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What does Egusi soup taste like? Here are what to expect about its flavor and more. Does Egusi soup taste good? What is Nigerian Egusi soup made of?
Nigeria is home to many delicious soups you will love. And one of the best ones everyone must try is Egusi soup.
So what is Egusi soup? What does Egusi soup taste like?
This article will guide you on what to expect with this filling soup made from ground Egusi seeds.
If you like pumpkin seeds, you’ll love this hearty Nigerian dish!
What Is Egusi Soup?
Egusi soup, sometimes called Egusi stew, is a Nigerian dish made from Egusi seeds. But if you’re unfamiliar with Egusi, you’re not alone.
The best way to describe Egusi is it’s a wild watermelon widely cultivated in Nigeria. But, interestingly, you can’t eat the fruit of this watermelon like the watermelons we usually see in stores.
So in Nigeria, the carb and protein-packed seeds are used in various dishes like the Egusi soup.
The ground Egusi seeds thicken and flavor the dish.
You can even make a thicker Egusi soup by putting ground Egusi seeds and water in a food processor and adding the resulting creamy paste to the soup!
But more than Egusi seeds, this hearty Nigerian soup also features other ingredients like meats and greens. So how does it taste?
What Does Egusi Soup Taste Like?
So what does Egusi soup taste like? Because Egusi soup is made from Egusi melon seeds, it tastes nutty but also savory from the various meat in the dish. Additionally, the vegetables give the hearty soup an earthy flavor, and the mixed spices make the overall taste complex but delicious and satisfying.
Compared to most soups I’m familiar with, the Nigerian Egusi soup eats like a stew.
It’s full of different meats and veggies, so you mostly eat the soup instead of just sipping each spoonful.
There are also different versions of this comforting soup (or stew) across Nigeria.
The various proteins, greens, and seasonings result in different tastes and flavor combinations.
Some versions of this tasty meal include those that add tomatoes, omit greens, use herbs, or include toasted Egusi seeds instead of just ground seeds.
Does Egusi Soup Taste Like Fish?
The rich, nutty, and umami Egusi soup uses assorted meat and fish, so the taste of these proteins will be featured in the overall flavor of the dish.
Do not be surprised by the strong smell of stockfish because it tastes incredible in this African soup!
Does Egusi Soup Taste Spicy?
For people who are not fond of spicy foods, the good news is Egusi soup is not spicy. But for those who love some spicy kick in their meal, you can add spicy pepper to the dish and adjust the heat level as needed.
Does Egusi Soup Taste Bitter?
Egusi soup can have a bitter flavor, especially if the bitter greens are not thoroughly washed out before cooking.
You can also just use another leafy vegetable, like spinach leaves, instead of bitter leaves.
Does Egusi Soup Taste Good?
Egusi soup tastes good because it features different proteins, greens, spices, and nutty Egusi seeds. You can enjoy this dish with swallows, which are soft doughs made from root crops, or if you love mashed potatoes, try Nigeria’s pounded yam with Egusi soup.
And if our talk about Egusi soup had you craving the rich, hearty, and umami dish, and you also want to try pounded yam, I have good news for you!
Here’s how to make Nigerian pounded yam and Egusi soup. It’s easy, and you’ll surely appreciate Nigerian cuisine if you make the dish yourself.
What Is Egusi Soup Made Of?
Ground Egusi seeds are the main ingredient of the tasty Egusi soup. The red palm oil also gives the dish some color, while Scotch bonnet pepper adds a nice kick to the overall taste.
The Nigerian soup is also packed with meat, which makes it seem like you’re eating a stew. They include beef, cowskin, smoked fish, tripe, and ground crayfish.
The resulting savory dish is further enhanced by onion and seasoning cubes.
Then, the flavor is balanced by chopped green vegetables, which also add nutrients.
Finally, you can add locust beans to the Egusi soup for a finger-licking taste that will surely make you crave for more.
