EdikangIkong - An indigenous Efik delight!

By 2/24/2016 , , ,

On the menu today is the richly delicious and highly nutritious Edikang-Ikong soup which is indigenous to the Efiks from Akwa-Ibom and Calabar in the South Eastern parts of Nigeria. The Efiks are a people with very rich cultural and traditional practices; that has been passed on from generations to generations. Examples are their cultural dances, their rich cultural adornments, their masquerade displays and one of the most notable is the fattening room for brides where the young girls go through a process of being prepared for marriage and womanhood. They are massaged with scented oils and locally made lotions, given beautiful adornments and fed with the best dishes for a few months until they are robust and ready for marriage. How delightful! Food is good!

Edikang-Ikong is a very delicious dish that can be served at home for the family or at any special occasion. Its main ingredients are the Ugwu (Pumpkin leaves) and water leaves (Spinach) these two vegetables coming together makes a power blend. Together they both contain Vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B and vitamin K and iron. These vegetables boost blood volume and fights anemia, aids vision improvement, heals wounds and adds such amazing benefits to the skin. It is no wonder that Efiks always have such good looking skin!

I remember the first time I had this dish, I had actually just returned home from boarding school and my sister was in the kitchen making it, I remember thinking Oh! She was at it again. I actually credit all of my cooking skills to my older sister, who was so catering practical oriented (as she called it) so full of whipping up delicious meals, in my eyes she was amazing! And when she was done, the dish was indeed great, she made hers that day with goat meat and even though I have tried mine with beef at other times, my preference is still Edikang-ikong with goat meat. It is absolutely delicious!

Beautiful people, beautiful culture, delicious food. Let’s cook!


1) Ugwu (pumpkin leaves) 600g

2) Water leaves (spinach) 800g

3) Fresh Goat meat 1kg

4) Tripe (Shaki) 200g

5) Kpomo 100g ( chopped into cubes)

6) Stock fish150g

7) Dried fish 200g

8) Crayfish (Blended) 75g

9) Periwinkle 1 cup/ 80g

10) Palm oil I cup or 80ml

11) Fresh Scotch bonnets (Atarodo)

12) 2 medium sized onions

13) Seasoning 20g

14) Salt 2g

1) First of all prepare all the ingredients by washing and slicing them accordingly. You mustn’t be intimidated by the long list of ingredients; the long list does not infer that the dish is difficult to put together, it is in fact very easy and I always say that there is no cheap Efik dish, especially when you are going all out to make the dish appetizing. The upside is that the end result is always an amazing delicacy and it is always so worth it!

2) Make sure you wash the Ugwu (pumpkin leaves) and water leaves (Spinach) separately and put them in two separate sieves so as to get all the water out from both vegetables

3) In a clean pot, add in the goat meat, tripe (shaki),kpomo (cow skin),stockfish, all of the seasoning and salt, allow this to simmer for 5 minutes or until all the seasoning has infused into the meats, then add one and a half cup of water.

Cooks tip: this dish requires little or no stock at all, the red palm oil and the water leaves serves as excellent substitutes for the stock, you only need enough water to cook the meats until tender and remember that most cuts of meats produce their own juices when being boiled, so it is best to go easy on the water you add.

4) Boil the meat for about 25 minutes.

Cooks tip: Goat meat does not take long cook but the shaki (tripe) does, so you need to watch out for this. I have chopped the kpomo (cow skin) into small cubes, so that for every mouthful of Edikang-Ikong, there are tiny pieces of kpomo, periwinkles and fish all over the soup. You can leave yours whole if you wish, it is totally up to you

5) When the meat is almost ready, add in the dried fish, just so it doesn’t totally scatter into the soup, this adds a depth of smokiness into the dish and you want to have good pieces to chew on when the soup is ready. Allow to cook for 3 minutes

6) Add in the palm oil into the meats and allow to simmer for 5 minutes or until well mixed with the parboiled meats

7) Add in the blended crayfish and mix well, give this a minute before adding in the roughly chopped fresh scotch bonnets. Now it is no secret that I love spicy food that’s why I never measure the chilies I add into my pot, I add as much as I desire and it always comes out right. Please feel free to do the same too

8) Mix all of the ingredients thoroughly and what you will get is a rich thick sauce, now that’s our goal!

9) Add the periwinkles and stir as well, then quickly add in the water leaves. As I said earlier, the water leaves is a perfect way to bring in water into this dish because it secretes its own juices once it is on the fire. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes and nothing more, you don’t want to overcook the vegetables but you also need to cook it long enough so the juices are released

10) Finally add in the Ugwu (pumpkin leaves) and stir well once again, taste for salt and add if desired. allow to simmer for another 4 minutes and your delicious and highly nourishing Edikang-Ikong soup is ready! Serve hot with pounded yam or fufu and the rest is history my dear!

Be Inspired!


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  1. Now, this looks so enticing! It's like I should print a copy out and eat with my Afternoon's Eba! Great cook we have here!