Relish your Taste buds with Ekpang Nkukwo: Food of the Nobles
Ekpang Nkuwko is a native Nigerian Efik/Ibibio pottage dish, made with grated cocoyam (taro) and an optional water yam. The grated yams are wrapped in sweet potato or cocoyam leaves and cooked in palm oil with onions, meats, dried fish and periwinkles.
- Water Yam (The water yam helps to soften the cocoyam to avoid dry, strong or hard ekpang nkukwo)
- Hot Water
- Palm Oil
- Sweet Potato Leaves (You can substitute with cocoyam leaves or green turnip leaves)
- Ground Crayfish
- Black or White Pepper
- Ground Pepper. You can substitute with chilli powder. Add to taste.
- Deboned Dry Fish (Wash and soak in hot water for some minutes to soften)
- Maggi Seasoning /Bouillon Cubes
- Ponmo or goatmeat
- Salt to taste
- Leaf Vegetables
- A handful of Pumpkin Leaves(Ugwu) and a sprinkle of Scent Leaves. Washed and chopped. You can substitute ugwu with spinach or kale and scent leaves with basil
Direction to cook
Step 1. Peel the cocoyam and water yam. Grate both, add salt and ground pepper to taste, mix both together. If it feels too dry or hard, add a little water to soften and mix everything together.
Step 2. Wash the sweet potato leaves (or cocoyam leaves) thoroughly, take out the middle bone and tear it into two equal parts.
Step 3. Pour palm oil into an empty pot, wrap the cocoyam and water yam mixture in bits(finger size) with the leaves and place on top of the oil in the pot. Do this until you have wrapped all the cocoyam and water yam mixture.
Step 4. Add in the chopped onions, periwinkles and hot water.
***The water should be on the same level with the wrapped yams. Don’t add too much water here so the ekpang won’t come out watery. It is best to start small and supplement with more water as the ekpang cooks along.
Step 5. Bring to a boil, then season with salt and Maggi seasoning cubes to taste, black or white pepper, meats and fish . Cover the pot and cook slowly for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Step 6. Add in the crayfish, stir gently so the ekpang doesn’t come out too mushy, taste for salt and adjust taste if necessary (you can add in some ground pepper here also). Add more water if necessary to prevent the cocoyam from sticking to the bottom of the pot and cook for about 10 minutes.
Step 7. Add the ugwu and scent leaves. Let it cook for about a minute.
Your Ekpang Nkukwo is ready.