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BN Cuisine with Chef Fregz: Guilt Free Edikainkong

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BN Fam! Ki lon sele?!
Two weeks ago, I started a series on how we can eat and enjoy Nigerian food on a lighter note. Someone said “err but Chef Fregz our forefathers didn’t do all this FitFam cooking things and they were alright” I replied saying, “Sister, this is 2014 we don’t have healthy walks to the farm anymore nor do we engage in long treks to the stream to get water. All that exercise was used to burn all that palm oil fat and those carbs from the rice and yam.

People are we doing exercises? If not let’s start abeg. Small Small. Start with walking 4 times a week round your neighbourhood or swim over the weekend and once during the week.

But in the meantime (especially if we are trying not to put on too much weight) let’s just start by cooking things slightly different, but not forgetting flavour.

Anyway, in my seemingly lifetime journey to fitness and slim fit. I’m constantly meeting new fitness and health conscious people, and one of the coolest people ever has to EstaMorenikeji. Yes, we are still in this “catfish relationship” where we haven’t met each other. Even though we have planned to meet over 10km runs but one thing or the other gets in the way. Oh well through our virtual relationship I have learnt a lot form her and she showed me a couple of ways to eat Nigerian but keep it clean!

Esta showed me that ‘swallow’ can be fibrous and cheap. How? Oats! Yes, if you’re thinking “eh en?! Eziokwu!? (is it true?!)” yes it is.

I owe the soup part of the recipe to my baby girl Elizabeth (an ex steward at my grandparents’) who I cried to to make me vegetable soup that was tasty and oil-free and boom she made it! Edikankong that was tasty and guilt free. I knew I served a living God that day, especially when like my friend Atoke would say, I “motivated” it with Oatmeal Swallow.

For today’s post, I have adapted the recipe a little by adding cameroun pepper for an extra kick. Why? Pepper would make you eat less and drink more water and you;d be fuller than expected

Cooking time: The “worst” thing about making this dish is that it takes a little time with steaming/boiling the proteins. The meat takes a little time depending on the type of goat you buy. The female goat is softer and cooks within a shorter time frame. Apart from that it’s pretty quick and easy to do. I’d advise you not to cook your greens for too long, so that even when you freeze, it still retains its colour and nutrients for a little longer.

Okay, i’m going to be completely honest. I still added some palm oil… 3 teaspoons… and yes it made all the difference or so I told myself; but really just 3 teaspoons is okay. No need for the generous helpings of the oil palm.

What You Need
500g Ugwu leaves shredded
500g waterleaf or watercress shredded
1 teaspoon cameroun pepper powder
700g lean goat meat chopped into bit size chunks and skinned (optional is you really love the pomo like skin)
1 whole chicken about 1.4kilos (I used the tough local chicken it takes heat for longer and has more flavour for local dishes) cut up into 8 parts or 16 small bits
3 medium sized dried fish (any smoked dried fish you like is fine here)
3-5 tablespoons powdered crayfish (I used the big red ones)
Ata rodo to your taste (but be careful remember you have the cameroun pepper)
2 medium onions roughly chopped or sliced
salt to taste and extra to wash the water leaf
Seasoning cube to taste
3 teaspoons of palm oil

How To
Start by boiling/steaming the chicken and the meat. In separate pots place the proteins with the sliced onions, pepper, cameroun pepper and water to fill it up half way. To the chicken add the dried fish and the crayfish and allow it dimer for about 30-40mins till the chicken is soft enough. The goat meat should steam soft in about the same time.

While all that is happening, wash your uwgu leaves properly making sure it’s sand free. Then, with the waterleaf wash it with salt and squeeze out the excess water and rinse to remove the saltiness. Squeeze again.

Place enough water to blanche the ugwu on fire. When it has boiled, pour over the ugwu and don’t to allow it sit in the water for longer than 5 minutes. Squeeze the excess water. Place the washed waterleaf and ugwu leaves in the same pot as the chicken and add the goat meat as well.

