Okra soup is something that’s grown on me tremendously over the years, as a child I used to protest against it and opt for something else. Now I find it intensely satisfying, providing comfort when I‘m in need. My latest version of Okra soup may be displeasing to some as it shares a different take on how traditional Nigerian Okra soup is made and whilst this may be true, I see nothing wrong with providing a different take on this using ingredients that are easily accessible. As mentioned in my video (please see video below) I have adapted it to how I cook and sometimes like to eat.
The turning point…
for me was a seafood okra I sampled at a small local kitchen 20 minutes from our home in Lagos. The Okra had little to zero ounce of palm oil, but the fragrant scent and taste of scotch bonnets along with the perfect balance of salt, ground crayfish and stock was unbelievably delicious, so much so I often found myself craving and fantasising about it. Sadly, no matter how many attempts I tried to recreate it at home I still haven’t quite reached there yet. However, I’ve developed something that I’m equally happy with and that is the recipe I’ll be sharing with you, please see below for ingredients.
1 litre fish stock
2 cups of Chopped Kale
2 Scotch bonnets chillies
1 onion, chopped
2 x Knorr stock cube
Bay leaf, (optional)
1 teaspoon freshly crushed Ginger (optional)
1 teaspoon crayfish
1 teaspoon smoked ground prawns
Red Seabream perfect for this as it’s meaty & can hold quite well.
Tiger prawns, quite expensive but are great. Alternatively use prawns or shrimps. My ideal pot of soup would include crabs and mussels but I wanted to start of small and whilst I build confidence in cooking with delicate Seafood items.
Important Prep and cooking notes
Chop the Okra into 1 cm chunks, I also like to use kale for this recipe as it provides great texture. Alternatively you can use spinach or pumpkin leaves. Roughly chop the kale too. If you want a more soupy consistency then blitz the okra in a food processor or blender prior to cooking.
Cooking the Fish: fish is very tender and cooks rather quickly, in the video I cooked the prawns with the seabream but I would recommend cooking the prawns separately, for about 2-3 minutes both sides before adding to the soup. If you would like to cook the prawns with the fish like I did, then cook for no longer than 6 minutes. Grilling them can also provide great flavour but be careful not to overcook as it can provide a tough rubbery texture.