Its really funny how i now eat AND enjoy a lot of the meals that i couldn't stand growing up; Beans, Oha Soup, Bitterleaf Soup, a whole lot of other stuff and Okra. My hatred for Okra Soup was so bad that i was talking to my mum one day and mentioned that i wanted to cook it and she screamed and reminded me of every day she had to make an alternative meal for me. Oh well, i guess something must have changed. Lol!
I have 2 major recipes for Okra Soup, but i like this one a lot because it really is no fuss, it is light and brings in all of that seafood goodness. And it cooks in 30 minutes!
500Grm Okra - Chopped
2 Tablespoons Ground Crayfish
2 Tablespoons Palm Oil
3 Seasoning Cubes
Salt & Pepper
I'll start by saying that crawfish in its fresh, raw and unglorified state is NASTY! It is muddy and filthy and stinks to high heavens. The first time i tried to cook crawfish, as soon as i got home and took a second look at it i nearly put it all in the garbage, but i persevered because it tastes sooooo good!
The first thing you want to do is purge your crawfish. Simply put, you want to help it clean itself from the inside.
Transfer your live crawfish very carefully into a bowl. Carefully because these little buggers are aggressive, they will try to get everywhere and they can pinch you!
Pour some salt over it and run enough water over it to cover it, then add more salt.
Use a long handle spoon to stir it around so as to loosen all the dirt in and around it. Pour into a colander to drain and repeat until you have clear water, then set aside. I would rather you not try to decant the water because again, they will try to escape, plus you will have dirt at the bottom of the bowl, no matter how many times you rinse. (Pic below is before the first wash)
Put catfish in a pot and season with salt, pepper, 1 seasoning cube and half an onion. Catfish is a little tougher to cook, so cooks longer and develops more flavor. Add 3 (measuring) cups of water and cover, allow to cook at medium temperature for 10 minutes.
While the catfish cooks, chop your okra and set aside. I know it might seem like a good idea to buy the pre-cut, bagged up, frozen okra but it really isn't. Its dark (almost black in most cases) and mushy and tasteless and who knows how long its been sitting in that freezer. You can't beat fresh!
When the catfish is cooked, but is still firm, add mussels and clams and cover the pot for 2 minutes. The steam will pop open the shells and it will begin to add depth to the flavor of your stock.
At the end of the 2 minutes, add okra, ground crayfish and remaining 2 seasoning cubes. Stir and cover again for 3 minutes.
Finally add remaining seafood and palm oil. (I know that some of the seafood I've used here might be intimidating to some, but like I've said a thousand times, i eat EVERYTHING. Feel free to edit as suits you).
You will know that your crawfish is cooked when it turns a bright red color. Remember never to overcook your seafood and your okra as well. We want the seafood tender, not rubbery and the okra to still have a bit of a bite.
Cook for no more than an additional 3 minutes. Stir properly and turn off the heat.
There you go, Seafood Okra that Poseidon himself would want a piece of!