Food and Recipe: Edika Ikong – Pumpkin Leaves Soup by Enoh Akpan

eno okra4This soup originated from my state Akwa Ibom, “the promised land” rich in both crude and palm oil amidst various other natural resources. When you are in need of rich vegetables for healthy living and to satisfy the urge for good food, look no further. Let me take you through step by step process of making the real “edika ikong”.


Freshly cut pumpkin leaves

Water leaves

Dry stock fish & Dry fish

Beef/chicken/goat meat or fish [as desired]

Assorted meat parts

Cow skin [aka Pomo]

Fresh yellow pepper/Cameroun pepper 

Crayfish [Ground]  

Onions Stock cube & Salt  

Palm oil [optional]

Process – Step One: 

Have the Beef/chicken/goat meat [as desired] washed properly, cooked with some nicely chopped onions, two cubes of stock, and a pinch a salt. While it boils wash the stock fish properly and add some water to the boiling meat and then add the stock fish inside to also cook to tender state. [Some prefer to have the stock fish cooked separately, that’s on the premise that they aren’t sure of the nature of the stock fish as some do have very strong nose wriggling aroma and won’t want to infuse it into the other protein elements for the soup].

Step Two: Have the vegetables [pumpkin leaves and water leaves] washed properly ensuring no sand particles is left in them, preferably wash the leaves after cutting in a bowl full of water with a sieve, dip sieve in the bowl with the leaves inside, also have tap water run directly on the leaves while you shake rinsing them properly and set aside. Then go ahead and wash the dried fish also, have another bulb of onions chopped in small bits.

Step Three:  Have the an empty clean pot on the cooker at medium heat, put the waterleaves and chopped onions into the pot and allow to cook for about 3 minutes, check to see the that the leaves have developed its moisture then you add your pepper and crayfish [you could also have the crayfish put in little water stir before pouring into the pot, also aimed at eliminating sand particles as crayfish tends to have some due to its origin- the sea].wardrobes banner 3

Step Four: You can now take the meat stock and added which should not be too much as the soup is not mean to have too much water, ascertain the taste level after putting the meat stock before you add extra salt and stock seasoning as desired. Then you can put the dried fish, stock fish, pomo to cook for another 3-5 minutes, the meats can now be added and allowed to cook for 2 minutes stirring properly to ensure a mix of all the ingredients [If you’re using fish please stir carefully on the side so as not to break the fish].

Step Five: At this point the washed pumpkin leaves can now be added and have the heat turned down, this is aimed at not killing the leaves nutrients and the greenish glow with too much heat. As desired palm oil can be added allow for another one minute … Soup is ready to serve with your choice of starch but I prefer mine with boiled white rice.


Enoh is the Chef @FoodHood Cuisine, a catering business situated in Lagos. They provide a wide range of Indoor and Outdoor services i.e. finger foods, Chapman, cocktails, assorted drinks and home delivery services. For bookings and more info please contact – Tel: 07031867817, or e-mail –


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