Cooking the Perfect Oha Soup: A Step-by-Step Guide
Oha soup, a delightful traditional Nigerian dish, is not only a source of nourishment but also a representation of cultural heritage. Derived from the Oha leaves, this soup is characterised by its rich flavour and unique aroma. In this comprehensive guide, we will take you through the process of cooking oha soup, providing you with a step-by-step approach to achieving a delicious pot of soup..
Before embarking on your oha soup cooking journey, ensure you have the following ingredients at hand:
- 2 cups of shredded oha leaves
- 500g of assorted meats (beef, goat meat, tripe)
- 2 tablespoons of palm oil
- 1 tablespoon of ground crayfish
- 2 tablespoons of ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon of ogiri (locust bean paste) - optional
- 1 medium-sized onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons of ground ukpaka (African oil bean seeds) - optional
- 2 cups of meat or fish stock
- Salt to taste
Step 1: PREPARE THE ASSORTED MEATS AND STOCK
- Rinse the assorted meats thoroughly under running water.
- In a pot, place the meats, add chopped onions, ground pepper, and salt. Cover and cook until tender, adding water as necessary.
- Once the meats are cooked, strain the stock and set it aside for later use.
Step 2: PREPARE THE OHA LEAVES
- Start by washing the oha leaves to remove any dirt. You can do this by placing the leaves in a bowl of water and gently agitating them.
- Carefully shred the oha leaves into small pieces using a sharp knife. Ensure the leaves are finely cut to enhance the overall texture of the soup.
Step 3: PREPARE THE PALM OIL MIXTURE
- In a separate pot, heat the palm oil over medium heat until it becomes clear and loses its red colour.
- Add the ground crayfish and stir to combine.
- If you choose to use ukpaka, add it to the palm oil mixture and stir.
Step 4: COMBINE THE INGREDIENTS
- Slowly pour the meat or fish stock into the palm oil mixture while stirring continuously. This will help prevent the palm oil from curdling.
- Allow the mixture to simmer for a few minutes to combine the flavours.
Step 5: ADD THE ASSORTED MEATS AND OHA LEAVES
- Gently add the assorted meats to the palm oil and stock mixture. Stir well to ensure the meats are evenly distributed.
- Let the mixture cook for about 10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
Step 6: INCORPORATE THE OHA LEAVES
- Finally, add the shredded oha leaves to the pot. Stir gently to avoid breaking the leaves.
- If you choose to use ogiri, dissolve it in a small amount of stock and add it to the soup at this stage.
- Allow the soup to simmer for an additional 5-7 minutes, allowing the oha leaves to soften and release their distinct aroma
Step 7: TASTE AND ADJUST
- Taste the oha soup and adjust the seasoning if necessary by adding more salt or pepper according to your preference.
- Remember, oha soup is known for its balanced flavours, so be cautious not to overpower it with seasoning.
Step 8: SERVE AND ENJOY!
- Once the oha leaves are tender and the flavours are well combined, your oha soup is ready to be served.
- Oha soup is traditionally enjoyed with fufu, pounded yam, or garri. Serve it alongside any of these staples for a complete and satisfying meal.