Thursday, March 05, 2015

Afang Soup

Those of you at home in Calabar know how fresh your Afang is.  I shiver just thinking of extra fresh Afang soup we throw down back home.  The fresher the Afang, the nicer the soup turns out.  You had better thank the lord for his mercies because ‘fresh from the backyard’ is an option not available to us.  The ones we buy from the shops are always too dry (Packaging and Processing factors) which results in us having to devise means of manipulating the ingredients so we can arrive at the same destination.  I was at my pal's place over the weekend and while I was there she made a sumptuous Afang.  I got in her way and on her nerves a couple of times being snap happy as she was somehow an unwilling participant but hey - what are friends for?  Shout out to you my darling for tolerating my shenanigans in your kitchen.  *kiss, kiss*

Here is a breakdown of how she makes her Afang - diaspora stylḗe (pronounced styley as in Ras Kimono).

Spinach  (water leaf can be used as a substitute for spinach)
Obstruction (Gizzard, Meat, Offals, Shaki, whatever you want )
Maggi and Salt to taste
Crayfish (Ground)
Dry Fish
Palm Oil

Step 1:  Our Afang is normally very hard and strong due to the amount of time it has spent during processing and packaging up till the moment it lands in the kitchen.  We soak it in water to softer it up.  Soak for about an hour in either hot or cold water.  Unlike back home where the afang is the last vegetable to go into the pot, over here it is the first vegetable to go into the pot and this gives it time to soften and cook properly.
Afang leaves soaked in water to soften it
Step 2:  While your Afang is soaking, wash your meat, shaki, gizzard et al, season to your taste and bring to boil.  The offals could be boiled together in one pot and the meat boiled together in a separate pot.  When all the meat is soft and ready, turn the meat and offals  into one pot with a little stock as this will form the base of your soup.  Now is also the time to add your dry fish so the flavours can infuse into the stock.  Add palm oil as well and bring to boil.
Dry Fish, Meat, Palm Oil and Stock
Step 3:  Add your ground crayfish to the pot.
Add ground crayfish to the stock
Step 5:  It is all coming together nicely....
Allow to boil
Step 6:  Drain the water from your Afang and blend to a smooth pulp.
Drain Water from the Afang leaves
Step 8:  Blend to your hearts content - no pounding in the mortar like our parents.......
Add a little water and blend
Step 9:  Add the blended Afang to your pot and allow to steam for about 10 minutes
Add blended Afang to your mix
Step 10:  Stir, Stir Stir and add some more seasoning to taste if needed.  Even though you would have added pepper and seasoning to the stock when cooking your meat, now is the time to make sure it is nicely proportioned.  The Afang will be cooked and soft after steaming for about 10 minutes.
Stir and allow to cook for about 10 - 15 mins until soft
Step 11:  We used chopped frozen spinach.  While our meat and stock was cooking, the spinach was being defrosted.  We then drained away the water in a colander and added the spinach to the pot last.

Spinach Defrosting

Add spinach last, stir and turn down the heat after about 5 minutes

Final Step:  Make your Eba or Pounded Yam and serve with your Afang.  

Pounded Yam and Afang Soup

1 comment:

  1. What if too much salt was mistakenly added, how do you redeem the soup?


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