Allow to simmer for about 12 minutes but ensure that the leaves are still slightly crunchy and still looking fresh and green. Stir in 3 teaspoons of palm oil at the end.

Leave to cook slowly in its own residual heat.

The ‘Swallow’

For this part of the recipe you just need water and oats.
If you have time and energy you can powder your oats in a food processor, high speed blender or a good regular blender using the smaller attachment or a spice/coffee grinder. Do not waste your money buying an expensive brand. Use a cheaper not so known brand.

What You Need

2 cups water
1 1/2 cups of oatmeal (powdered or plain)

In saucepan (preferably one that has a handle) place about 2 cups of water and leave to boil. Once it starts to bubble, add the oats and with a wooden spoon stir till well combined. Leave on medium heat to continue to cook. Start stirring and beating it quite vigourously as the water evaporates. Keep doing so as it starts forming like Amala or Semovita. When the oatmeal starts to catch at the pot its about ready. This goes on for about 5-10 minutes.

So there it is… Ekikankong all the flavour with out the fat.

IMG_9412In a polythene bag, splash some water and a touch of oil and mould and leave for few minutes to set the oat swallow or treat a bowl the same way and roll it around to get this nice rounded shape. IMG_9395

I would like to thank one of the best human beings ever… Ms Beatrice Lawale of Benedetta Photography! She shoots with so much passion and knows what she’s doing I’m begging her to be my official photographer but my pepper never rest! Follow her on Instagram – @missbenedetto and see her work here!

So try this recipe this weekend, so you can eat and not feel guilty. I mean even if you have ice-cream or cake after you would have stuffed yourself first with all that fiber (Yes let’s lie to ourselves or should I say live a little!)

Ciao!
___________________________________________________________________________________________
Chef Fregz loves to cook! He is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu Paris Culinary Arts School in France and hosts monthly “Chef Fregz Specials” where he whips up a yummy menu with a different theme each time then everyone enjoys a taste. He also caters special events and private dinners. To find out more visit www.cheffregz.com. Chef Fregz provides premium private catering services. For bookings and orders email [email protected] – @Chef_Fregz on Instagram and Twitter. You can check out the Chef Fregz Page on Facebook as well.

Chef Fregz loves to cook! He is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu Paris Culinary Arts School in France and hosts monthly “Chef Fregz Specials” where he whips up a yummy menu with a different theme each time then everyone enjoys a taste. He also caters special events and private dinners. To find out more visit www.cheffregz.com. Chef Fregz provides premium private catering services. For bookings and orders email [email protected] – @Chef_Fregz on Instagram and Twitter. You can check out the Chef Fregz Page on Facebook as well.

73 Comments

  1. me

    April 25, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    Yummy

  2. zeenie

    April 25, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    im seriously salivating…

  3. gbemi

    April 25, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    This is superb! Oat meal swallow! Now that should be patented. Well done Chef and your team

  4. Robin Hood

    April 25, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    Fregz….You are the man.

  5. simi

    April 25, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    Hallelujah!!!!!!! Found what to make this weekened…..

  6. slice

    April 25, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    yummy looking. try the same recipe but with afang leaves instead of ugwu. u will thank me later.

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      April 25, 2014 at 2:08 pm

      By Afang leaves, do you mean okazi leaves? I agree, it’s tasty as anything but my afang soup usually consists of both Ugwu leaves and okazi leaves cooked together. All this while, I thought it was the right recipe, have I been doing it wrong?

      Fregz, it looks really good.

    • Dunni Obata

      April 25, 2014 at 2:15 pm

      Actually dear, Afang Soup comprises of Afang leaves (also called okazi leaves) and water leaves. I guess the water leaves are there to balance the harshness and chewiness of Ugu (edikang ikong) and afang soup (afang leaves). I hope that helps. I have a recipe for Afang Soup on the blog if you would like to take a peek

    • Fregene Gbubemi

      April 25, 2014 at 2:32 pm

      Thanks! Hope Dunni has sorted your questions out?

