Ofe onugbu is definitely one of the most delicious, mouth-watering and finger-licking soups in Nigeria.
In English language, it is known as (bitter-leaves soup). It is called bitter-leaf soup because the green leaves used is relatively bitter compared with other types of leaves such as fluted pumpkin, spinach, sweet potato leaves, okazi, and ora to mention a few.
However, it can be compared with Nigerian vegetable leaves such as Utazi which is equally bitter. Both vegetable leaves are freely used and eaten in Nigeria not only as vegetables but equally as curative substance. They are believed to cure many kinds of diseases too.
PROCESSED BEFORE USE: Naturally, ofe onugbu can never be cooked until the leaves are detoxed of the heavy bitterness in the leaves. To do this, the leaves are first cut from the plant/plants and then put into big bowls or even bucket full of water. The water are always replenished as the bitterness are removed through the squeezing processes.The leaves are squeezed continuously until the bitterness are totally removed. This can take about one hour depending the quantities.
As soon as the bitterness are thoroughly removed, the squeezed leaves can then be rinsed. When rinsed, the leaves automatically have sweet taste and then can be used straight away to make ofe onugbu soup or can be dried in the sun and used whenever one wants to make such soup.
HOW TO COOK A DELICIOUS MOUTH-WATERING AND FINGER-LIKING OFE ONUGBU: RECIPES/PREPARATION: Depending on how far you can go and the number of people that are to eat as well as the servings. Every Nigerian knows the slogan "Good soup na moni makam!" That literally means that for you to cook a big nutritious and delicious soup you have to add many ingredients and those ingredients can be very costly! Ofe onugbu can be a very expensive soup like Edka-ekong soup.
You can conveniently cook ofe onugbu with ingredients such as large snails,goat and lamb meat, chicken Pisces, smoked and fresh fishes, cow and beef meat, guinea fowls, bush meat, stock fish or (okporoko) mushroom,etc.
You can't possibly cook onugbu soup without other types of ingredients. You may need to put egusi(ground egusi), and ogbono; some pieces of yam mashed to thicken the soup, a spoon of red oil or vegetable oil, one chopped onion, tomatoes, or tomato puree, salt and pepper to taste.
Other seasonings may include ground crayfish, magi or oxo cubes.
Once you have all these ingredients ready, you can sweetly cook ofe onugbu. First, have a large pot on the stove with boiling water.You should mentally measure the quantity depending on the number of servings and the number of people to participate in the eating.
Wash all the meat and fishes thoroughly,and put all into the boiling water in the pot and stir intermittently for at least 45-55 minutes.
Then you will be rewarded with the sweet smelling aroma oozing out from the pot to herald that you have completed cooking a delicious and nutritious ofe onugbu. You might as well like to read about Ofe-Nsala soup. Click here to read more about 'Ofe-nsala-soup'
Before the ofe onugbu soup is cooked, you must have decided what type of food or fufu you have to eat it with. You may prefer pounded yam, garri,tuwo, Amala or akpu to mention a few. Among the ingredients used by some Nigerians is fermented mashed melon locally called (Ogiri isi or ogiri awusa). You can now try your hand on cooking ofe onugbu soup and I can bet, you will enjoy 'Ofe-owerri-recipe' too.