Sunday Soup Recipe: Ofe Nsala (White Soup)
Ofe Nsala is a delicious soup, popular in the eastern part of Nigeria which is also known as “white soup” because of its light colour, due to the absence of palm oil.
The authentic Nsala soup recipe calls for fresh whole Cat Fish, which gives this soup it’s unique taste.
Ofe Nsala is also similar to Afia Efere, which is the Efik-style white soup, but the extra condiments added to Afia Efere is what differentiates it from Nsala. Below is a simple Ofe Nsala recipe.
- Cat fish
- Chopped Utazi leaf (Fresh or dry)
- Knorr cubes and salt to taste
- Fresh pepper
- Yam for thickening
- Cut the catfish into 1 inch thick cylindrical discs and remove the intestines. Place in bowl and pour very hot water on the fish. This process of pouring hot water on the fish toughens the skin of the fish so that the pieces do not disintegrate while cooking the soup. Leave for about 2 minutes and wash the fish with cold water. You should also wash off any slimy substance on the outer skin of the fish at this time.
- Boil a few cubes of raw white yam. When soft, pound with a mortar and pestle till a smooth paste is formed, then set aside. In the absence of a mortar and pestle, you can place the cooked yam in a blender, add a little hot water and blend until smooth (you can use the hot water you cooked the yams in).
- Wash the utazi leaves then blend the pepper and the crayfish and set aside. Utazi is bitter in taste and only used for flavouring so one or two leaves should be enough especially when using the fresh leaves.
1. Place the catfish in a pot and pour enough water to cover the fish. Add the knorr and salt then cook till it’s half done.
2. When the catfish is almost done, add the utazi leaves, ogiri and blended crayfish and pepper. Also add the yam paste in small lumps.
3. Cover the pot and allow the contents to cook at high heat till all the yam paste has dissolved. While cooking, if you think that the yam paste will make the soup too thick, you can remove some that are yet to dissolve.
For a richer soup, you can also add;
- Dried fish
- Stock fish
- Chicken pieces
- Beef pieces
Note: Cook separately any of the above and add to Nsala soup while adding the ingredients.
Ofe Nsala is ready to be served with Pounded Yam, Eba (Garri), Semolina or Amala. Enjoy!
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