
1 pack of frozen sea-food mix
1 pack of frozen peeled and cooked shrimp
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large tomato, diced in large pieces
2 tablespoons of ground crayfish
3 teaspoons of ground pepper
1 cup of palm oil
2 cubes of maggi
2 packs of frozen chopped spinach
Salt to taste
1. Boil 3 cups of water, and then pour in the dry, cut Okazi leaves. Remove from heat and allow to soak.
2. Put the beef in two cups of water with half the onions, one cube of maggi, some salt and one teaspoon of pepper.
3. Bring to boil, add your palm oil, then simmer for 30 minutes or until cooked to your satisfaction. Turn off the heat or take the pot off the cooker.
4. Blend the rest of the pepper, crayfish, onions and diced tomatoes and put aside.
5. Add some cold water to the soaking Afang and then rinse out the leaves. Squeeze the water out and blend. Add just a little water if necessary.
6. Pour in your blended Okazi and Pepper mixture and stir till completely mixed up.
7. Continue to simmer for the next 20 - 25 minutes.
8. The ground Okazi acts like some kind of thickener as the stock dries up and the oil begins to separate from the rest of the mixture. [I wanted mine extra thick since the rest of my ingredients were frozen.]
9. Put in the frozen shrimp and mixed seafood, add the other cube of maggi, check for salt and then continue simmering for 10mins.
10. Add the spinach, stir completely and then reduce the heat. Allow to heat till it begins to gently simmer, and then turn off the heat.
Your soup is ready. Eat with a side of poundo or eba,With the quantity of ingredients used in this recipe, you should have some leftover for your rice or boiled yam/plaintain/potatoes.