How To Cook Ekpang Nkukwo

Ekpang Nkukwo is a Nigerian dish indigenous to the Efiks and Ibibios in Cross River and Akwa Ibom State. It is highly nutritious and contains carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals, etc It often draws the art out of the person that is making it because of the cylindrical tying in leaves that is the hallmark.
500g of Cocoyam or 8 medium size
2 medium size of dried of smoked fish
200g Water Yam (Optional)
1 big bunch of tender Cocoyam leaves or Pumpkin leaves (Ugu)
Very little Scent leaves (Nchanwu) or Utazi or Effirin
3 cooking spoon of Palm oil
4 table spoons of Crayfish
1 medium bulb Onions
2 milk cups of shelled Periwinkle or 500g of unshelled Periwinkle
Beef & assorted meat as desired
1 cup of stock fish pieces
1 table spoon of dried pepper
2 Maggi or Knorr cubes seasoning
3/4 or 1 litre of water
Snail (Optional)
Salt to taste

Wash, season and cook the meat and stock fish till tender.
Peel, wash and grate the cocoyam and set aside. If you will be adding water yam, also peel, wash and grate it. Mix the two together and set aside.
Wash the shelled periwinkles. If you are using the unshelled periwinkles, top and tail the unshelled periwinkle, this can actually be done for you in the market. Wash the unshelled periwinkle thoroughly because it carries a lot of mud and sand.
Wash the cocoyam leaves and tear into medium pieces. If you are using pumpkin leaves, also wash it and keep it aside.
Rub a generous amount of red palm oil on the insides of the pot.
Wash and slice the scent leaves into tiny pieces.

If you are using the unshelled periwinkles, place them at the bottom of the well-oiled pot.
Scoop small quantity of the grated cocoyam into a piece of the torn cocoyam leaf or one pumpkin leaf and wrap the cocoyam with the leaf. Place the wrapped cocoyam inside the pot. Repeat the process till all the grated cocoyam (and water yam) is exhausted.

Add the crayfish, maggi, onion, pepper, shelled periwinkles smoked or dried fish and assorted meat to the cooking pot.
Add the meat stock (ie meat water) and hot water to the level of the pot contents. Add the water from the edge of the pot a little at a time and allow to cook for about 30 minutes.
Add the scent leaves, a generous amount of palm oil and salt to taste.
Cook for about 5 minutes more and stir. Remove from heat and serve hot. Enjoy.

Credits: Lilian.

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