I am about to blow your mind with the easiest and most tasty pottage you would ever eat ala Asandia Hogan. I met Asandia Hogan on Facebook. She is all things Efik and is a walking Efik Encyclopedia. She is a lovley mother and is passionate about the Efik tradition especially when it comes to cooking. Recently, she had asked me to give her a recipe for something Igbo to cook, but we ended up talking about me cooking Edi Kang Ikong or Ekpang Nkukwo instead; as I had expressed my love for the Efik soups. As usual, she was trying to have me do it the right way. But since I don’t have all the spices, we decided to go for Ukom Isip; which is a simple coconut plantain pottage. As easy as this dish sounds, it is an old and almost extinct dish. I cooked this easily and also hoped she is would give me a thumbs up.
There is something about cooking Efik dishes, their meals are always well put together. It is said that the Efik women know how to keep their men with what they produce from the kitchen. So ladies get to cooking 🙂
I find this dish interesting, as both times I have made it, I have fallen into a food “coma” Asandia please tell me why? And I just cannot seem to get enough of it. My ajebutters are not so fond of boiled plantains, but this one, they loved. The idea of marrying the coconut with the dry pepper is amazing. The Efik gods were definitly honored.
Before going into the recipe, I want to talk about one crucial thing and it is the plantains. It is safer to use a medium ripe plantain. They are still slightly green, but also yellow and still hard to the feel. It makes for a perfect plantain pottage. Below is a picture of the type of plantains I used. Notice how I put them close to the green one for comparison.
Okay here is a print ready recipe for your enjoyment!
- 4 medium ripe plantains
- 4 cups of coconut milk(you may use the can or squeeze some fresh coconut milkt from one coconut). I would advice the use of fresh coconut milk if you can make some
- 1tbsp of dry grinded red pepper(add more pepper if you want)
- 4 tbsps.of crayfish
- ½-1lb of tail on fresh shrimp
- 1 smoked mackerel or any fish(you may use fresh fish)
- one small onion
- 1 maggi crayfish
- salt to taste
- To make coconut milk, simply break the coconut, remove the meat with a blunt knife. cut into little pieces and blend with some luke warm water. Pour through a strainer while squeezing. Add more water if you want and strain one more time
- If using coconut milk from a container, pour directly into the plantain. If the canned coconut milk is too thick, dilute with just a little water or meat stock(do not over dilute)
- Peel plantain by cutting off the head and tail and cutting a shallow slash on the skin from top to bottom and peeling the skin off
- Cut the plantains into medium pieces into a pot. Pour in the coconut milk. Pour in all your seasonings except the prawns and fish. Cook on medium heat and stir occasionally. Once the plantain is cooked and the pottage is forming, pour in the seafood and smoked fish. Cook until the prawns are pink. check for seasonings and set aside