Its only right that my first post be Afang Soup. I mean, it is Afang Soup!!! That is the one soup that you are sure that you'll (almost) always find a bowl of in my fridge/freezer.
Ok, let's rewind for a second here. First of all i really want to thank all of my readers, you stuck by me and urged me to keep banging out recipes and after a 2/3 year hiatus here i am again. A lot of changes have come with these past years; i moved continent, life changed 100% and most obviously we are at a new site and have had a major face lift! We are starting anew. A lot of the old recipes will eventually make it over here with new pictures and some changes but i promise you will still love it. Again, thank you!
Yes, here is what you'll need for a bangin' pot of Afang Soup...
1Kg Goat Meat
1Kg Assorted Meat (Optional)
1 Dried/Smoked Fish - De-boned and cleaned
1/2Kg Stock Fish - Washed
1 Cup of Ground Crayfish
2 Cups Chopped Spinach/Water Leaf
1.5 Cups Ground Afang/Okazi Leaves
3/4 - 1 Cup Palm Oil
Salt & Pepper
Step 1 is the most important step. This is where the flavor of your soup is built.
Clean your meat and season with salt, pepper, seasoning cubes and chopped onions and enough water to come up to the level of the meat. You want to also add your stock fish at this time so that it flavors your meat as well and it has enough time to break down.
Tip 1: Do not put too much water in your meat as you will not be able to drain it and you do not want a watery soup. Your water level should never cover the meat!
Tip 2: Cook tougher cuts of meat first, when the meat is half cooked then add other cuts such as beef. For those who don't know, if you choose to add shaki (tripe) to your soup, make sure you cook it down first as it gets extremely tough. Even if you are using a pressure cooker, cook tougher cuts first and then add other meat cuts. If you put them all in at the same time, by the time they are cooked, your other cuts of meat would have turned to mush!
When i cooked this soup, i cooked cow leg, tripe (shaki) and stock fish first for 15-20 minutes with just a little bit of water. No salt! Then i added other cuts that cook quicker (pic above), seasoned properly and cooked to my desired doneness.
As much as possible i do not add any additional water to this soup when i cook because i like a thick Afang Soup, also because i do not want to water down my flavor, but feel free to add a little at a time until you get your desired consistency.
When your meat is cooked, your soup is more than 60% cooked so it's best to have everything else prepped and ready to go.
Add dried fish...
Ground crayfish... (i did i rough blend of crayfish, half an onion and habanero peppers)
Periwinkle, snails and any other seafood or shellfish (optional) would go in now.
Hint Hint - I recently discovered Apple Snails at an Asian grocer near me and that's my new go to so i get to save my more expensive larger African snails. :)
Turn the heat down and allow the soup to cook for 5 - 7 minutes.
Add palm oil and allow to cook for another 5 minutes or till your oil turns from red to a brown-orange color. You do not want your soup tasting of raw palm oil. Season and taste.
Add afang/okazi and stir gently. Allow to simmer on low heat for 3 minutes.
Add your chopped, washed spinach/water leaf and mix properly. Then turn the heat off IMMEDIATELY! You want a vibrant green soup, not brown overcooked vegetables.
Tip 3: As you wash your spinach/waterleaf, squeeze was much water out of it as you can, even if you're using chopped frozen spinach in a bag. It can quickly make your soup more watery than you had originally intended.
Tip 4: You can grind your afang 3 ways; If you're in Nigeria, you can grind your afang in the market. Just ask. If you're in the diaspora or do not want to grind it in the market, you can put it in your blender and add a little water at a time and blend it. Please do not turn it into a smoothie. Lol. If you are blending it, you should be even more watchful of the water level in your soup. If your blender has a dry mill, you can also use it to grind your afang dry but this is the most tedious method.
Afang blended with a little bit of water...
Next, enjoy your soup!