Spicy Lemongrass Fish Peppersoup

After the trip to the fish market, I had a craving for a simple, spicy Sole fish pepper soup (broth or just soup for non-Nigerians). Sole fish is a lean, fragile fish that tastes delicious with little seasoning.

Instead of cooking the normal fish pepper soup, I enhanced the flavour by using lemongrass-infused water. Lemongrass is a key ingredient in various Asian cuisines. I wanted to try it out. It was an absolute delight! 

Fish Market in Calabar

Fish is an essential addition in Cross Riverian cuisine. Whether fresh, smoked or dried, there's no soup that doesn't have the all important ingredient. It is also readily available.

There are a number of places to buy fresh fish in Calabar. You can decide to visit the wharf (Esuk) at the Marina in old Calabar just as the fishermen return from their trip. You can also find some at the two major markets, Watt and Marian markets, as well as various street corners around the city.

But the major fish market is situated in Lagos Street, a short stretch of road within the vicinity of the popular Watt market. Depending on the season, you can find all kinds of fresh produce sourced from the surrounding salty and fresh seawater.

Remembering the Days of Humble Beginnings

I consider myself a proper village girl. Put me anywhere in the world and that will not change. But I can keep up with the Joneses and speak through my nose when the situation calls for it. I was fully immersed in my culture when I was growing up. My parents made sure of that. I got to spend holidays in the village. Mingle with my cousins and do things that village kids do.

Unripe Plantain Porridge with Periwinkles - Iwuk Ukom ye Mfi

If you like periwinkles (mfi) like I do, then you wouldn’t mind putting it in every meal. Except rice of course. I love it so much that I’ve actually boiled it separately with salt and added it to my pepper soup. Weird. I know. But we’re a family of jolly periwinkle eaters. We add it in most soups and there’s always a bag of the good stuff laying about just incase.

For Sunday lunch, I made plantain porridge with the spiky-shelled periwinkle. I prefer those ones to the smooth-shelled periwinkles because they are usually not bitter.

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