Just like music and movies, food is one good way of exploring other people’s culture. People have through their taste buds, traveled to places where their feet may never touch. That’s the power of food.
This is another opportunity to let your mouth go where your feet might take years to reach. Let’s learn about the Fisherman’s soup.
Fisherman’s soup is basically, a seafood broth made with Palm oil. The name of the soup has a history attached to it. It’s said to be the easy-to-prepare soup for fishermen while out at sea hence the name.
Fisher man soup is predominantly prepared and eaten by the people who are from the riverine areas of Nigeria like Bayelsa, Rivers and the other Cross riverine areas. History has it that fishing has always being a dominant profession in the riverine parts of Nigeria and the fishermen eat most of what they catch. In the early days the fisher men, with the little palm oil they carried with them, would make soups out of their catch and sometimes eat it with roasted yam.
Fisherman’s soup is not only consumed in Nigeria. In Hungary, it is called halászlé, particularly in the Danube and Tisza river regions. It is also a popular dish among ethnic German Donauschwaben and their descendants, known as Karpfensuppe.
Seafood is high in protein with low calories, total fat and saturated fat. It is high in vitamins and minerals. Since fish contains omega 3 fatty acids, it contributes to the neurological development in infants. It also contributes to vision development and nerve growth in the retina of the eyes.
Here are the ingredients you need:
One whole cat fish; cleaned, gutted and cut into steaks (medium-large).
One medium to large Onion.
Half a pound of shrimp, some fresh periwinkle (deshelled).
Palm oil about 40mls(add more if you want to).
One habanero pepper (ata-rodo).
One finger cayenne or chili pepper.
One bell pepper.
A hand full of garri for thickening (make sure it is soaked), or ponded cocoyam or yam.
Salt to taste.
1 table spoon of dry pepper.
A hand full of chopped basil or scent leaves (Efinrin/Nchianwu).
Tomato or okra (depending on your preference).
Instructions for preparation:
*To clean fish steaks
Place fish steaks into a bowl and pour some boiling water to cover it. Leave for a few minutes and use a butter knife to scrape off the slimy exterior. This process also helps to keep the fish from breaking easily.
To cook soup:
*Put the cleaned fish into a pot
*Roughly or smoothly blend all your peppers (as you prefer) and pour over fish (some people use tomatoes too).
*Slice your onion into the pot.
*Add your dry pepper, palm oil and crayfish.
*Season with salt and bouillon.
*Pour hot water into the pot without flooding. Just right to the top of the fish then cover pot and on medium heat, bring soup to a boil. Let it cook for about 10 minutes
*Once the fish is almost done, check to see if the soup is thickened and then add your prawns.
*If the soup is still watery, add your soaked garri along with the prawns and shake the pot to combine. Do not cover the pot. Let the prawns cook until they have turned a good shade of pink. Your soup should be thickened at this point. Garnish with *Basil or scent leaves and vegetable (okra). Let soup rest for 10minutes before serving
Note: Do not stir the soup, so that you do not break the fish. Always shake the pot to combine the ingredients. Also, if you’re using crabs, add them right before you add the shrimp and let them cook for a few minutes.
Is there a local cuisine in your community with immense nutritional benefits? Please share with us in the comment section.
Recipé: Courtesy of Nigerian Lazy Chef.