How To

How to cook Rivers Native Soup (5 Easy steps)

Rivers Native Soup is a very delicious soup particular to the people of Rivers State in the Niger Delta Area of Nigeria. They are regarded as riverine people because a great part of the state is surrounded by water. So, they enjoy and also have the freshest of foods especially that use the freshest seafood, so their soups are usually very expensive and rich in nutrient.

But you do not have to do so much to make this soup if you are not a fisherman. Yes, one flourishing trade in Rivers state is fishing and farming.

As a fisherman you do have to crack your head about how to prepare this soup, you can easily find your way around it. If you are not a fisherman you can reduce the ingredients and still have something really tasty and nice. These are the ingredients below; you can add and remove. Follow the instructions on how to cook this soup be assured to have a delicious meal. Where are the seafood lovers? this post is for you all.

Ingredients for making Rivers native soup

These are the ingredients for cooking Rivers native soup; you can remove or add ingredients. .

  • 3 medium fresh fish
  • 9 snails
  • 2 cups clams
  • 1 cup sea snails
  • ½ cup periwinkles
  • 1 cup shrimps
  • 6 medium cocoyams
  • 1 tablespoon uziza seeds (false cubeb)
  • 1-2 yellow habanero peppers
  • 2 big stock cubes
  • Bitter leaves (washed)
  • 5 Uziza leaves (false kubeb)
  • 2 cooking spoons (¼ cup) red palm oil

Notes on the ingredients

Before cooking your Rivers soup you must have these in mind so you do not end up preparing what looks like Rivers native soup but not exactly the soup..

  1. According to person who gave me this simple list of ingredients for this native soup, you should use only fresh seafood when preparing Rivers Native Soup. That means such ingredients like crayfish and dry fish which are dry seafood are not allowed.
  2. You can use achi or ofor as alternative to cocoyam. But achi has a distinctive taste that can ruin this recipe for some people. It ruins it for me.
  3. Habanero pepper atarodo, ose oyibo or atarugu. You can also use scotch bonnet peppers. For this recipe, I used the yellow habanero peppers.
  4. You can also add oysters to native soup.
  5. I used gilt-head sea bream fish. Fresh catfish should be your first choice of fresh fish is you can buy it where you live.

Before cooking Rivers Native Soup

  1. Shell the clams, snails, sea snails and periwinkles and remove the intestines. In Nigerian markets, the sellers can do these for you. Watch the video below to see how I remove the shells from these seafood. For the snails, you need to remove the slime after removing the shell
  2. Cook the cocoyam till soft. Peel and pound till smooth with a mortar and pestle. You can also blend with a power blender or food processor.
  3. Grind/pound the yellow pepper.
  4. Grind the uziza seeds with a spice grinder.
  5. Slice the uziza leaves.
  6. Cut up the fish and clean.

How to cook Rivers native soup

Place the snails in a pot, add the seasoning cubes, pour water to cover and cook for 20 minutes.

  1. Add ground uziza, the clams, sea snails, shrimps and fish, top up the water if necessary and cook till the fish is done.
  2. Take out the fish from the pot and set aside.
  3. Add the cocoyam in small lumps. Add the bitter leaves, yellow pepper and palm oil. Cover and cook till the lumps of cocoyam dissolve. Stir the contents of the pot very often.
  4. Add salt to taste.
  5. Add the fish back into the pot of soup. Stir, cover and let it simmer.

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