Afang soup is a staple in the culinary tradition of the Efik and Ibibo people who live along the coastal states of Cross Rivers and Akwa Ibom in Nigeria. It’s actually more of a stew rather than a soup, and its main ingredients are two richly green vegetables – afang and waterleaf (aka Malabar spinach).
The soup makes its way on the dinner tables on many festivals and special occasions like weddings and christenings. Afang is grown in West Africa and is commonly found in the cuisine of Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, Congo, and Angola.
A delicious and very nutritious meal, Afang soup is a dish you’ll definitely want to try on your visit to West Africa, or – why not- even make it yourself!
- 2 lbs Malabar spinach aka "waterleaf"
- 2 oz dried Afang leaves you may find it labelled as Okazi/ Eru in stores
- 3 lbs goat meat cut into large bite-sized cubes
- ½ cup apple snails cooked and shelled
- ½ cup clams cooked and shelled
- ½ cup palm oil
- 2 red onions sliced
- 2 scotch bonnet peppers or habanero peppers, sliced
- 4 tbsp dried shrimp ground and smoked
- 3 tsp chicken bullion
- 2 tbsp cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes
- salt to taste
- Place a large stock pot over medium-low heat add a splash of palm oil and add in the onions, peppers, 1 tsp of the bullion, and the goat meat and salt and stir well.
- Cover the pot and cook for 15 minutes, then add 1/2 cup of water, place the lid back on and continue cooking for another 15 minutes, until the meat is cooked through and tender. Once it's done, take off the heat and set aside.
- Meanwhile, wash the spinach and chop off and discard the tough stems.
- Place the Afang leaves in a food processor and blitz them to roughly chop them.
- Once the meat has become tender take it off the heat.
- Add the palm oil to a deep pot and set it over medium heat. Once the oil has warmed up, add the onion and sauté for 10 minutes until lightly browned.
- Next, introduce the clams and snails and continue frying everything for 5 more minutes.
- Strain the liquid from the braised meat and reserve it. Add the goat meat to the mixture along with 2 tablespoons of the bullion, crayfish, the chopped waterleaf and some cayenne pepper if you like a more spicy kick. Stir everything well.
- When the waterleaf has wilted, stir in the Afang leaves and 1 cup of the braising liquid, lower the heat to minimum and let the mixture simmer for 10 minutes or so.
- Taste the stew and adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper to your taste.
- Once the leaves are cooked through turn off the heat and allow the stew to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.
- Serve hot with either starchy usi, tuwo masara, pounded yam or fufu on the side.