Egusi Soup is one of the most popular soups in Nigeria because it is consumed by a lot of Ethnic groups including the Yorubas and the Igbos. Even those tribes which Egusi Soup is not native to, have somehow found a way to incorporate this delicious soup into their diets and culture.
Egusi Soup is also called melon soup because it is made from melons. It is very rich in protein and natural fats. Egusi soup can be consumed with most swallow meals including Eba (Garri), Semovita, Pounded Yam, Tuwo and Wheat. It can also be spiced up with assorted meat oats, fish, crayfish, locust beans and other delicious ingredients.
To prepare a tasty pot of Egusi Soup, this is how to go about it;
To cook a pot of egusi soup, you would need
- Egusi(Melon Seeds) 600g
- Vegetables (Pumpkin leaves, Bitter Leaves or Spinach).
- Palm Oil(2 Cooking Spoons)
- Ground Crayfish( 3 tablespoons)
- Fish(Stock or Dried Fish)
- Cow Tripe(Shaki)
- Stock Cubes(3 Small Cubes)
- I tablespoon of Locust Beans (Optional).
- Dry Pepper
- Salt to taste.
- Wash your dried stockfish and soak it in hot water for about 20 minutes to soften it. If you are using the softer stock fish, you might only need to soak it for some minutes in cold water but as for the stronger type of stockfish, hot water is needed to soften it and also to eliminate germs and bacteria which might have stuck to the body of the fish during the drying and selling process.
- Remove the bones from the already soft fish and break up into not too small chunks.
- Ground your egusi (melon) seeds using a dry mill.
- Ground your dry pepper and crayfish as well.
- Wash your vegetable thoroughly and cut into very tiny pieces.
- Boil the cow tripe (Shaki) and stock fish in one liter of water and stock cubes. Boil until the Cow tripe becomes very soft then add in the beef and cook till very soft. The general rule here is to start from the toughest meat or fish and add the softer ones in later in order to prevent the softer ones from becoming marshy while the tougher ones still remain undone.
- Put a dry pot on fire and pour in the red palm oil. Leave the oil to heat up a little bit and become translucent.
- Now, it’s time to start adding in and stir-frying your egusi soup. You should add it in bit by bit and stir-fry until the entire egusi becomes golden yellow in color. This should take about 10 minutes.
- Add in the water from cooking the fish and meat (stock) little by little until the soup has the consistency you want. Egusi soup mustn’t be too thick or too watery either.
- Cover up the pot and let it cook for about 30 minutes but don’t forget to keep stirring at intervals so that the soup doesn’t get burnt.
- Add in your crayfish, ground pepper and your vegetables and stir. Then leave the pot covered for a few minutes.
- Add in your stockfish, meat and salt to taste. Then cover the pot and allow it all to simmer for a few minutes.
Now, your egusi soup is ready to be served. Enjoy it with pounded yam, Garri (Eba), Semolina, Wheat or any other solids you choose.