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      April 25, 2014 at 3:11 pm

      Two master chefs to the rescue 😉 Thanks, Dunni & Fregz, na so I for enter trouble, begin dey argue with Akwaibom person say wetin I give am to chop na Afang. And I suppose it makes more sense now why people claim you can cook afang with spinach & okazi, if spinach is another variant of waterleaf.

      Gracias for the tip about your blog post, Dunni, will check it out during my next “excursion”. 🙂

    • slice

      April 25, 2014 at 3:15 pm

      Yep Dunni is right. afang aka Okazi. i think they are much tastier than ugwu leaves. combine with water leaves or for us here with no easy to reach WL, use spinach. but if you like all 3 together, nothing spoil. You are Mz SA and in my book, you can do no wrong 🙂

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      April 25, 2014 at 3:23 pm

      P.S: y’all should try out that “something” of cooking both the Ugwu and okazi in the same soup. I understand your point about the chewiness of both leaves: I usually pre-soak the okazi in hot water; and then toss the chopped Ugwu into palmoil that’s been heated up, stirring it around but not for too long; then pour the meat stock into the same pot and add the okazi, to boil together for about 10mins. By the time it’s taken off the hob, you’ve introduced your previously boiled meat, tripe and stock fish and left the contents to “introduce themselves to each other” as the pot cools…

      Yum. Thank you Father for blessing Africa with such amazing dishes.

    • Dunni Obata

      April 25, 2014 at 3:40 pm

      Oh lovely, you also pre-soak your okazi (afang) in hot water. I do too, just for a few minutes to soften for blending and someone wanted to have my head over it. I sure did put her in her place. Would try the Okazi and Ugu combo. Love, love hearing about individual twists people add to their food. Well done.

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      April 25, 2014 at 3:42 pm

      Slicelicious!! I hail you right back, nwa oma… 🙂 Don’t worry, I’m now correcting my wayward Afang ways and shall start cooking it properly with spinach going forward.

    • slice

      April 25, 2014 at 3:58 pm

      lol at introduce themselves. o dear. even the veggies are exchanging numbers in your pot

  7. special

    April 25, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    Nice looking but your method of cooking is quite confusing. Not well explained!

    • Fregene Gbubemi

      April 25, 2014 at 2:28 pm

      Heyyyy sorry it’s not clear. What don’t you understand?

    • special

      April 25, 2014 at 3:01 pm

      At what point did you add the oil? thats the aspect I dont’ really get.

  8. Dunni Obata

    April 25, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    Ehn, our Oga at the Top. I recently discovered the delights of Oatmeal and planned to blog about it this weekend. Imagine me seeing this today and saying whoop, whoop. Great cooks think alike. Well done with the Edikang Ikong. Love your twist on a “revered” (insert sarcasm) dish. As for the photographs, Oh my. Please can you beg Beatrice for me. I want her to be my photographer too. Don’t worry, together we can pay and bribe her with food, she will forget we didn’t pay cash. Well done Oga

    • Fregene Gbubemi

      April 25, 2014 at 2:28 pm

      Dunno of Laive!!! Omo I had to blog about this today. Hmm Beatrice no dey use etim money play ooo lool but reach out to her I’m sure you can work something out. Hopefully we see soon. Thanks for stopping by! And holding it down last week. Ose!

    • Dunni Obata

      April 25, 2014 at 2:38 pm

      You are welcome Sir. Ah yes, I would contact Beatrice. Yes, hopefully we would see this year, by hook or by crook me and my tiny legs must reach Lagos. I promise to come hungry and I can eat a house. Well done again

    • Naveah

      April 25, 2014 at 3:12 pm

      Dunni, I wanted to make a correction to your response to another poster. The Ugwu leave is not called Edikang Ikong. It is called Ikong Ubong.

