How To Cook Ikokore: Water Yam Porridge
The Yoruba’s are responsible for lots of Nigerian delicacies and Ikokore is one of them. This meal is very popular amongst the Ijebu people, in fact, it’s so popular lots of songs has been sung about it. One of the songs encourages women married to Ijebu men to always cook it for them.
I knew the name Ikokore but what I didn’t know at the time was that it’s a meal prepared with water yam. I realized this while making a research on what I can do with a tuber of water yam I bought by mistake thinking it was a regular yam. After my research I invited a friend of mine whom I know loves Ikokore, we prepared it together and it was an instant YES for me.
Below is the recipe we used and how we prepared it. Check it out and don’t forget to leave us your thoughts after you have tried it.
- Water yam
- 3 Tablespoons dry ground pepper
- 1-2 Habanero pepper
- 1-2 Pieces Dried Fish (Optional)
- 2 Cups Shredded cooked beef
- 3 Tablespoons Crayfish
- 1 Teaspoon Ogiri (Fermented Locust Beans)
- 2 Knorr Chicken Cubes of your preferred bouillon cubes
- Salt to taste
- First, blend the habanero pepper
- Peel the yams completely.
- Cut the yams up into small chunks,
- Grate the water yam. You want to use the smallest part on your grater, as we want a mush.
- After grating the Water Yam, add into a clean bowl, then add Seasoning or Salt, 1 tablespoon Crayfish and mix together
- Place a medium-size pot on a hob on medium heat. When it’s hot, add the palm oil, then the Locust Beans. Sauté the Locust Beans for a minute, then add the blended Pepper, then the Knorr Cubes and Salt to taste.
- Leave to fry for about 10 minutes until oil floats to the top, stir always to prevent burning…
- Add water and then cook for another 2 minutes…
- Add the Shredded Cooked Meats, Fish and any other proteins you’re using, then the Ogiri, leave to cook for 10 minutes…
- After 10 minutes, remove all the meat and fish from the stew, leaving just the stew in the pot.
- Reduce the heat, now scoop the grated yam into the stew, do this in both big and small lumps. The small lumps will dissolve in the stew, forming a mushy type consistency while the bigger lumps will create the lumpy Ikokore consistency. Do not stir, leave the contents to boil for 8-10 minutes on low heat…
- After 10 minutes you can stir a bit using a wooden spatula. Stir and break up clumps if you find it too clumpy or leave as it is if you don’t mind, then, taste for salt and seasoning,
- Transfer the cooked meats and fish back into the pot, add the rest of the crayfish and combine gently, be careful when doing this so you don’t break the clumps…
- Leave to simmer for 3 – 5 minutes and it’s ready…
- Serve Ikokore on its own or with Cold Eba.