Fried Egusi Soup
In my earlier post on Egusi soup (lumpy Egusi soup) I mention that there are numerous ways Egusi soup can be prepared in Nigeria cuisine. Fried Egusi soup is another delectable way to get egusi soup on the dinner table. It is easy and very straightforward to prepare. Egusi seed (melon seed) is nutty, mildly sweet and contains a very rich oil. It is common to most parts of Nigeria.
For Fried Egusi soup, the dry ground egusi seed is fried in warm palm oil till it looks dry or a bit sandy. The resulting soup is mushy without clumps of egusi. The taste is a bit different from the lumpy boiled egusi soup. Well cooked fried egusi soup favours pounded yam as an accompaniment.
For more information on egusi, its uses etc., visit my post on Egusi soup (Lumpy Egusi Soup).
To prepare fried egusi soup
3 cups egusi meat stockfish dry fish 3/4 cup palm oil (3 standard cooking spoons) 2 medium onions (1 cup chopped) 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons ground crayfish (seperated) 20g ogili okpei 5 scotch bonnet (fresh pepper) 3 seasoning cubes salt 15g uziza leaf (shredded, optional or uziza seed) 300g ugu leaf (shredded, fluted pumpkin leaf) 7-8 cups stock and water
Wash meat and stock fish and place in a medium-size pot over medium flame.
Add enough water to cover the meat. Season with salt and seasoning cube. You can add some sliced onions.
Boil till meat is tender.
Soak the dry fish in boiling hot water for about 2 minutes, drain and rinse well in cold water.
Debone and add to the pot of boiling meat. See post on How to wash dry fish.
While the meat is boiling, grind egusi seed, using the dry mill of your blender.
Chop onions and grind or chop the pepper.
Mash ogili okpei in a little hot water.
Wash uziza and ugu leaves and shred.
In a dry pot, put palm oil, when warmed through, add onions and fry.
Before onions soften add ground egusi powder and fry.
Keep stirring the egusi to avoid burning it.
Fry egusi till it starts looking dry, grainy or sandy instead of creamy, it has lost moisture and released oil.
Add stock and water, stir well.
Add meat, stock fish, dry fish, crayfish, ogili okpei, pepper and seasoning cubes, stir well, taste and add salt.
Keep cooking until the rawness has gone out of the egusi and red oil coats the top, about 10 minutes.
Add uziza leaves and boil for 3 minutes.
Then add ugu leaves and the remaining 2 tablespoons ground crayfish. Boil for another 3 minutes till leaves are tender.
Take off the heat. It will thicken a little more as it cools down.
Serve with any swallow of choice, e.g Pounded yam, garri, semovita etc. or plain boiled rice.
Leftover egusi soup can be used to make egusi jollof rice. It is simply awesome, I will post the recipe soon.
Do you have any comments, questions or suggestions, please leave a comment below.
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