Ofe Akwu is a palm nut cream soup that is native to the Igbo people of Nigeria. It is often served with rice or other starchy side dishes. Cream extracted from palm nuts is cooking with meats of choice and vegetables to give a delicious tasting creamy soup.
Banga Soup and Abak Atama are also palm nut soups similar to Ofe Akwu. Banga is native to the Delta people of Nigeria while Abak Atama is to the Efik and Ibibios. Banga is cooked in a blend of aromatic spices as well, dried crushed bitterleaf or obeletientien leaves, ans the very aromatic oburunbebe stick. Abak Atama with Atama leaves and the very aromatic uyayak pod. Ofe Akwu delicately balances Ugwu and Nchanwu (Efinrin) leaves.
I can’t tell you which is my favourite (I do have a favourite) I will tell you though that I have have my version of palm nut soup I make which I’ve adapted all 3 versions to. Finger licking good I tell you.
- Palm nut cream (you can either use tinned or make palm nut cream)
- Ugu leaves (washed and sliced)
- Nchanwu (Efinrin) leaves (washed and sliced)
- Stock fish
- Smoked fish
- Powdered crayfish
- Green paste (for non msg seasoning)
- Onions (chopped)
- Ground fresh pepper (Nsukka yellow pepper and red pepper)
Note: Nchanwu (Efinrin) leaves should be ½ the volume of the Ugwu
- Cook your meats with salt, green paste , smoked fish heads, chopped onions, salt, crayfish, and fresh blended peppers and some water. Cook with the lid on.
- Cook till meat is tender.
- Add palm nut cream into your cooked meats and the stock.
- Add stock fish, smoked fish and additional crayfish powder if necessary.
- Cook it down till the palm nut cream starts to release it’s oil. Taste for seasoning and adjust the seasoning where necessary. Once it is at the consistency where the soup lightly coats the back of the spoon, add your vegetables.
- Let it simmer with the lid off for about 5 minutes and turn heat off.
Serve with your favourite accompaniment.