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Bitterleaf Soup

This meal is native to the Igbos. Despite the name “Bitterleaf soup” if well prepared should have the faintest hint of bitterness. The less bitter the soup, the better the cooking prowess of the Chef!


Washed and squeezed bitterleaf - A handful

Cocoyam – 10 small corms
Red Palm Oil – 2 cooking spoons (You may need a bit more)
Assorted Beef – Includes best cut, shaki (cow tripe)
Assorted Fish – Dry Fish and Stock Fish
Pepper, Salt and Ground Crayfish (to taste)

Seasoning – 3 Maggi or Knorr cubes

Traditional Seasoning: Iru or Ogiri - 1 teaspoon


Before you cook Bitterleaf Soup
Make sure that the bitter leaves are well washed, such that there is no trace of bitterness left. If not, wash and squeeze it more. If the bitterness cannot be completely washed off (which is usually the case with most washed bitter leaves sold in the market), boil it for about 15 minutes and wash in cold water.

How to pound cocoyam
Wash and cook the cocoyam till soft. Remove the peels and use a mortar and pestle to pound the corms to a smooth paste.

How to make it

  1. Boil the shaki (cow tripe), stock fish and dry fish in 1 litre of water till they are well done. First sign of a well done shaki is that the cuts will start curling on itself.
  2. Wash the beef and add to the pot of shaki and continue cooking. When the meat is done, add 3 cubes of maggi/knorr and cook for 5 minutes.
  • How to add cocoyam to the soup
  1. Add pepper, ground crayfish, bitter leaves (if they have not been parboiled) and cook for 10 minutes.
  2. Then add the cocoyam paste (in small lumps) and the palm oil.

Note: If the bitter leaves were parboiled to remove the bitterness, then for this step; add pepper, ground crayfish, the cocoyam paste (in small lumps), the bitter leaves and the palm oil. In other words, add all the ingredients at this stage.

     3. Cover the pot and leave to cook on high heat till all the cocoyam lumps have dissolved. You can add more water if you feel that the soup is too thick.
     4. Add salt to taste and the soup is ready



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