‘Mehn, soup get level’…and this is up there with the best.
A pot, choc-full of the freshest seafood – crabs, lobster and fish.
I like to cook it in a shallow pan so the fish doesn’t ‘scatter’ :).
I start off with making a quick stock – a combination of fried lobster shells in palm oil and salt, with the strained liquid from pureeing prawn heads (if available).
After a few minutes, the crab chunks and fresh fish go in – Tilapia in this case.
Cleaned prawns and steamed lobster follow.
All the while, everything cooks on low heat – a simmer, bubbles barely breaking the surface as we check for seasoning and adjust – a pinch of salt over the fish, fresh yellow chilies in the sauce.
When we begin to make progress and the pan fills up with seafood, I remove the lobster shells – their purpose has been served.
The soup is becoming just that, soup – drawing liquid out of fish and mingling with the sticky, gelatinous essence that is okro. And Ogbono.
A handful of green leaves are tossed in, not with careless abandon so much as strewn. The lid goes on. To set the greens, causing them to wilt but not wither.
We’re almost there.
A few more minutes simmering and that’s it. Done.
Our bowls are set, stacked and ready to receive this offering of our seas.
We eat it as a starter. The main course? Banga.
Talk about food for the gods.