Otong soup is a traditional Okra soup from the Efik people of Cross River State, South Eastern Nigeria. Various ethnic groups in Nigeria have different names for their variations. Each with subtle changes. For example, the Yorubas know it as Ila asepo, Igbos call it “Okwuru” and the rest of us know it simply as Okro. The combo of these two vegetables differentiates otong soup from other okra soups- Ikong Ubong (pumpkin leaves) and Uziza leaves (piper guineese).
- 700g assorted meat (Beef, Cow tripe, offals)
- 8kg of fresh okra
- 1 cup of palm oil
- 2 tablespoons of dry grinded crayfish
- 7 kg fresh prawns
- 2 broken and prepared raw crabs
- 6kg mussels
- 1 large stockfish
- 2 medium-sized smoked catfish
- 1 handful of chopped Uziza(you may use a spicy curry leaf)
- 1 handful of Ugu(pumpkin leaves) or any vegetable works
- 3 habanero pepper (Ata-Rodo)
- 1tbsp of dry grounded pepper
- I large red bell pepper (very optional)
- 3 bouillon cubes
- salt to taste
- Put the seafood and meat in a bowl of lukewarm water, add salt and wash vigorously, rinse and repeat 3 times. Be sure to hand wash the mussels and remove any impurities.
- Boil and season the meat and seafood with salt and seasoning cubes.
- Wash your okra under running water in a sieve and chop them into any size you want.
- Roughly chop the habanero pepper and red bell pepper and pour along with the crayfish into the pot, add the oil and cook for about 5 minutes.
- At this point the prawns should be pink, the crabs, coral, and the mussels should have opened up (discard any unopened mussel)
- Pour in the Okra and vegetable along with the uziza and stir. If the soup is too thick, add a little water. Check for seasonings and let the soup cook uncovered for another 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and cover. The trapped heat will cook the okra completely.
Serving options: Serve with Ayan Ekpang (grated steamed cocoyam) Fufu or any kind of swallow.