Ofe Owerri is one of the most expensive Nigerian soups; it is made with assorted meat (which is different parts of cow meat), snails, dried fish and stock fish.
I think you would spend between 4000-10000 Naira if you are looking to make a delicious pot of this soup, there is even a popular Igbo song that suggest that a poor man does not eat ofe owerri. 😀
Ofe owerri simply means Owerri soup (soup indigenous to the people of Owerri). I used to think that I would never make another soup that would comfortably compete with the likes of nsala and oha but this sure takes the cake.
I used just 6 snails but you can use as many as you can find (not more than 1kg), they are medicinal and delicious.
What you find below is a delicious plate of Owerri soup, I used just about a handful of uziza and two cups of fluted pumpkin (ugwu leaves), but it is better to use double of that as listed below. i.e, use 1 cups of sliced uziza plus 3-4 cups of fluted pumpkin (ugwu leaves) when you are making your own soup.
The list of ingredients below was used to make a simple pot of ofe owerri that would serve a family of six twice, you can double the ingredients if you have a larger family.
Cow (assorted meat) 1.5kg
Dry fish 2 medium sizes
Stock fish head (medium size)
1 cup of sliced Uziza leaves
4 cups of sliced fluted pumpkin leaves
3 cubes of maggi or knorr
Cocoyam (ede) see image
1 cup of palm oil
1 spoon of ogiri (optional).
Salt and pepper to taste
You may need to purchase few spoon of ofor or achi as alternative thickener. Sometime the pounded cocoyam wouldn’t thicken the soup as it should be, an additional spoon of ofor or achi would save the day. I do this whenever I am making soup with cocoyam.
I always start by parboiling the meat, use just two cubes of knorr, sprinkle on top of the meat and allow to boil for up to 10 minutes until the water is about to dry. Add about 2 cups of water and cook the meat until it is tender, add a teaspoon of salt, cover and allow simmering for 5 minutes.
Blend crayfish, wash the stock fish/dry fish with water and set aside in a plate (remember to remove the center bone/head of the fish. Wash the snails with alum or tangerine/grape juice or dry garri; you just wanna get rid of the slimy fluid.
Snails are wonderful for ofe Owerri, You can also add snails to Oha Soup, tastes delicious!
Boil the cocoa yam until it is soft then remove the back and pound with mortar and pestle until it is seedless. (It would serve as the thickener)
Add about 4-6 cups of water to the already cooked meat;. Add the ground crayfish, washed stock fish/dried fish.
Add red oil and allow boiling for another 10 to 15 minutes. Add a cube of maggi, salt and pepper to taste, the washed snails, stir, add the pounded cocoa yam, ogiri and allow dissolving, (should take about 10 minutes), add the uziza leaves, stir and allow about 2 minutes before adding the fluted pumpkin (ugwu leaves). Allow simmering on low heat for 3-4 minutes and we are done.
That is exactly how to make a delicious pot of ofe Owerri (the popular Owerri soup) you can serve with any one of fufu, eba, semo or even pounded yam. I love it best when served with fufu (loi loi)