    • Dunni Obata

      April 25, 2014 at 3:22 pm

      Errrrrrrr, I had to go copy that sentence ” I guess the water leaves are there to balance the harshness and chewiness of Ugu (in the case of edikang ikong) and afang soup (afang leaves).” The Edikang Ikong was written in brackets to imply, in the case of Edikang Ikong and with the afang leaves afang soup in bracket again to mean, in the case of….. I hope that clarifies it

    • GraziellaGirl

      April 25, 2014 at 3:49 pm

      Thank you Naveah. I would think if you want to blog about something alien to your culture, you would at least take the pains to get the spellings and such “seemingly unimportant stuff ” right. And Chef, please the right thing is Edikang Ikong soup, not Edikainkong. It really doesn’t take a lot to know/say/write these things right.
      Your food looks nice. I’ll try out this oats swallow one day.

  9. ebiko

    April 25, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    Chicken and goat meat together in edikang ikong? Abominable.

    • Dunni Obata

      April 25, 2014 at 2:13 pm

      oh dear, here we go again

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      April 25, 2014 at 4:12 pm

      I personally (due to the influences of seeing my mother cooking when I was growing up) don’t use chicken to cook any soup. It’s like a cardinal rule for me, maybe because there’s always a mental picture in my head of my father rejecting the food with every offense, if I were to serve him soup with chicken.

      However, I’ve come to know and eat at the homes of many people who do and I’ve enjoyed the “swallow” presented to me without ever thinking that it’s any less of any kind of soup offered, simply because the cook used chicken instead of beef. Fregz started by stating it was a healthy option and the chicken definitely helps.

      There are many things we cook in Nigeria which aren’t originally Naija dishes and which we’ve modified so far away from their original recipe that our version is almost incomparable to the original – case in point are fried rice, cocunut rice, pancakes and curry sauces, just to mention a few. I mean, how many Nigerians realize that coconut milk and coriander are necessary ingredients of a proper hot, chicken curry? And yet we continue cooking them in our own peculiar way, without bothering to discover the actual origins of the dish.

      This may not be the Edikang Ikong you’re used to but I’ll hardly say its “abominable”. It’s just a twist away from what you’re used to & remember that some of what you’re used to also consists of some very crazy departures from their original recipe.

      P.S: my parents also have minus zero tolerances when it comes to the question of cooking soup with onions but, omo, the day I discovered the incredible tastiness that blended red onions bring to my dawadawa, peppers and crayfish for pre-boiling meat and stock fish for soup… Nne, that was the day I decided that there are certain things my parents don’t need to know about what I’m cooking for them…

  10. Garri has fibre

    April 25, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    Fyi, Garri has Fibre! before everyone goes bashing all naija ‘swallow’. I should know because me mam’s got ‘Diverticulitis’ (Google is your friend) and one of the foods recommended by the consultant was garri/eba. I was sceptical even tho it was a consultant that recommended it. Anyway I researched it.

    Well done on the oatmeal alternative but I shall be giving that a miss. If the oat is not in my porriddge, flap jack or cranachan then I no eat.

    Chef Fregz and Dooney, been checking your recipes, and I like the way you refine and present our foods. After-all that is what all these Michelin starred chefs do. I would like to see you on Master Chef

    • Dunni Obata

      April 25, 2014 at 2:18 pm

      Aaaaaaaw, thanks. Garri does have fibre truly. As for the Oatmeal, you can even tolerate it in other things, I can’t. Hate porridge, oat cookies and flapjacks with a passion but surprisingly enough, I like this oatmeal, stirred in hot water. Would do a blog post about it this weekend, hopefully you will be tempted to try it. Thanks for the compliments.

    • Fregene Gbubemi

      April 25, 2014 at 2:32 pm

      Awwwwwwww master chef osseee mow a flattered. Thanks for reading. And the info!

    • Mae

      April 25, 2014 at 3:27 pm

      Seriously though, think about the Master Chef thing.

