Efik Fisherman Soup - Efere Ine

This soup is the creation of the fishermen (Oko Iyak) in the creeks. Ine is a shack where the fishermen stay while on their fishing expedition. These men could leave their homes for several weeks at a time. They usually stay to smoke some of the fish and shrimps in preparation for the market. Out there, they survive on food from the sea. 
My Fisherman Soup in Pictures


Shrimp (Ndek Obu), Shinny Nose Fish (Edeng), Clams (Nkob), Fresh Pepper (Ndek Ntokon), Onions (Oyim), Fresh Curry Leaf (Iko)
I used the Shinny nose fish (Edeng). This is the king of fishes (Obong Iyak) for we Efiks. According to some, this fish was eaten by the affluent back in the day. It was expensive and not readily available unlike the cat fish (Inanga) that was a staple in most houses. Edeng is still expensive and usually sells out fast. My mom was at the beach (Esuk) in the village when some fishermen docked with the day’s catch. She bought the only two that were available. The price usually doubles at the fish market in Calabar.

The Process

I seasoned the neatly-cut pieces of Edeng with a blend of pepper, onions, ginger and a bit of garlic. It marinates for about 30 - 40 mins before the cooking process. 

Everything I need for the soup all laid out - Steamed fish, clams and shrimps

I steamed the clams and shrimp separately. For about 2 minutes. The fish cooked for 5 mins. It's not "done" at this point since it still has to be transferred to the oil.

I bleached palmoil for about a minute or less. Then, the fish goes into the oil. The stock is kept for later. Clams and shrimps go in next. 

The final part. I added the fish stock and a teeny bit of water. No need for more spices because of the stock. The last ingredient is a stem of Iko (fresh curry) for the aroma. Iko is fantastic for sea food dishes. 

You don't need too much water in this soup. The idea is for the person eating it to be able to grab chunks of fish for every ball of eba. More enjoyable that way. 

Efere Ine can be as simple or as elaborate as you like. You basically just need fresh fish, palmoil and your spices. Or you can throw in whatever seafood that you fancy. I wanted to add crab (Nkongo) but I didn't find really fresh ones at the market. 

How we eat Efere Ine:

With garri:

My mom likes to add boiled okra when she wants to eat it with garri.  It’s just chopped okra boiled with little water and salt.

With plantain (Ukom)/Rice (Edesi)/Yam (Bia):

I ate mine with plantain. I already started munching before I figured I should take a picture.

There! Cooking time for this soup was about 30 minutes for me. The main work was in the preparation. Not bad for such a savoury meal. 

14 comments on "Efik Fisherman Soup - Efere Ine"
  1. First of all your blog layout is fab, also thanks for all these low fat n carbs food suggestion *claps*

  2. Replies
    1. Hey Abena, thank you for stopping by. Let me know how it turns out when you try it : )

  3. Just found out about this blog today and will share with my wife. Thans for a good job you are doing here.

  4. Sosongo Obo. I appreciate you stopping by..

  5. Mmam mma udia emi nkude ke blog fo anam mi nti uyen mi ke obio efik,

    1. Thank you for visiting Emeka. Mbok eni owo ipep fi ido Efik. Eyen Unege Efik. Nice!

  6. Hey Dear, i am super prude of you and my culture. keep up the good workk

  7. Lovely!! I normally make mine with a little blended tomatoes but will try this your method and see. nothing beats a delicious good old "efere ndek iyak"

  8. great job ....looks simple enough to want to make.

  9. I've visited a few blogs today and I must say that your layout is so homely and inviting. It makes me want to go into the kitchen and prepare the meal pronto. In the other recipes I've seen for fisherman pepper soup I noticed they add okro or soaked garri and I'll like to know more about these choices. Thank you.


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