This post may contain affiliate links which means I will get a commission if you make a purchase at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please read my disclosure for details.

Nigerian cuisine is as varied as its people, with each region boasting unique dishes and flavors. Afang soup is no exception. Synonymous to the Efik ethnic group in southern Nigeria, this dish is traditionally made with water leaves and okazi, and it has a rich, earthy flavor that will make you beg for more.

WANT TO SAVE THIS RECIPE?

Enter your email below and we'll send the recipe straight to your inbox!

Authentic Nigerian Afang Soup

You can’t get bored of Nigerian vegetable soups because there is always a new one for you each week!

This afang soup recipe is one of the vegetable soups made with afang leaf, assorted meats, and flavorful smoked and dry fish that will have the whole family begging for more till you have no leftovers to relish the next day.

It is best enjoyed with Nigerian swallow foods like fufu, eba, pounded yam, and any chilled drink of your choice.

What Is Afang Soup?

Afang soup is a popular vegetable soup from south Nigeria among the Efik people of Cross Rivers state and Ibibio people of Akwa Ibom state.

afang soup and fufu

Afang soup is very similar to edikang ikong soup solely based on the similarities in preparing them. However, different vegetables are used to differentiate their taste.

Afang soup is usually served at homes, restaurants, and ceremonies in the southern part of Nigeria.

It is also known as a Cameroonian dish because some parts of Cameroon bordering Cross River state also enjoy this delicious soup.

Why You’ll Love This Afang Soup Recipe

  • Tasty – The combination of vegetables, proteins, and spices in afang soup makes this dish a hit among family and friends.
  • Diet Friendly – Apart from the good taste of Afang soup, it is also known for being one of Nigeria’s richest and most medicinal vegetable soups.
  • Budget Friendly – You will have this tantalizing soup on your table with inexpensive ingredients.
afang soup pictures

What Does Afang Soup Taste Like?

Afang soup has a slightly bitter taste caused by the chlorophyll content in the afang or Okazi leaves.

If you want to mellow down the bitter taste in your afang soup, use okazi leaf that does not have a very dark green color.

Is Afang Soup The Same As Okazi Soup?

No, afang soup and okazi soup are not the same.

While okazi soup is made of okazi leaves and thickeners like ofo, achi, ukpo, or egusi in it, afang soup only consists of okazi leaves and water leaves with no thickeners.

Difference Between Afang Soup and Edikang Ikong

The difference between afang soup and edikang ikong is based on the type of leafy vegetables used.

While afang soup uses afang (okazi) leaf and water leaf, edikang ikong uses water leaf (or ugu) and pumpkin leaves (or spinach) vegetable.

how to cook calabar afang soup

Is Afang Soup Healthy?

Yes, afang soup is a nutritious soup. It is rich in carbohydrates, proteins, dietary fibers, fats, amino acids, and essential nutrients like calcium, iron, magnesium, and zinc.

All of these nutrients are needed for the better functioning of cells in the body.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Okazi Leaf?

Aids Digestion And Weight Loss

Okazi leaf is rich in dietary fibers that keep you full for a long time and reduce appetite. This helps to promote weight loss.

The high fiber content in the leaf also has a good laxative effect that helps with general gut health.

Good For Bones And Teeth

The high calcium content of okazi leaves helps develop bones and teeth.

okazi leaves

Good For The Heart

The fiber content of okazi leaf may reduce the heart’s risk of cardiovascular and coronary diseases.

Lowers Blood Pressure

Okazi leaves are rich in magnesium and calcium, which help to reduce the risk of low blood pressure.

Good For Fertility

The calcium, iron, and zinc content in okazi leaf are good for fertility and increase sexual desires in both genders.