    • slice

      April 25, 2014 at 3:11 pm

      try adding a little bit of poundo yam to your oat when making. you may like the flavor better. That oat meal flavor is what drives some people away but it sure is good for you. Garri is good too but if you’re like me, garri feels like punishment food

  11. CEO

    April 25, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    The recipe is quite nice. I plan to cook this soup soon. although, i think the Chef could have written the recipe to be more detailed and clearer.

    • Fregene Gbubemi

      April 25, 2014 at 2:29 pm

      Oga at the top… Biko how can I make it clearer. Thanks for stopping by

  12. Moi

    April 25, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    This looks good and soo fweesh’, which makes me to wonder with all this cooking time, the leaves are going to loose the green color? Also I dont see any excess water in your broth but it seems you added the vegetables straight to your chicken pot, I presume one has to let the water reduce properly before adding the vegetable cos I dont want my edikaikong having any liquid in it.
    Moreso my mummy taught me that I have to wash my vegetable first before shredding so they dont lose all its nutrient in the juice beng washed away, but you seem to have taken the other route, so its my mummy’s just and old kitchen tale?
    Pardon me Chef Fregz cos am a serious foodie hence my long story.
    On another story now, I watched you in Knoor Quest and i was like..mehnnn, “na this CHef Fregz wey dey write so much Onyinbo intercontinental abi continental dish matter for BellaNaija be this? I expected to see a guy that forms so much queens English and speaking from the nose, lo and behold you were so guy next door and every contestant could relate to you. You did a fantastic job as a judge, all the 3 judges , boiy Dr. Roberts its tough..

    • Fregene Gbubemi

      April 25, 2014 at 2:31 pm

      Hello Moi… I think every mum has their take. Trust me my mum had plenty to say concerning. This as well. I think the liquid here would make you beeline it’s “soupy” and would make you forget the palm oil. The leaves still main ted their color after all that time.

      Thank you for watching KTQ God bless you!

    • Eyen

      April 25, 2014 at 2:49 pm

      I agree with you on the cooking time, all the ingredients – meat fish etc should be in very little stock, add your palm oil and allow for it to cook for some about five minutes to lose the raw taste. Add water leaf, leave the pot open, once it boils allow it to simmer for three to five minutes. The Ugwu leave is last and once it goes in you stir and take the pot off the burner. I am Akwa Ibom and most people from there and Cross River will not allow the Ugwu to steam for more than a minute or two.

    • Eyen

      April 25, 2014 at 2:52 pm

      I forgot to add, pouring hot water on the Ugwu leaves makes it lose all its freshness.

    • Naveah

      April 25, 2014 at 3:10 pm

      Eyen, no mi ubok nne!

    • GraziellaGirl

      April 25, 2014 at 3:56 pm

      E tiene e no mi ubok mbok.

    • slice

      April 25, 2014 at 4:05 pm

      my dear i feel you but me i’m from there too and in my adapted cooking, i will let that stuff steam for more than 5mins. the traditional way leaves the whole thing to hard for my taste. Same with the traditional dryness of the soup. i say add water

  13. Purple

    April 25, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    Looks salivating though…but this isn’t the calabar-people edikang soup that i know.
    variety is the spice of life sha…

    • Naveah

      April 25, 2014 at 3:02 pm

      Thank you, my dear! I was just writing the same thing. I am half Efik and half Igbo but I grew up entirely in Calabar so I know what I am talking about because I spent time with my grandmother cooking Edikang Ikong, Afang, Otong, Ibaba, Abak, Ikon, Mbukpabuyo which makes the main stay of the soups Efik cook. Sha, nice of him to high light our foods but he should at least learn the proper way to make it.

