Bitter leaf soup, also known as Ofe Onugbu, is a popular Nigerian dish known for its distinct bitter taste and rich flavor. This soup is made with bitter leaves, assorted meats, and traditional African spices. Follow these 5 easy steps to prepare a delicious pot of Bitter Leaf Soup:
Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients
Before you start, ensure you have all the necessary ingredients:
- 2 cups bitter leaves (fresh or washed dried bitter leaves)
- Assorted meats (such as beef, cow foot, tripe, or goat meat) – about 1 lb
- Stockfish and dry fish (optional) – soaked in water to soften
- Palm oil – 1/2 cup
- 1 medium-sized onion (chopped)
- 2 tablespoons ground crayfish
- 2 tablespoons ground pepper (cayenne pepper or any hot pepper of your choice)
- 1 teaspoon ground uziza seeds (optional for extra flavor)
- 2 stock cubes (seasoning cubes)
- Salt to taste
Step 2: Prepare the Bitter Leaves
If you are using fresh bitter leaves, wash them thoroughly in cold water to reduce the bitterness. Soak the washed bitter leaves in warm water with a pinch of salt for about 5 minutes. Then, rinse and drain the leaves. If you are using dried bitter leaves, wash and soak them in cold water for at least 30 minutes, then rinse and drain.
Step 3: Cook the Assorted Meats
In a large pot, add the assorted meats and enough water to cover them. Season with chopped onions, stock cubes, and salt. Cook the meats over medium heat until they are tender. If using stockfish and dry fish, add them to the pot along with the meats.
Step 4: Add Palm Oil and Spices
Once the meats are tender, add the palm oil to the pot and stir well. Allow the palm oil to dissolve into the soup. Then, add the ground crayfish, ground pepper, and ground uziza seeds (if using). Stir the ingredients together to infuse the soup with rich flavors.
Step 5: Add Bitter Leaves and Adjust Seasoning
Add the soaked and drained bitter leaves to the pot. Stir the soup and let it simmer for about 5-10 minutes to allow the bitter leaves to cook and soften. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning with salt and additional spices, if needed, to suit your preference.
Cooking Bitter Leaf Soup is a straightforward process that results in a flavorful and nutritious dish. With these 5 easy steps, you can enjoy the authentic taste of Nigerian cuisine right in your home. Serve the Bitter Leaf Soup with your favorite side dishes, such as fufu, rice, or yam, for a hearty and satisfying meal. So, get ready to indulge in the unique and delightful flavors of Bitter Leaf Soup with family and friends!