The Different Types of Substitutes And Additions For Egusi Soup Ingredients
Egusi soup uses bitter leaves because of their aromatic taste and smell. But if unavailable, you can substitute it with Ugwu leaves.
You are not limited by the type of meat you can use when making Egusi soup. You can substitute or add proteins like goat meat to further enhance the rich flavor of this African food.
If you don’t have locust beans, substitute them with Ogiri. This gives it a traditional taste.
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Why You Should Try Egusi Soup
- Customizable: Feel free to modify Egusi soup to your taste. You can substitute some ingredients as well if they’re unavailable.
- Healthy: Egusi soup is healthy thanks to nutritious ingredients like Egusi seeds and greens. This type of soup is also keto-friendly!
- Delicious: This hearty dish from West Africa is like a cross between soup and stew. It reminds me of comforting homemade meals that instantly make you feel better and full!
How Healthy Is Egusi Soup?
The main ingredient of this delightful soup is Egusi seeds, which are packed with nutrients like vitamins A and B, niacin, folate, iron, and fiber.
When I discovered that wild watermelon itself couldn’t be eaten, and only the actual seeds are consumed, I wondered if these seeds have other benefits besides the rich taste and thickness they add to Nigerian dishes.
So learning that the blended melon seeds are nutritious makes each spoonful of Egusi soup even more enjoyable.
But back to Egusi soup, people on a keto diet will also be glad to know it is keto compliant because of its low-carb and high-fat content!
Where to Find Egusi Soup
- Restaurants: Try checking out the nearest African restaurants in your location for Egusi soup. If you have Nigerian friends, they might also have recommendations for African stores.
- Websites: Why not follow our blog’s easy Egusi soup recipe and make Egusi soup at home? You can find Egusi seeds on Amazon, and some Etsy shops sell ingredients commonly used in African cuisine.
5 Best Substitutes For Egusi Soup
Egusi soup is not the only tasty, must-try Nigerian soup. If you’re looking to experience more African cooking, try these easy and delicious recipes:
A favorite among the Yoruba people, Ewedu soup is a delicious and nutritious soup made from jute leaves. Try this viscous soup with amala!
If you haven’t eaten Banga soup before, this is your sign to taste (or make it at home!) Banga soup is a palm nut dish with various meat and fish, making it very filling and satisfying.
Do you love spinach? Try Nigeria’s Ogbono soup made from spinach and ground Ogbono seeds.
This reminds me of Egusi soup which uses ground melon seeds.
Another African dish that features spinach and transforms it into a delicious and hearty meal is Efo Riro or Spinach stew. Imagine spinach stirred in a rich pepper mix with various meat and fish!
Nigerians really know how to make their stews, so if you’re a tomato lover, you shouldn’t miss out on their tomato stew. It’s a savory dish made with meat or fish in a rich blend of tomatoes, onions, pepper, spices, and seasonings.
Recipes That Have Egusi Soup In It
If you’re enticed by this African meal’s complex flavor and health benefits, you can follow this easy recipe and make it at home! This also includes pounded yam, which will taste great with the rich soup.
After all, the best way to know what Egusi soup taste like is by trying it yourself!
- 400 g ground melon seeds (egusi)
- 8 oz palm Oil or a little more or less depending on preference
- 3-4 tbsp locust beans
- 50 g chopped spinach
- 16 oz pepper mixture (bell pepper and habanero pepper)
- 1 large onion, ground/finely chopped
- 1-3 Stock cubes
- 1 lb beef
- 1/2 lb cow skin (or beef tripe)
- 1/2 lb smoked fish
- 1 tbs ground crayfish
- 16 oz beef broth
- Salt To Taste
- In a separate bowl, mix the ground melon and half of the onion together with a small amount of water (2-4 tbsp) until you get a lumpy paste.
- Add palm oil to saucepan and heat on medium heat. Be careful not to overheat the oil.
- Saute the remaining half of the onion in the hot palm oil.
- Add your onion-melon paste in lumps to the saucepan.
- Let the paste fry for about a minute or until it's darker in color, then delicately flip over.