  14. ebony

    April 25, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    choi! i can fit to eye chef fregz in the knorr taste quest show oo.. what can i say, he is a fine man that knows how to cook + this soup looks yummy

  15. Naveah

    April 25, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    *NTUAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH* Onions and chicken in Edikang Ikong?! My grandmother is probably rolling around in her grave as I write this sentence. Mr. Chef Fregz, do not bring your Le Cordon Bleu Paris Culinary Arts School in France type sensibilities to Efik cooking, please. If you want to learn how to make another tribe’s cultural dish, go and speak to the people in that community. What happened to the mfi (periwinkle)? Who makes Edikang Ikong without mfi? And what is with those big slices of peppers decorating the dish? No sir, please go to Efikland and speak to women who know how to cook. I can help you but don’t present this as Edikang Ikong the premiere dish of the Efik people.

    • Dunni Obata

      April 25, 2014 at 3:18 pm

      The first thing he said was he is making Edikang Ikong healthier, and we all know Onions are very good for you, so is chicken to balance out flavours, plus the protein in chicken is better than that in meat. Not once did he mention that he intended to overthrow the “original” Edikang Ikong. This is 2014, people should be allowed to cook food the way they wish. If anyone here who is aggrieved wants to cook the “original” Edikang Ikong, there are multiple recipes online, it is not like Chef Fregz’s is the first recipe available online, if your argument is that he should not “mislead” people. I am sure Chef Fregz knows how to cook Edikang Ikong. He indicated that he wanted to give it a twist, which he is allowed to. Food from all over the world has progressed, Western food is taking over even in our own backyard. It is as if the person who invented Dodo should be upset by how people now dice dodo, cut it in rings or even grill instead of frying. Food like culture is meant to evolve. If you want to stay with the way things are done in the past, good for you, but it would be remiss of you to dictate to someone else how to cook a soup or to be insisting that it is wrong. Food like art, is always open to interpretation. Heston Blumenthal has made a fortune out of throwing down barriers with food. He is known the world over and he has shone the spotlight on non British food too. It would be great if out of our own land a Heston Blumenthal also rises up, but I doubt if that will ever happen, if we are so quick to tear anyone down, who dares to do things, the way they were done 100years ago. The same analogy can be applied to why Nigeria has not moved far with too many things. Your argument may be food how it is done should be preserved for generations yet unborn, I will insist that this should not stop innovations, inventions, re-creations, both can stay side by side and not be threatened by each other.

    • Dunni Obata

      April 25, 2014 at 3:26 pm

      *who dares to do things differently from how it was done 100years ago

    • tolu.nimi

      April 25, 2014 at 3:50 pm

      God bless u Ms. Dunni for you apt response. This is indeed 2014 and some people reeeeaaaaly need to wake up from their 1960 slumber. Chef Fregz jare, this is a wonderful twist, and that was your original intention.

    • ..just saying

      April 25, 2014 at 4:23 pm

      Dear Dunni, enough already..ahn..ahn. it’s not your post now. You have more comments than Chef Fregz

    • Dunni Obata

      April 25, 2014 at 4:30 pm

      Sorry @justsaying, I have just added one more. Hehehehehehehehehe

    • ..just saying

      April 26, 2014 at 9:09 am

      Oh! dear, you replied minutes after. You’re clearly living on the post #sigh.

    • Funmilola

      April 26, 2014 at 7:50 pm

      At least she is living on a post about food which she does so well. Awon Dunni haters. You that came back to respond nko. The haterade you are sipping on won’t let you see road. See me salivating over correct food and reading interesting discussion about recipes only to come and see you complaining about Dunni commenting when she is adding something positive to the post. What are you adding madam hater.

  16. Naveah

    April 25, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    The cooking method is ENTIRELY WRONG! “Then, with the waterleaf wash it with salt and squeeze out the excess water and rinse to remove the saltiness. Squeeze again. Place enough water to blanche the ugwu on fire. When it has boiled, pour over the ugwu and don’t to allow it sit in the water for longer than 5 minutes. Squeeze the excess water. Place the washed waterleaf and ugwu leaves in the same pot as the chicken and add the goat meat as well.”

