For a typical Calabar woman, the Edikang-Ikong is the king of soups and the planning that goes into its preparation shows that it is meant for kings.
Edikang-Ikong is a very expensive Nigerian dish and arguably Nigeria's most popular cosmopolitan dish, though every dime put into it is worth its while.
This special delicacy is prepared with vegetable pumpkin leaves (IkongUbong), water leaf (MmongmmongIkong), fish, meat, periwinkle (Mfiikpok), palm oil, Crayfish and other essential ingredients. It is best eaten with either fufu, garri, semovita or pounded yam.
Assorted meat (beef, oxtail, tripe, ponmo, (cow hide), bokoto (cow leg), or bush meat)
Snails (washed with lemon and limes)
Dry fish (thoroughly washed)
Whole dry prawns (cleaned)
Fresh pumpkin leaves (IkongUbong), washed and shredded
Fresh waterleaf, (MmongmmongIkong), washed and shredded
Salt to taste
How to prepare Edikang Ikong Soup
Wash the meat thoroughly and place in a large pot. Add some sliced onions, ground chilies and some meat stock. Place on heat and cook for 30minutes. Meanwhile, remove the snail from the shells and wash thoroughly with lime or lemon juice to remove slime. Wash the smoked dry fish with salt and soak in slightly salted water for 5minutes in order to kill any insect and loosen any sand or dirt. Rinse thoroughly with lots of cold water.
Top and tail the periwinkles and wash thoroughly. Add the snails, Stock-fish, dry fish, dry prawns and periwinkles to the pot of meat and cook for another 10minutes and add more stock fish if required.
Finally, add the shredded IkongUbong (pumpkin leaves) and waterleaf, mix in properly. Allow to simmer for 15minutes and then add the crayfish and palm oil. Give it a good stir and gently simmer for another 10minutes, until well blended and the aroma fills your kitchen.
Remove from heat and serve hot with fufu, garri, pounded yam or semovita.
Tomorrow: Afang Soup