Fisherman Soup: How to make Nigerian Riverine Seafood

Fisherman soup is very common in the riverine areas in Nigeria. It is called Efere Ndek Iyak in Efik and is indigenous to the people of Akwa-Ibom, Port-Harcourt, and Cross River states of Nigeria.

What is Fisherman Soup?

In principle, fisherman’s soup is just a seafood broth made with Palm oil. Nigerian Fisherman soup is a simple soup made with fish and other seafood as its protein source.

Folks living with rivers winding through their towns and villages and bound by the Atlantic ocean have an abundance of seafood.

The world is unified in one way or another by games, music, and food and this recipe is not an exception.

What is fisherman soup made of? To prepare Nigerian fisherman soup
  • Firstly, place fish, snail, dry fish, and stockfish in a medium-sized pot, season with salt, and 1 seasoning cube.
  • Then, add Onion, scotch bonnet, Cameroun pepper, a little scotch bonnet, ground uziza seed, and 2 cups of water.
  • Finally, cover, bring to a boil, and cook on low heat for 5 minutes.
Health Benefits of Fisherman Soup

Since the fisherman’s soup is mostly made with seafood, it has lots of health benefits.

Fundamentally, Seafood is rich in protein, Omega-3 fatty acids, and low in calories. It also contains vitamins and minerals. Seafood has been shown to provide many health benefits to the human body.

Seafood has the ability to reduce the risk of a heart attack. It aids in lessening the danger of stroke incidence; together with obesity and hypertension are only a few of the health benefits.

In reality, anywhere there’s a body of water such as a river, sea, ocean, or lake, the surrounding communities usually have a Fisherman stew or soup associated with them, for example, Nsala soup (Onitsha, Asaba Nigeria), Cioppino, Italian-American Fish Stew, Kakavia, Greek Fisherman’s Soup, halászlé, Hungarian Fisherman’s soup, etc.

Fisherman soup is also very similar to Nsala Soup and a Mediterranean seafood soup called bouillabaisse or halászlé a hot, spicy paprika-based river fish soup, originating as a dish of Hungarian cuisine. It is also a common soup in the São Tomé and Príncipe.

Origin of Fisherman Soup

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.

For those who love seafood, this recipe is absolutely for you. You can use all your favorite seafood to prepare this soup.

However, there are several ways to prepare this soup, each of which is particular to a community in the Niger Delta. Some people make this meal using tomatoes, while others don’t.

Okro is used by certain people while some cannot absorb any form of sliminess in their Fisherman soup. Once more, some people may add garri to the soup to thicken it, while others use pounded yam, Ofor, Achi, or cocoyam instead.

The various preparations for this delicacy do not really suggest that one approach is better than another; rather, they show how versatile the culinary arts are.

How Long Does It Take to Make Rivers Native Soup?

Preparing this meal takes about 30 minutes, which makes it a must-try for your family and friends, especially when you are on a tight schedule since it is an ultimate crowd-pleaser.

It’s important to remember that this soup tastes best when it’s hot and spicy.

Fisherman Soup Recipe

The thickener of choice in this recipe is ofor, but you can use yam/cocoyam or any other thickener but nothing with an overbearing taste. There’s always some subtle difference in taste with each type of thickener.

The fish is usually fresh from the river but any fish will do. Use as much pepper as you can stomach, Nigerian seafood soups and stews usually have some heat (pepper) in them.

With this fisherman soup recipe Nigerian, there is no refuting the fact that delicacies from the riverine areas are always so delicious and fresh due to the readiness of seafood present in their region.

Cooking tip: I do not add the fish immediately with the rest of the seafood because I don’t want the fish to break into bits, you can add the fresh fish with the rest after like 10 minutes, and then add palm oil.

Ingredients for Fisherman Soup
  • A medley of Seafood (Think Fishermen’s catch)
  • Dry pepper ( I made it spicy with Cameroon pepper)
  • Crayfish 20 g
  • ½ cup of ofor (thickening agent)
  • Grounded Uziza seed 10 g
  • Palm oil ¾ of a cup
  • Okra 10 g
  • Onions
  • 3 cubes of seasoning
  • Salt to taste
  • Herb leaves for garnishing – efinrin, nchawu, ntong, uziza, basil
  • Firstly, give your seafood a thorough rinse and set aside
  • Now, in a clean pot with about 2 cups of water, add the seafood assortment except fresh fish and season well.
  • Thirdly, add in the crayfish, dried pepper, ground uziza seed, seasoning, and salt. Shake the pot to combine the ingredients before adding the thickener (wait for 2-3 minutes), then add fresh okra chunks and periwinkles.
  • After that, bring the heat down a little and add in the sliced uziza leaves. Allow simmering for two minutes or just enough time for the release of the distinctive uziza aroma.
  • Lastly, remove from the heat and serve your hot finger-licking soup with onunu, semo, eba, wheat, pounded yam, or any other swallow of choice.
Fisherman Soup price

Seafood Okro Soup or fishermen’s soup as it is popularly referred (4 Litres Bowl) is between N13, 950.00 – N15, 000.00.

Nigerian fisherman soup
Nigerian fisherman soup

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