KFB Foodie Talk: How to make Ofe Owerri

our newbies, the KFB foodie talk column – handled by Dobby of Dobbysignature – is basically for ladies and
‘guys’ that are interested in learning how to cook better ;).
Ofe owerri is a tasty Nigerian soup which is native
to Igbos from Imo State, South-eastern Nigeria especially those from owerri
which is the state capital. In english, ofe owerri means Owerri soup. And just
as any Nigerian soup, you can use any type of fish, beef or assorted meat you
choose to use and still get wonderful results. Before cooking of owerri you
have to decide on the vegetable combination you want to use depending on
the availability.
The normal combination is made up of two vegetables.
It’s either you use Ugu
and Uziza, Ukazi and Uziza or Oha and Uziza
. These vegetables have various
health benefits and if you noticed, whatever combo you choose to use must
include Uziza
This tends to add flavor to the soup due to its aromatic compounds
but is to be used sparingly (Click
here to view the full list of Nigerian vegetables
). Also, the thickener
used for this soup is cocoyam. 
When i say cocoyam, i don’t mean the average
cocoyam thickener known as “Ede ofe
that draws when added to soups but the type known as the “Red
cocoyam”, eaten just the way boiled yam is eaten. 


A handful Ukazi

7 Uziza leaves

600g Red beef : goat meat is usually perfect for this soup

1 medium sized Stock fish “okporoko” – I used the head

1 medium Smoked fish or dry fish

2 tbsp. Dry pepper or 2 fresh pepper – I used yellow pepper

2 cooking spoons Palm oil

3 small sized Red

1 cooking spoon Cray fish

1 cooking spoon Periwinkles “Isam” – Optional

3 Seasoning cubes

Salt to taste

Step 1: Wash
the Ukazi and Uziza leaves with clean water, Slice thinly and set aside

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Step 2: For this soup, i used the cocoyam that is usually eaten raw with
oil known as the red cocoyam and not Ede ofe, the
type used to thicken oha soup.
Wash and place the cocoyam with the skin still intact in a small pot. Add
clean water and boil for about 10 minutes. Once the yam is cooked, the skin can
easily be removed with bare hands though this is best done while the cocoyam is
still hot. place the peeled cocoyam in a mortar and pound with a pestle. Once
the cocoyam looks smooth, set aside.


Step 3: Wash the beef with clean water and place in the pot. Soak the
stock fish “Okporoko” in hot water for about 10 minutes. This helps
soften it as well as get rid of whatever might be living within. Rinse
thoroughly with clean water and place in the pot. Rinse the dry fish and place
in the pot.
Add the seasoning, pepper, salt to taste and just enough water to cover the
content of the pot. Cover the pot and cook for about 30 minutes. If you’re
using fresh pepper, you can add it “whole” as shown in the picture
and remove once the meat is cooked.

Step 4: Add the cocoyam and stir, leave to cook and thicken for about 10
minutes. Add the palm oil and crayfish and leave to cook further

Step 5: Gently add the periwinkles, sliced Uziza and Okazi leaves and
leave to cook for 10 minutes .


Turn off the burner and serve with your favorite “swallow“.
This soup is traditionally served with Akpu. 


Kemisola Ade

Kemisola Adeyemi is the Assistant Editor of Kemi Filani News. She loves to write and write and write and hopes to own a publishing firm someday! Email: [email protected]


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