How to cook Ofe Nsala (White Soup)
No brainer this soup will be plain in colour and this is due to the absence of palm oil in it. The authentic Nsala soup recipe calls for fresh whole Cat Fish, which gives it its unique taste. But in the absence of whole catfish, catfish fillets or conger eel can be used.
Ofe Nsala is also similar to Afia Efere, which is the Efik-style white soup, but the extra condiments added to Afia Efere are what differentiates it from the typical Nsala.
– 1 medium-sized Catfish (Substitute: Conger eel, they taste almost the same)
– 5 small-sized raw Yam cubes or Yam Powder
– 2 tablespoonful chopped Utazi Leaves or parsley (optional)
– 1 tablespoonful ground Crayfish
– 1 teaspoonful Ogiri or Iru
– 1 tablespoonful chopped Onions (optional)
– Chili pepper to taste
– 1-2 Stock cubes /Seasoning cubes
– Salt to taste
For a richer soup, you could add:
– Dried fish
– Stock fish
– Chicken or beef pieces
- If you want to add beef, chicken, stock fish or dried fish to your Nsala soup; season and cook the meat or dried fish , with onions, seasoning cube and salt to taste. Cook until done and set aside
- Peel the yam cubes and boil until soft, then pound to a smooth paste, using a mortar and pestle.
In the absence of a mortar and pestle, you can place the cooked yam in a food processor/blender, add a little hot water and blend until smooth (you could use the hot water you cooked the yams in).
If what you have is yam powder, boil some hot water, add the powder and stir continuously until you get a smooth paste (just like the texture of pounded yam).
Then, Set the yam paste aside for later use.
- Next, place the catfish into a pot, pour enough water to cover it, add the chopped onions, seasoning cube and salt to taste. Cook for about 10-15 minutes or until the fish is almost done. If you’ll be adding the catfish head, add it first and leave to boil for about 1 minute before adding the other fish parts. This is because the head of the catfish is a bit tough and if added at the same time, the other fish parts will cook faster and even break to pieces before the fish head is done.
- Now, add the pepper, crayfish and ogiri/iru. If you’re cooking this soup with chicken/beef or dried fish, this is the time to add the cooked meat and dried fish(in step 1) to the pot.
- Also, add the yam paste bit by bit and leave the soup to cook until the paste is completely dissolved and the fish is well done.
- Finally, add the utazi leaves, taste for salt and simmer for 30 seconds. Remember the utazi leaf is optional, so don’t bother if you don’t have it.
Tip: Ofe Nsala (White Soup) is usually served with Pounded Yam , Fufu, Amala, Eba, Semolina or Pounded Yam