    WHAT? This is a leaf that has a bit of draw-draw to it, all you have to do is chop and put it with your chop Ikong Ubong (another pet peeve address the ingredients by the name the natives call it and put your own in parenthesis) in the pot that already had your cooked meats. NO BLANCHING of the Ikong Ubong. You have to cook it ndisi ndisi which means lightly so that the leaves don’t die and lose all the ingredients, all this squeezing and blanching is OVERWORKING the vegetables! And you use the water from the meat and only add water as you go because it is not supposed to be a watery soup!

    • Fregene Gbubemi

      April 25, 2014 at 6:13 pm

      Hi. There’s no need for telling us about the possibility of your grandmother rolling in her grave. I’m sorry for misspelling it forgive me. Like I said this recipe was born out what a Calabar steward made for me. This is just my take on what she made for me. I’m sorry if used the soup name loosely but the idea was Niegrian soup on a lighter note. I followed what I gathered From calabar people. Your grandmother just probably had a different method of cooking it. Periwinkles are up to you for this recipe not a must. I handled the vegetables with care and see they are still green. I apprieciate you stopping by. Be nice to see you cook your light version and send to us. [email protected] Jah bless

  17. tolu.nimi

    April 25, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    great twist, chef fregz! this is one healthy choice for people who are conscious of what goes into their system. looking forward to more of this.

  18. A. O.

    April 25, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    Naveah,

    Your response to this post baffles me. Chef Fregz’s entry was by no means meant to be an attempt at traditional Efik cooking. #fin.

    I expected at least one of the edikainkong purists out there to make such a (ridiculous) comment. All this is giving you and other readers is a choice. You could either stick to what you know and have been brought up with or try something else (no comparisons are being made; I’m conveniently skimming past all the health talk as well – seems like it would be wasted).

    As a dear friend says, “if it ain’t cute, keep it mute”.

    Take good care of yourself Naveah and have a nice day.

    Chef Fregz, as always, it’s a pleasure reading your contribution – great job; Dunni, I am looking forward to your post.

    • Dunni Obata

      April 25, 2014 at 3:32 pm

      Bless you.. Which is exactly what I wrote above. Both can stay side by side, without being threatened by each other. I actually was waiting just like you and I must say, I wasn’t disappointed. I used to face it before, until they realised, I was not going to bow down to their ways of doing things and they left me alone. Thank you for also seeing it from another angle.

    • tolu.nimi

      April 25, 2014 at 3:55 pm

      God bless you jare… your response is so on point (stick to what you know or try something else). All this critics sef, make dem bring recipe come bellanaija, make we see wetin dem fit do, na only to attack people wey get mind and vision. #teamhealthylivingrules

  19. Peaches77

    April 25, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    I do not see what the problem is here. Naveah has a right to pick holes in the recipe like most purists would, just as Chef Fregz is allowed to innovate these recipes for an emerging client base /market. Naveah’s kind of reaction should be expected as food is a major part of a people’s culture which is in deed very delicate. In matters like these, people attach very strong ownership not just in Nigeria but in most cultures, communities and countries all over the world. These famous chefs would have received even more flack at various stages of their career. so guys, lets just chill. It’s expected.

    • Naveah

      April 25, 2014 at 5:55 pm

      You said it so I don’t need to even respond. Thank you, Peaches77

  20. Afrolems

    April 25, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    Chef of Life! Reading all these comments I can understand why you stay away from Nigerian recipes most of the time. lol Some people are too finicky about their culture. I have had an incredible backlash on my blog as well when I try to do things slightly differently. Most times when I want to experiment, I start my post with a bold caption saying this is by no means a representation of what the original dish is. This is me having fun in the kitchen. That immediately silences internet food critics. I do understand (because i’m efik – well oron) where some of the other commenters are coming from in that Efik people are very particular about what goes into their dish or not (periwinkle – chicken). However, if someone spends their hard earned money to make a dish, spends their time to write a recipe, get a photographer to take a picture and come up with a blog post, whether you agree with the method or not, respect it! If you want to correct someone, correct in love by offering a suggestion instead of attacking. As a fellow food blogger it is painful when internet goons come out to attack you after you have put in all that effort. Anyway before I come and start crying here lol well done Chef Fregz and please respect his post.

