How to cook Egusi soup

Egusi soup
Egusi soup
Image source: Low Carb Africa

  Egusi soup is one of the predominant soups in Nigeria and also loved by many West African countries. It is not a tribal soup and this makes it more acceptable by all tribes.

The Nigerian Egusi soup is prepared with dried melon(egusi seed), and it is rich in fat and protein.    

Egusi seeds
Melon Seeds
Image source: Pulse.ng

After melon seed is dried, it is peeled off from its shell and then ground with grinding machine or pounded with mortar and pestle.

Most people prefer to add crayfish and pepper during the the process of grinding.

Egusi soup can be cooked in many ways but in this article, I’m only going to discuss how to prepare Fried Egusi soup and boiled or cooked Egusi soup which are the mostly preferred.

Let’s begin by listing the ingredients required.

Ingredients for cooking Nigerian Egusi soup

  • Water
  • Meat (goat or beef preferably) cut into moderate pieces
  • Kanda meat(shaki)
  • Palm oil
  • Fish
  • Stock fish
  • Shrimps
  • Onions
  • Fresh or dried pepper (Many prefer to moderately combine both)
  • Crayfish
  • Salt
  • Seasonings

Note: some people may like to add local beans but is optional as many people do not like it.

Preferred Vegetables for Egusi soup

  • Ugu leafs
  • Ukazi
  • Uziza leaf (Spinach)
  • Bitterleaf
  • Pumpkin leaf

Having taking into account the ingredients and vegetables required for cooking egusi soup, one thing I would like you to understand is that how delicious it tastes and how it looks depends on how you combine the ingredients, the quantity of ingredients used, and the timing applied for every step.

For instance, if you cook it with a lot of palm oil, it will have a different look than when you use moderate quantity of palm oil.It is advised that you get ready your vegetable and other ingredients handy before you start the main preparation as it will help you with timing.

If you can follow through with this advice then you’ll actually find out that cooking egusi soup is very easy and fun.    

Egusi soup

Egusi Soup
Image source:Pinterest

Fried Egusi method of preparation

Step 1– Ground the quantity of egusi that you want to cook. Preferably ground it with a little dried pepper and crayfish.

Step 2-Cook the meat separately with onions and fresh pepper with seasoning till they are done. Ten minutes time interval should be okay, but you may taste it to confirm.

Step 3– Boil stock fish and kanda till they are done. 10 to 15 minutes is okay but you may as well taste to confirm.

Some kanda (shaki meat) can be very strong and if that’s the case, you can remove stock fish and put it in a plate while you boil the kanda for a little more time till you are satisfied.

Step 4– Put oil(the quantity of oil is dependent on the quantity of egusi) in the pot allow it to steam a little and then put onions making sure it fries a little for few seconds or one minute and stir properly.

Step 5– Then pour in egusi and stir for one minute. Pour in some meat water and keep stirring till egusi dissolves fully.

Step 6– Pour in boiled meat and fish and also add crayfish. Please, kindly pay attention to the quantity of meat water to pour in. If you want the soup thick you may not need to pour in a lot of water, but if you want it watery you may add more water.

 Step 7– Allow soup to boil very well say for three to five minutes, you may be stirring at the same time because egusi can easily get burnt .

Step 8– Add seasoning and stir.

Step 9– Then put in the vegetable you have (Ukazi, Uziza or bitterleaf ).

Step 10– Allow everything to boil together for a few minutes. I will recommend 3 minutes. Then turn off gas.

 For boiled or cooked Egusi—

Step 1– Ground the quantity of egusi that you want to cook. Preferably ground it with a little dried pepper and crayfish.

Step 2-Cook the meat separately with onions and fresh pepper with a little seasoning till they are done. Ten minutes time interval should be okay, but you may taste it to confirm.

Step 3– Boil stock fish and kanda till they are done. 10 to 15 minutes is okay but you may as well taste to confirm. Some kanda can be very strong and if that’s the case, you can remove stock fish and put it in a plate while you boil the kanda for a little more time till you are satisfied.

Step 4— After that, pour the meat, kanda(shaki), and stock fish together with the water used in cooking them and start boiling. Please do not forget to use water according to how you want the soup;either thick or watery.

Step 5– Put egusi and stir till it fully dissolves while boiling Step 6- Pour in oil according to the quantity of egusi you are cooking.

Step 6 – Add crayfish and other seasonings and allow to cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

Step 7– Put vegetables and turn accordingly.

Step 8 – Allow everything to boil together for 3 to 5 minutes and turn off gas

Summary

In this article, I intentionally avoided the quantity of meat, oil, water or egusi to be used as that should be according cooks choice.

Nobody can exactly say for sure the quantity of whatever to use but the cook Some prefer too much oil in their Egusi soup while some do not. Some prefer it to be thick while some prefer it watery.

I recommend that the cook uses his or her discretion. It is also important to note that you can use variety of meat or fish for cooking this soup. Be it cow intestines, shrimps, smoked fish, stock fish, iced fish,snail,et cetera. It all depends on the type of meat; variety of meat or fish you would like to use.

All that really matters is that you follow the steps and you will get the desired result. Just like every other thing in life, you’ll get better as you continue cooking it.

You could even discover, learn and add your own little secrets as you perfect.

Note that Egusi soup can be eaten with garri(eba), akpu(fufu), semovita, and wheat.  

Mr. Modest is a serial entrepreneur with deep understanding in the business landscape. His experience spans through Commodity Trade, Real Estate, Hospitality, Project Management, Internet of Things (IoT), Business development, Digital marketing, and Ecommerce. Mr. Modest is the founder and Chairman of zimbooz.com a subsidiary of Icorp Global Partners limited. His love for identifying and creating businesses of great value and impact stands him out as an entrepreneur per excellence. He possesses the rolodex of entrepreneurship with the know-how, capacity and drive for results.

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