How To Prepare Ekpang Nkukwo || Akwa Ibom Recipe
Ekpang Nkukwo (Akwa Ibom Recipe)
Ekpang Nkukwo is one of the most popular delicacy amongst the Efik and Ibibio people of Nigeria.
Ekpang Nkukwo also known as “Ekwang” is a Nigerian meal which originated from the Efik (Cross-River) and Ibibio (Akwa-Ibom) people of South-South Eastern Nigeria. To be precise, I will be focusing on how to prepare it using the Akwa-Ibom recipe.
Ekpang Nkukwo is a special traditional dish served at special occasions or events like traditional marriages, festivals, village meetings, christenings, and others. An occasion is never complete without Ekpang Nkukwo.
It is prepared either of grated cocoyam, wateryam (grated) or a combination of both cocoyam and wateryam, rolled in cocoyam leaves or pumpkin leaves (Ugwu).
These days, people use other green vegetables apart from cocoyam leaves and pumpkin leaves. Ekpang Nkukwo is never complete without proteins like assorted meat, periwinkles, dried fish, snails, etc.
Palm oil is an important ingredient that is needed to prepare this special food as it gives it that attractive and yummy yellowish colour with green vegetables to complement its look.
The red cocoyam is the most preferable for Ekwang. Cocoyam is planted during the early rainy season in Nigeria. Precisely, from March to April or April to May. It is usually harvested as early as mid-September to the end of November.
Ekpang Nkukwo recipe is mostly prepared and enjoyed on its own. It is very nutritional as it contains, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, mineral and fat. Before now, brides to be in the Efik and Ibibio tribes were encouraged to be fed with this meal to make them freshy and healthy before the traditional marriage ceremony.
It was also eaten by women who newly gave birth.
How to Prepare Ekpang Nkukwo (Akwa Ibom Recipe)
Preparation of Ekpang Nkukwo takes a lot of time. Before embarking on the journey of preparing this delicacy, you have to be ready to put in your time and effort. Ekpang Nkukwo is not a meal to be prepared in haste.
The ingredients for making Ekpang Nkukwo are as follows.
Water yam (optional)
Pumpkin leaves (Ugwu)
Cow skin (optional)
Method of Preparation
This is where most of the work is. Here are what you should do first before cooking begins.
- Wash cocoyam and water yam with clean water before peeling properly.
- Grate water yam and cocoyam with a grater. Ensure that both are grated into fine paste. Add salt, palm oil and seasoning paste to the paste and stir thoroughly.
- Wash cocoyam leaves thoroughly and tear into medium pieces.
- Cut the smaller side of periwinkles so that it can be easily eaten out of shells. Wash properly with clean warm water.
- Cut meat according to your desired size. Wash meat and steam till tender (steam meat with onions, salt and seasoning cubes).
- Wash dried fish and cow skin properly with warm water and salt. Set aside.
- Rub palm oil at the bottom and sides of cooking pot. This is done to prevent Ekpang Nkukwo from getting burnt during the process of cooking.
- Using a tablespoon, scoop grated cocoyam and water yam paste, wrap cylindrically with a piece of cocoyam leaf. Repeat the process until the paste is finished.
- Wash and slice scent leaves.
- Wash and grind pepper.
- Get a kettle, boil water and set aside. This is used to cook the Ekpang Nkukwo.
Method of Cooking
- Add some periwinkles at the bottom of oiled pot.
- Place wrapped cocoyam and water yam paste into oiled cooking pot. Arrange one after the other until wraps are finished.
- Add in some water(hot) by applying at the edge of the pot. Place cooking pot on heat and cook on low heat.
- To the cooking pot, add washed dried fish, cow skin, steamed meat, salt, seasoning cubes and grinded pepper. Keep cooking on low heat.
- Do not stir to prevent it from getting burnt. Shake cooking pot after about 15 minutes to prevent Ekwang from sticking to the pot.
- Add meat stock, palm oil and cook for another 15 minutes.
- Use wooden spoon to stir Ekpang Nkukwo ensuring that it does not turn mushy.
- Lastly, add grinded pepper, crayfish and scent leaves. Stir and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Your delicious Ekpang Nkukwo is ready. Serve hot.
Health Benefits of Ekpang Nkukwo
Ekpang Nkukwo contains cocoyam as its main ingredient. Cocoyam is rich in Vitamin A and Vitamin C which is very good for maintaining healthy eyes. It helps prevent eye diseases such as cataract, myopia, and blindness.
Promotes Good Digestion
Cocoyam promotes good digestion as it contains high level of dietary fiber which enables good bowel movements thereby help food move through the digestive tract effectively and as well facilitates digestion. A functional digestive system is free from certain conditions like bloating, constipation, excess gas and cramping.
This delicacy reduces inflammation due to the effect of Omega 3 present in cocoyam. It reduces risk of having rheumatoid, ulcers, pulmonary congestion, high blood pressure, and hepatic disorder.
Reduces Blood Pressure
Ekpang Nkukwo contains a high content of potassium due to its presence in cocoyam. It alleviates high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases. People suffering from these diseases should be encouraged to eat more cocoyam.
Source of essential vitamins and minerals.
The typical recipe for Ekpang Nkukwo is made up of vegetables such cocoyam leaves, pumpkin leaves, onions, and/or scent leaves; which are rich in vitamins such as Vitamin A and Vitamin C. It also has mineral contents such as Iron and Potassium.
How To Prepare Ekpang Nkukwo || Akwa Ibom Recipe