Edikang Ikong soup is a traditional Nigerian soup that is highly nutritious and protein-packed. This finger-licking delicacy is also commonly known as Nigerian Vegetable Soup.
Edikang Ikong soup is made with a generous amount of fresh leafy vegetables, goat meat, shrimps, palm oil, and other ingredients of great nutritional value. This delicious soup tastes so good and has a load of health benefits.
Edikang Ikong is a soup that is native to the Efik people from the Cross River, and Akwa Ibom states in Nigeria.
Because of the assorted meats and variety of proteins used to make this soup, it used to be known as “rich man’s food.” However, it is now enjoyed all over the country.
Edikang Ikong is primarily made from Waterleaf (Malabar spinach) and Ugwu leaves (fluted pumpkin leaves).
Waterleaf is native to the Americas and the Caribbean but is now widely cultivated all over the world. Ugwu leaves (also known as Ugu leaves) are another popular leafy vegetable native to West Africa.
These leaves are nourishing and are a fantastic source of Vitamin A, folate, and calcium. Some other health benefits of these leaves are:
- Help to reduce the risk of some types of cancer.
- Lower blood pressure.
- Naturally boost the immune system.
- Improves blood production.
- Helps in weight loss.
These are only a few of the numerous and incredible health benefits of this savory soup; what’s not to love about it?
- Vegetables: Waterleaf (Malabar spinach), ugwu leaves (fluted pumpkin leaves). These are the traditional leafy greens used for this recipe.
- Spices: Cayenne pepper (or ground pepper), bouillon or Maggi stock cubes, ground crayfish, salt.
- Protein: Goat meat, smoked or dried fish, and shrimp.
- Other ingredients: Palm oil, onion, water, and stock.
Edikang Ikong takes quite a lot of preparation. For example, to make the soup, you would need to wash the vegetables, cook the goat meat separately and then use the stock for the Edikang Ikong soup.
I’ll suggest you cook and prepare the goat meat and vegetables a day before to reduce your prep time and make things easier.
make things easier.
There are lots of variations to making this soup, but below is one of the most common methods used in making Nigerian Edikaikong soup.
- First, wash and cut the goat meat into small pieces or your preferred size (if not already cut).
- Put it into a pot and pour just enough water to cover it.
- Add the chopped onions, bouillon or Maggi cubes, salt, and pepper.
- Boil till soft (about 40-45 minutes should be enough).
- Take out the meat and leave the stock in the pot for the soup.
- While the goat meat is cooking, wash and drain the leaves.
- Leave in a colander to get rid of excess water while you prepare the soup.
- Edikang Ikong is not a watery soup so add just a little water to the stock in the pot.
- Add the shrimp, smoked catfish, beef & spices. Boil for 15 – 20 minutes on medium heat.
- Add the waterleaf and ugu leaves. Stir and taste for salt.
- Pour in the palm oil. Simmer for 10 mins on low heat.
You can store Edikang Ikong in the refrigerator for up to five days and two weeks in the freezer before it starts to lose its taste. To reheat:
- Put it on low heat for 5 to 10 mins if from the fridge.
- Add a few drops of water, so it doesn’t burn.
If from the freezer, leave it to thaw entirely before warming on the stove for a few minutes.
- For best results, use the recommended leafy greens to get the full nutritious and delicious taste from the soup, but spinach and kale would substitute nicely.
- If you particularly enjoy spicy food, you can make it a whole lot spicier by adding scotch bonnet pepper or more cayenne pepper.
- I use goat meat but any animal protein will work for this recipe.
- If the soup turns out too watery, add more vegetables and simmer on low heat for 5 to 10 minutes.