How to cook Yam and Dried Fish Pepper Soup Porridge (Ji Mmiri Oku)
Ji Mmiri Oku is a Yam and Dried Fish Pepper Soup Porridge relished by the Ibos in eastern Nigeria.
It is a traditional meal that is usually prepared for new moms, to heal up their tears from childbirth. Ji Mmiri Oku is not only for new moms. It can also be enjoyed by all and is a popular meal during the popular new yam festival – Ofala.
– 1 small-sized tuber of Yam
– Dried fish (usually dried catfish or Mangala)
– 2 scotch bonnet peppers/ 1 tablespoonful ground chili pepper
– 2 tablespoonful ground Crayfish (or 1 handful whole crayfish)
– 1 medium sized Onion (chopped)
– 2 tablespoons pepper soup spices mix
– 3 pieces Scent leaves(nchawun or efirin)
– 3 pieces Uziza leaves (Substitute: half teaspoon ground uziza seeds)
– 3 tablespoonful Palm oil
– 2 large stock cube / seasoning cube
– Salt to taste
Before cooking the pepper soup start by prepping the ingredients
– First clean the fish with hot water, to remove dirt and sand. Then take out bones and set the fish aside for later use. (If you are using mangala fish, you’ll have to parboil it a little with 1 cup of water, 1 stock cube and quarter teaspoon salt until tender because it is a tough fish.)
– Slice the scent leaves and uziza leaves and also set aside
– Grind or pound the pepper and onion together. You can also grind the crayfish together if you are using whole crayfish.
– Also cut the yams, peel off the skin and wash thoroughly in clean water, then place in a bowl of clean water and set aside. (Putting the yams in water prevents them from changing color.)
Now to cook the Ji Mmiri Oku
1. If you are using mangala fish, strain the yams and add to the pot of parboiled mangala fish.
But if you are using dried catfish, put the yams into a pot, add enough water to cover the yams add 1/2 teaspoon salt and set to a boil.
2. Then add the onions, blended peppers and cleaned dried catfish.
Also add the crayfish, the pepper soup spice mix, seasoning cube and palm oil.
Leave to cook until the yam slices are tender.
3. Finally, add the sliced leaves, simmer for 2 minutes and put off the heat.
Serve hot and enjoy!
*If you are not a big fan of yams, substitute the yams for unripe plantains or sweet potatoes.
* Uziza is optional but it gives extra nutrient and flavor to Ji Mmiri Oku.