Afang Soup Ingredients

  • Okazi LeavesAlso known as afang leaf. The main ingredient of afang soup gives this dish a delicious taste and aroma.
  • Fresh Water Leaves – This is another leafy vegetable added to afang soup. It balances the bitter taste of okazi leaf and is the reason for the slimy texture of the soup.
  • Palm OilRed palm oil is usually regarded as the real deal in afang soup. It adds color to the soup and gives it that rich African taste.
  • BeefNo Nigerian food is complete without an assortment of meats. The beef in this recipe gives the soup a rich umami taste that makes it more savory.
  • Dried FishDried fish is another flavourful protein you should add to your afang soup. It has a strong flavor and aroma.
  • Stock FishStockfish have a lighter seafood flavor than dried fish. All the ingredients combined give this soup a complex flavor.
  • Ground CrayfishI can’t think of any Nigerian soup that you can’t add crawfish to. I felt something major was missing when I couldn’t get crayfish locally for almost a month.
  • Meat Stock – The flavorful stock from the boiled beef will serve as a base in the afang soup.
  • OnionOnions are known for the chemical properties of accentuating the aroma and taste of any dish. They also have nutrients that are good for overall well-being.
  • Cameroon Ground PepperThis Cameroon pepper is made from dried scotch bonnet pepper. It adds some hotness to your afang soup. If your taste buds can’t take the hotness, you can reduce the quantity you use.
  • Seasoning cubes Add seasoning cubes, bouillon cubes, or bouillon powder to taste.
  • SaltAdd salt to taste.
afang soup ingredients

Tools Needed To Prepare Afang Soup

Ingredient Additions & Substitutions For Afang Soup

Beef

No beef? No problem! Substitute beef with any meat option you have. Goat meat, tripe, and cow skin (ponmo) would be great alternatives. You can use mushrooms or tofu for a vegan version of this soup.

Cameroon Ground Pepper

Cameroon pepper is a dry ground pepper that can be substituted with fresh peppers like fresh cayenne pepper, fresh scotch bonnets, or fresh habanero pepper.

Water Leaves

If you don’t have access to water leaves, you can use baby spinach instead. These unmatured fresh spinach leaves are more tender and have a sweeter flavor that makes them a great substitute for water leaves.

Fresh Periwinkles

You can add a cup of periwinkles to your afang soup if you love it! You already know they have that meaty texture and wholesome taste that will make you crave more of this soup till you have none left for tomorrow.

How to Make Afang Soup (Step-by-Step)

Ingredients

recipe for afang soup

Instructions

STEP 1: Precook your meat. If you’re using an assortment of meat, remember that they may need different times to be fully cooked and tender. I love using my Instant Pot for tougher meats like cowskin and oxtail. Keep the meat stock.

STEP 2: In a large pot or saucepan, heat up oil and sauté chopped onions for about 2-3 minutes.

afang soup recipe - Step 2
afang soup recipe - Step 2b

STEP 3: Add the meat stock.

afang soup recipe - Step 3

STEP 4: Add the Cameroon pepper, crayfish, cooked beef, stock fish, dry fish, and other pre-cooked meats you’re using. Stir, taste for seasoning, and adjust to taste. Cover and let it simmer for 3-5 minutes.

afang soup recipe - Step 4
afang soup recipe - Step 4b

STEP 5: Add the ground okazi leaves.

afang soup recipe - Step 5

STEP 6: Add salt and seasoning cubes.

afang soup recipe - Step 6

STEP 7: Finally, add the water leaves or spinach, stir to mix, lower heat to simmer for another 2 minutes, then turn off the heat.

afang soup recipe - Step 7

STEP 8: Serve hot with your choice of swallow-like eba as we’ve done here.

What Can I Eat Afang Soup With?

High Carbs Swallow

  • Pounded yam
  • Cassava fufu
  • Eba
  • Oatmeal fufu
  • Plantain fufu
  • Semovita
  • Rice

Keto Friendly Swallow (Low Carbs)

  • Cabbage fufu
  • Eggplant fufu
  • Cauliflower fufu

Tips About Making Afang Soup

  • To make things faster on the day you prepare your afang soup, prep fresh meat a week before.
  • If you did not prep meat before that day, you could use an instant pot to get the meat tender fast and quicken the process of making afang soup.
  • Sliced afang leaves should be ground or pounded in a food processor or mortar before use.
  • Water leaves are usually added before afang leaves. But, because of the toughness of afang leaves, it was added first in this recipe. You can reverse this by adding water leaves before afang leaves.
  • Make sure to soak smoked fish and dried fish in hot water to remove every trace of dirt on them.
  • Only a little quantity of water is needed to cook this soup. It is not meant to be watery. In fact, the only liquids you need are meat stock and palm oil.
afang recipe

How To Store Afang Soup

The only way to preserve afang soup is to pour it into an airtight container and put it in the freezer.

