African, Healthy meals, Main Dish, Nigerian, Vegetables

Edikang Ikong

Hello everyone. How are you all doing? This recipe has been on my to do list for a looooooonnnnnnnnggggg time. Lol did you notice how I stretched the word long. Yes it has been that long. One of the many reasons that I didn’t post it is because I wanted to get the right balance. I have heard of different variations. But I was skeptical. So I asked a friend of mine whose mum loves cooking all these amazing dishes, she gave me the real low down.

I was so happy, that in couldn’t wait to get the recipe up and ready for you all to benefit from. You know I have your back covered right? 😉

So before we begin there are some notions that I need to clear up in order to help you avoid mistakes and not getting the right taste. Lol. I was warned not to miss these tips out

1: you should never cook the beef with a lot of water. This dish is cooked without any added water.

2: you can’t use any type of leaves. To get the authentic taste, the two vegetables to use are mainly water leaves and ugwu. However if you don’t have water leaves, you can substitute it with watercress.

3: Most people say to use more ugwu than water leaves…. No. The ratio of the water leaves and ugwu are not the same. You are advised to use more water leaves than ugwu. (Its in the taste)

4: You do not need a lot of palm oil. It’s not cooked the same way as Efo Riro. This dish called for little or no oil. If you skip it for health reasons it’s totally fine. For my recipe I skipped it.

Whilst updating this post I will be giving more in depth details and dos and donts.

Ok let’s get started shall we

4 cups of water leaves
2cups of ugwu
2 tablespoons of palmoil
Cow tail (optional)
Cow leg
Dried shrimps
Dried Crayfish
Shrimps (optional)
2-3 yellow Habenero peppers
Dried catfish

1 large pot
Wooden spoon

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time 2 hours :30 minutes
Total time: 2 hours: 40 minutes


Clean and boil the meat with salt and a little bit of sliced onions. Add 1 cup of water ro it and cook.

*do not necessarily add a lot of water to the cooking meats. This soup calls for little or no water at all. Or alternatively you can add enough water to cook it, but you will then have to reduce the stock once cooked.

Once its almost cooked, add the dried catfish and dried shrimps. This will allow your stock to be rich and full of flavour.

Now add the palm oil. Allow to cook for 10 minutes.


Now Add the blended pepper to the boiling stock. Allow it to be immersed in the stock. Boil for 15 minutes.

Next add the crayfish. This soup does not need alot of fuss or ingredients. But however you need various types of beefs and fish. The richer the better. (Kelechi told me 😀)

Next add the water leaves. This is added first as it draws alot of water. Do not cover the pot or else you will allow it to draw more water. Allow it to steam cook for 10 minutes.


Finally add the ugwu. Now the ugwu plays a good.part here. It will help jn absorbing the water. Stir well, so that both vegetables are combined well. Steam cook for 5 minutes. 

I don’t like overcooking vegetables. I still like it with a bit of crunch.

Enjoy 🙂

Remove from the heat and it’s ready.

Edika Ikong is mostly vegetables and meats. So no need to overpower it with too much condiments. The local the ingredients the better.

Its ready to be served.


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