  21. Buky

    April 25, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    @dunni aka giveittothemhot# i see you. Chef feqz. Thanks for this amazing menu. I sure will try it soon. I Don marry i for come chop dinner for ur house. Lol

  22. slice

    April 25, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    Oron in the house! let me go check your blog

  23. Esta Morenikeji

    April 25, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    I am going to try this recipe next weekend! Chef Fregz, we should find time to do this our 10K o. LOL @ “catfish relationship”.

  24. Tt

    April 25, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    hey peeps its ugu not ugwu iko

  25. Noksis

    April 25, 2014 at 11:45 pm

    Great. Chef Fregs. Now i know i can eat my edikainkong and not worry about oil, and cholesterol. Saving the receipe for my Home. Keep it up

  26. petitebeau

    April 26, 2014 at 7:21 am

    Kudos to Chief Fregz, for this is really informative and would really like to try. Thanks Dunni for your input as well (can I just say as well – you are amazing!).

    Quick que though, as getting ugwu leaves is a “herculean task” due to my location- can I substitute with spinach? Not sure how it’ll turn out?

  27. petitebeau

    April 26, 2014 at 7:22 am

    *chef not chief – all join sha 🙂

  28. BSR

    April 27, 2014 at 12:02 am

    Well done Chef Fregz on the post. Thanks Dunni for supporting. People need to learn to voice their opinions in gentle ways than forcefully. It can be quite discouraging when people bash your good efforts. #PullHimDownMentality

  29. Mo

    July 21, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    Very healthy soup I think. But for the swallow I think 1.5 cups of oatmeal is a bit much for a portion. That’s about 450 calories without adding the soup and meat. I find that Eko/ agidi is a lighter,lower calorie swallow sha.

  30. madam

    October 31, 2014 at 11:00 am

    WOW, SO TRYING THIS

  31. Funmi

    November 1, 2014 at 11:08 am

    Stumbling on this post today thanks to the #jollof gate saga and quite co-incidentally I am just finishing a post on this revered dish. While researching the nutritional elements of this great dish(yes cos I’m nerdy like that) I discovered there is great science behind the traditional cooking methods and caution must be taken when diverting from them.

    For instance Vitamin A and E present in green leafy vegetables are fat soluble so some fat is needed for them to be absorbed in the digestive tract. Also polyunsaturated fatty acids which can be be found in leafy vegetables will work against vitamin A unless an anti-oxidant is present, which is where Palm oil comes on. Palm oil is a powerful anti-oxidant rich in beta-carotene, not to mention being cholesterol free and containing heart friendly co-enzyme Q-10.

    This soup is traditionally cooked with little or no water which again nutritionally speaking makes sense, seeing as vitamins which are water soluble can be lost. Also I’m not sure the ‘real traditional’ method would have included any form of meat seeing as it is largely a riverine area (this is just my theory though)

    Also the method of cooking the vegetables traditionally by adding the leaves and taking the pot off the stove immediately can be understood (though I do this slightly differently) as vitamins in leafy vegetables tend to be killed off by excessive heat.

    As you can already tell nutrition as it relates to health is a passion of mine and this is actually the first traditional dish I took apart in terms of it’s nutritional values (only God knows why, seeing as I’m not even efik) and you can imagine my joy when I found that our grandmothers where scientifically on point!

    I’m completely new to you and your work chef fregz (been living under a rock, I know lol) and this is no way a criticism of your creation, love the oatmeal swallow idea, will be trying it someday. Also like the point you made about us not walking miles to the stream, changes need to be made but with caution. Will be looking up some of your less controversial recipes. 🙂

    funmibadejo.wordpress.com

  32. DarryGold

    May 25, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    The food looks good and I am going to try the oat swallow soon, however I would recommend less cooking time for the vegetables and a little more for the palm oil so it doesn’t taste raw. Well done!

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