I visited mummy AB shops (My local African shop) the other day and she had fresh fufu and the first thing that came to mind was edikaikong but unfortunately for me, she didn’t have fresh ugwu but I didn’t let it stop me from treating myself to some good old edikaikong and fresh fufu. Really, who would say no to fresh home-made fufu? It is not every day you get that around here. Well I was really grateful and I went home with as much fufu my hand could carry, hahaha just exaggerating now but I did buy a few.
I love edikaikong and I love the reaction I get from hubby when I cook it. To cook edikaikong is not complicated at all but I think if you want to enjoy it more and get the real thing, you should be ready to spend some money because of the ingredients required for this dish. I prefer to use goat meat, panla (okporoko) and smoked ponmo for the huge flavours I would get in my vegetable. I hardly use periwinkle as I have not seen it in a while and it is not popular in the part of the world I live. Also you require water leaves with the ugwu leaves but in the absence of water leaves, I used baby spinach as it was the closest to water leaves. Edikaikong is an Efik dish that a Yoruba girl like me loves so much and I can say I cook well too. I hope I have done it good justice.
What you will need
500g water leaves (I used baby spinach) thinly chopped
300g ugwu leaves, thinly chopped
Scotch bonnet chillies, use according to heat preference, blended or chopped
1.5-2 Csp palm oil
500g assorted meat, I used goat meat and shaki
Few pieces of ponmo
2-3tbsp Ground crayfish
Bonga fish, washed
Dried shrimps, washed
- Notes: you do not use onions in cooking this dish or the efik ‘food police’ will come knocking at your door
- Edikaikong is not meant to be a watery dish, so slow down on the addition of liquid/stock or you would end up with water leaf soup (obe gbure, pade mi ni’gunpa) which is not too bad if you ask me but that is not what you want if you are aiming for the real deal. Also you don’t need too much palm oil for this soup.
- You can still enjoy edikaikong without breaking the bank. Use whatever you can afford and also aim at getting your stock right with seasoning and salt and you might not need it for the soup.
- Because this soup does not require much liguid, I squeezed the spinach to get rid of some liquid. This is totally optional but I found out it makes my job a lot easier. I don’t have to cook the vegetable too long before taking it off the heat.
Step 1. Bring the assorted meat and any other tough protein to boil till tender with very little water, salt and seasoning only.
Step2. Add blended scotch bonnet chillies and palm oil to the meat and cook for another 10-15 minutes, this is just to make sure the palm oil cooks properly and you are not left with cold tasting palm oil when eating your edikaikong
Step 3: add ground crayfish, bonga fish and dried shrimps to the sauce and stir to combine. At this stage, check for salt and seasoning. You might want to hold on before adding salt, if you have to do at all, let it be the last thing you would add to the soup
Step 4: add the squeezed waterleaf to the pan and stir to combine, leave the pan open at this stage and cook for another 3 minutes.
Step 5: add the ugwu lastly to the pan and stir to combine. Check for salt and seasoning and adjust accordingly. Cook for another 3-5 minutes and take it off the heat.
Serve edikaikong hot with correct fufu, pounded yam or any other swallow of choice.