- Remove the cooked lumps of melon and set them aside.
- Use the same oil to fry your onion and pepper mixture. Add the beef broth and locust beans. You can transfer for a bigger pot if needed.
- Cook for about 10-15 minutes until most of the water has evaporated and pepper sauce looks dark red.
- Add the smoked fish, cooked beef, cowskin, and prepared ground melon lumps.
- Now add your seasoning powder (stock cubes) and salt. Stir lightly so as not to break the fried egusi.
- Add your chopped spinach and stir. Let the soup cook for about 5 minutes.
- Serve hot with your favorite accompaniment (i.e., swallow) or rice, if you dare.
- Locust beans may be omitted from the dish if you are not a fan of its smell.
- If your soup is too thick, add some broth or water. Some people prefer egusi soup they can "scoop up" with their pounded yam and others prefer egusi with more sauce.
- The taste of your egusi soup will be remarkably different if you go with spinach instead of bitter leaf.
- If your soup is too bitter, consider washing your bitter leaves a little longer and changing the water frequently.
- You can add as much leafy greens as you want to this recipe. It's a great way to meet your daily fiber intake.
- Watch the amount of salt you add to the soup. It's easy for egusi to get too salty -due to salt from the broth and evaporation from the soup.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1069Total Fat: 68gSaturated Fat: 31gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 33gCholesterol: 148mgSodium: 1152mgCarbohydrates: 67gFiber: 22gSugar: 11gProtein: 63g
* 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.
What To Eat Egusi Soup With
The rich, nutty, and umami Egusi soup pairs deliciously with another Nigerian favorite: pounded yam. It’s a staple in African cuisine, perfect with other dishes like Efo Riro and Ewedu.
Another pounded popular dish that is usually eaten with Egusi stew is Fufu. But if you’re unfamiliar with it, we got you!
Know what Fufu tastes like in our easy read.
Eba is a Nigerian swallow that is best eaten with soups like Egusi and Afang soup. The yummy dough is made from fried cassava and hot boiling water.
Another swallow that would be perfect for serving with Egusi soup is Amala. You’ll love its slight sweetness from yam, especially with the richness of Egusi soup.
Does Egusi Soup Go Bad?
Egusi soup can go bad like any other soup, so you should store it in the fridge or freezer. But if it turns sour, here is what you can do:
What to do if Egusi soup gets sour?
According to Opera News, you can restore Egusi soup with onion and palm oil if it turns sour.
Start by heating a generous amount of palm oil in a pot, then add sliced onions, crayfish, and fresh pepper.
Next, add half a cup of water and sour soup. Cook on low heat and adjust the seasonings as needed to restore your soup.
How To Store Egusi Soup
After cooling, transfer the Egusi soup to an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for up to 5 days. If you need to store it longer, use the freezer, and the dish should be good for a few months.
The mouthwatering soup won’t lose its delightful flavors even in storage. Just reheat it like any other soup and enjoy!
FAQ About Egusi Soup
Is Egusi soup fatty?
The main ingredient in Egusi soup, which is Egusi seeds, contains good or HDL cholesterol. It’s called good cholesterol because it’s healthy for the heart.
What is Egusi soup called in English?
Egusi soup can be translated as white melon seed soup because of the Egusi seeds used for the flavor and thickness of the dish.
What is the difference between Fufu and Egusi?
Fufu is a swallow usually served with a bowl of soup like Egusi. Do your taste buds a favor and try these Nigerian dishes together!
So what does Egusi soup taste like?
Egusi soup tastes nutty, umami, earthy, and flavorful because of the Egusi seeds, meat, fish, vegetables, and mixed spices.
It’s hearty, comforting, and delicious, especially with Nigerian staples like pounded yam and African Fufu.
So if you want to start your gastronomic journey in Nigerian cuisine, I recommend trying their soups like the Egusi soup. It’s loaded with different meats and tasty greens you can eat like a stew!
For more frequently asked questions, visit our index of food-related questions and answers. Here are a few suggestions for you: