Okro is always a favourite with children, probably because of its ‘slimy’ or ‘draw-draw’ nature. It is also one of the most nutritious Nigerian soups, without the added ‘orishirishis’. Okro is a green vegetable and contains most of the essential vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber, which helps with digestion and constipation. The addition of ‘ugu’, another powerful vegetable with other ingredients makes it a must soup for the kids and for the family.
This Okro soup is basically made with the kids in mind, so i used boiled and deboned mackerel fish, minced meat and a few prawns. I chopped the okro and ugu with an electric food chopper rather than completely blending it. That way, they can still feel the okro and it will also make it easier for them to transition to eating the chunky chopped adult okra.
Kid-friendly Nigerian Okro Soup Recipe
- 10 – 15 fingers of Okro (finely chopped or pounded)
- 1 medium size onions (chopped)
- 1 -2 cloves garlic
- 1 cooking spoon of red palm oil
- 2 tablespoons of ground crayfish
- Mackerel Fish (cooked and deboned)
- Minced or ground beef (you can use normal beef)
- Nigerian Ugu leaves (you can substitute with spinach or kale)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fish stock (learn how to get it) and water
- Season the minced meat with a little salt, minced garlic and onions, then roll into small balls and set aside. You can bind with egg too, to keep it from falling apart.
- Put a pot on the gas and pour in the palm oil. Add the chopped onions and the meatballs, fry together for about a minute and then add the fish stock. Add some water if the stock is too small for the soup.
- Add the ground crayfish pepper and seasoning cube, then allow to boil for about 5-10 minutes to ensure the meatballs are done and the stock well blended.
- Add the blended okro, prawns and ugu. Stir well to combine before adding the mackerel fish This is to avoid breaking them into pieces.
- Simmer for about a minute, adjust for taste and give a final gentle stir to combine the fish. Remove pot from the heat source otherwise the okro and ugu will overcook, thereby losing most of the nutrients.
- Serve with the pom-poms from either eba, oatmeal, yam flour or other swallow.
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