THE WORD 'OKPOROKO' IS THE IGBO PEOPLE OF NIGERIA'S NAME FOR ONE OF THEIR FAVOURITE DRY FISH ALSO KNOWN AND CALLED 'STOCKFISH.'
Stock fish is (cod) universally known to be fished and marketed by Norwegian fishing industry. It is one of the most infamous dry cod fishes exported exclusively to the Nigerian market and people.It is infamous because majority of the people who eat this super dry fish are the Igbo people from the Eastern part of Nigeria.
The Northerners can't be bothered about eating it and other ethnic communities in Nigeria are not very keen on eating this stuff for so many reasons.
Some of the reasons are serious facts which alleged that the Norwegian producers drain both the blood, oil and water and cut off the head in the fish and it looks like headless chunk of wood! In addition, to these, it takes hours to cook, hard to eat, tastes like chewing sticks and said to contain no known food values!
In spite of all these allegations and facts, the Igbo people or Igbo ethnic groups take keen and exclusive delights in eating the stuff. The Igbos felt psychologically brused and offended when after the Nigerian civil war, the importation of stockfish from Norway was violently banned as an added punishment to the "Biafarans" who are mostly the Igbos.
The Igbos can not make soups without Okporoko (cod /stockfish) It is rather regarded as staple fish despite the facts that the stuffs are believed by some Nigerians to have no known food values!
Okporoko beans dish recipes explains another way to eat stockfish instead of using it always in various soup making.
RECIPES/INGREDIENTS/PREPARATIONS FOR OKPOROKO BEANS DISH RECIPES FOR 4 SERVINGS:
1..1 long okporoko (stockfish) cod or ordinary about 12 inches long (sawn or cut into about 6 pieces)
2..1/2 tbsp of Bicabonate of soda or 1/2 ounce of p.ptash (akanwu or okanwu in Igbo language)
3..2 large onions ( cut or sliced into several rings to be lightly fried with cooked okporoko)
4..2 cups of Nigerian black eye beans or brown beans (to be boiled separately)
5.. 2 large sweet green peppers (chopped or sliced to be fried with onions and okporoko)
6..2 bunches of fluted pumpkin leaves (ugu) to be boiled separately and eaten with the stockfish or okporoko.
7..Seasonings- mixed herbs, + salt+ chilli pepper to taste
8..3 tbsp of vegetable, olive or palm oil ( For frying the ingredients)
Here the cooking starts: The only hard part in this dish recipes is the boiling of okporoko (stockfish). the rest of the cooking is as easy as ABC!
It takes on the average about 1 1/2 hours to boil okporoko to be soft and tender without 'Bicabonate of soda' or Nigerian potash also called (Akanwu in Igbo dialect) To use this, you only add 1/2 tbsp of Bica/Soda to help to facilitate the okporoko's quick, tender and soft readiness.
The quickest way to boil the stuff is to use pressure cooker. (A good pressure cooker can on the average take 30-40 minutes).
Cooking the beans and fluted pumpkin leaves (ugu) is relatively easy. They must be cooked or boiled seperately and remain there until the time of serving and eating.
Once the okporoko are boiled to be soft and tender, use your hand to render the stockfish into more eatable pieces and sizes as to your choice. Then pour the pieces into the frying pan with the sliced onions and all other ingredients including the seasonings and stir fry and mix intermittently for about 10-15 minutes and the cooking is done.
You can choose to serve hot or warm. To eat, put as many pieces of fried, soft and tender okporoko in your plate and add a few spoons of beans and ugu leaves as accompaniments. You can now congratulate yourself for cooking Okporoko beans dish recipes! Nigerian foods customs!