When you are ready to eat it again, pour it into your cooking pot and warm it on medium heat for 2-3 minutes till it is alive again.

Some people love one-day-old afang soup because by then, the meats and seafood would have infused well in the soup to give a more seasoned taste.

FAQ About Afang Soup

What Is The English Name For Afang Soup?

Afang soup is known as “Wild Spinach Soup” in English.

What Makes Afang Soup Bitter?

The chlorophyll content of afang leaf is the reason for the bitter taste of this Nigerian soup.

Does Afang Soup Purge?

Yes, most leafy vegetable soups make people purge, and afang soup is no exception. This is because the nutrients in the soup hit some functions of the digestive tract, such as removing buildups in the bowel through purging.

Is Afang Soup Good For Pregnant Women?

Yes, afang soup is rich in nutrients that can ensure better development of the fetus and also prevent illnesses in expecting mothers (source).

Authentic Nigerian Afang Soup

Authentic Nigerian Afang Soup

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Nigerian cuisine is as varied as its people, with each region boasting unique dishes and flavors. Afang soup is no exception. Synonymous to the Efik ethnic group in southern Nigeria, this dish is traditionally made with water leaves and okazi, and it has a rich, earthy flavor that will make you beg for more.

Ingredients

  • 500 g Ground okazi leaves
  • 400 g Water leaves (or spinach)
  • 250 g Beef (or smoked turkey)
  • 400 g Dried fish
  • ½ cup Crayfish (aka crawfish)
  • 250 g Stock fish
  • 5 cups Meat stock
  • 2 cups Palm oil
  • 1 medium Onion (chopped)
  • 1 tbp Cameroon ground pepper
  • 2 Seasoning cubes (or 2 tsp bouillon powder)
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Precook your meat. If you’re using an assortment of meat, remember that they may need different times to be fully cooked and tender. I love using my Instant Pot for tougher meats like cowskin and oxtail. Keep the meat stock.
  2. In a large pot or saucepan, heat up oil and sauté chopped onions for about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the meat stock.
  4. Add the Cameroon pepper, crayfish, cooked beef, stock fish, dry fish, and other pre-cooked meats you’re using. Stir, taste for seasoning, and adjust to taste. Cover and let it simmer for 3-5 minutes.
  5. Add the ground okazi leaves.
  6. Add salt and seasoning cubes.
  7. Finally, add the water leaves or spinach, stir to mix, lower heat to simmer for another 2 minutes, then turn off the heat.
  8. Serve hot with your choice of swallow-like eba as we’ve done here.

Notes

  • If using smoked fish, pick out the bones and cut it into big chunks before adding it to the pot of soup.
  • You can pulse the water leaves (or spinach) in a food processor you like.
  • I usually prep the meats used for my soups and stews a day or up to a week before making the soup. That way I save a lot of time on the day I make the soup. The meat stock is also prepped ahead.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 958Total Fat: 72gSaturated Fat: 33gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 34gCholesterol: 210mgSodium: 3866mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 72g

* Please note that all nutrition information are just estimates. Values will vary among brands, so we encourage you to calculate these on your own for the most accurate results.

Love this recipe? Save for later!

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Conclusion

To conclude, making afang soup is not as difficult as it may seem. The key ingredients are afang leaves, water leaves, okazi, and meat. If you can find these ingredients, the rest is simply about following the recipe.

Of course, there are many different ways to make afang soup, so feel free to experiment with different ingredients and methods until you find the perfect afang soup for you and your family.

The bottom line is that afang soup is a tantalizing Nigerian treat packed with important nutrients that are believed to be good for the body’s overall functioning.

step by step on how to cook afang soup

One unique thing I love about afang soup is that it can be eaten with different Nigerian swallow foods and even rice.

And while you’re enjoying your plate of afang soup, don’t forget to “push everything down” with a cold glass of water or soft drink like Chapman, coco-cola, or wine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *