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How to make a spicy Edikaikong soup- a Nigeria delicacy

Updated on July 8, 2015
Edikang-Ikong Soup served with Eba
Edikang-Ikong Soup served with Eba | Source

Hello dear and welcome to another exciting edition of my food recipe which happens to be another soup. If you love soups like me, you will agree with me that soups are similar to stews, and in some cases there may not be a clear distinction between the two. However, soups generally have more liquid than stews in Western world but in Africa it is completely the opposite.

So, today we shall be looking at another made in Africa soup called Edikang Ikong (Edikangikong). This soup is a Nigerian vegetable soup which is also very popular amongst Nigeria people. It is very delicious when you taste a properly prepared one and it is also very unique, widely eaten by many because of its high medicinal and nutritional value. It is common for Nigerians to request this soup recipe during or after recovery from illness as it is believed to replenish whatever was lost during the sickness. While others believe that it is the best known source of vitamins.

Since Nigeria is the most populated black nation in the world with over 160 million people and an estimated 300 different ethnic groups and language, it’s very obvious that one should expect to see a lot of different food delicacies especially soups. This vegetable soup as I was told by my grandmother originated from southern Nigeria as it is very common with the Efik ethnic group who can be predominantly found in Akwa-Ibom and Cross River States of Nigeria. It is also popular and can also be found among the Ibo people (one of the three major tribes in Nigeria) of south-eastern Nigeria who call it Ugu soup.

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The soup is made with the combination of two leaves, the fruited pumpkin leaves and waterleaf. So, apparently the name of the soup was derived from the name of the local leaves used to prepare it, called Edikang-Ikong by the Efiks, while the Ibos call it Ugu. So for a very

To make a very thick and spicy Edikangikong soup there are some few mistakes you should never make;

Never add the two vegetables together at the same time or in a quick succession. Add the water-leaf first to leach out its water content before introducing the Ugu leaves to mop up some of the water. But in the absence of fluted pumpkin leaves and water leaves, Spinach and Lamb lettuce/Mache (Valerianella locusta) can be used.

Do not use blended pepper and tomatoes together otherwise you are already making another soup entirely.

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If you are a foreigner and you have never seen or eaten periwinkles before, this soup offers you a chance to do so. When next you take a holiday trip to Nigeria, just try to have a meal of this soup. You can purchase already-cleaned periwinkle from most Nigerian market.

Cook Time

Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 25 min
Ready in: 55 min
Yields: Serves six poeple
Periwinkles before use
Periwinkles before use
Edikangikong Ingredients
Edikangikong Ingredients


  • 5 Cups Water
  • 3 tablespoons Grinded Crayfish
  • 2 medium size Smoked fish
  • 8 medium pieces Meat (Cow or goat)
  • 6 medium pieces Cow Skin (Kpomo)
  • 2 small size Stockfish, mashed
  • 3 cooking ladle Palm oil
  • 3 medium size Fresh pepper, chopped
  • 4 cubes Maggi (or knorr), spicy
  • 4 medium bunch Pumpkin vegetable leaves ( called Ikong Ubong or Ugu)
  • 2 medium heap Water leaves
  • 2 small bulbs Onions, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon dry pepper, grinded
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 cup Periwinkles (optional)

So the following are methods used in preparation, here we go:

Pot of Soup after pepper has been added
Pot of Soup after pepper has been added
Pot of Soup after periwinkles and waterleaves have been added
Pot of Soup after periwinkles and waterleaves have been added
  1. Wash and shred the fruited pumpkin leaves and waterleaves into tiny pieces. Put them in separate sieves to drain out all the water as much as possible and set aside.
  2. Wash and cut the assorted meat in bite-able sizes. Also wash the periwinkles, dried fish and stock fish to remove dirts and set aside.
  3. Season the meat, cow skin (kpomo or kanda) with salt, a Maggi cube, few slices of onions and steam with washed stockfish and watch closely till the juice dries up.
  4. Add the crayfish, washed smoked fish and pepper to the pot containing the meat, stockfish and cow skin (kpomo), cook for ten minutes
  5. Add two cooking ladlespoon of red palm oil into the pot of soup and allow boiling until the red palm oil dissolves well into the stockfish .
  6. While the soup is still boiling add the remaining Maggi cube with two tablespoon of grinded pepper to make more spicy and hot;
  7. Then add the periwinkle and shredded waterleaves, and stir. At this stage it will look as if the waterleaves has covered the whole pot, don’t worry just stir and cover the pot to cook for about five minutes. The steam will definitely soften and reduce the size of the waterleaves in the pot.
  8. Now add the shredded pumpkin (Edikangikong) leaves and salt to taste.
  9. Stir the contents of the pot properly well and cover the pot to simmer for about five minutes on low heat.
  10. Remove from heat and we are done! Yes, you have just made a delicious and spicy edikangikong soup and you can serve with cassava fufu or eba, wheat meal, semolina or pounded yam.

Videos aid in quick learning and things learnt through video are not easily forgotten. Most people learn faster with videos so I also included a video on making Nigerian Edikaikong soup, you will also learn about all the ingredients used in making this soup. Watch the video below;

How to cook the soup

People enjoying a meal of Edikang-Ikong soup
People enjoying a meal of Edikang-Ikong soup
Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 253g
Calories 84
Calories from Fat9
% Daily Value *
Fat 1 g2%
Saturated fat 0 g
Carbohydrates 15 g5%
Sugar 5 g
Fiber 3 g12%
Protein 3 g6%
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 491 mg20%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.


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