The phrase Surf and Turf is American. It just means Fish and Meat all in one plate. Think about the word Surf, water, the ocean, surf, get it? Then examine the word Turf. Land, grass, animals that graze on it. Get it too? Trust Americans to come up with funny food terminologies. I would like to have them know that we have been including fish and meat in our Nigerian delicacies for yeeeeeeeeears. We just didn’t call it Surf and Turf. Looool. Anyway, the Americans should permit me to borrow this phrase for my Ottong Soup. The idea came to me a last week when I made a Surf and Turf Grill of Sirloin Steak and Tuna Steak, which I served with seasoned Stir Fry Vegetables. Very Yum I tell you. Will put it up as a separate post on its own.
Anyways, I was channeling my Intense Ila Asepo recipe (recipe click HERE). This time, I decided to go Efik with Ottong Soup. Their similarities abound. The only differences I would say is the addition of Iru and kaun in Ila Asepo and Uziza in Ottong Soup. Seafood happens to do very very well with Okro. You know why? The short cooking time of Okro ensures that the Seafood will not overcook. The freshness of the seafood, with the green, fresh crunchiness of the okro makes it a winning combination. I wanted to mess with that a little, by throwing in good old, bold flavoured meat. Hey, you can’t call it Surf and Turf without the Turf. Looool.
My greatest motivation for making this was my desire to pair it with Orange Eba. As Remmy Tee said, the colour contrast would be amazing, and she was so right. Pretty, Pretty, pretty on a plate. The colour, paired with the Tangerine Shape, then contrasted against the green of the okro and dark green flecks of the vegetables, plus the coral of the crabs and fresh tiger prawns, this was a plate of food popping off the colour chart. Really pleased with this dish and I hope you would too.
You will need
Assorted meats – i used goat meat, beef, saki and cowleg
Generous amount of Meat Stock
Smoked Red Prawns
Yellow Pepper Preferred) – yellow ata rodo, you can use red if that is what you have
1 big handful of Ugu
Fresh Seafood – i used tiger prawns and crabs
Like my Ogbono Soup (recipe click HERE), I am also not using any salt or seasoning cubes with this dish. All the seasoning I want comes directly from the intense meat stock. My secret weapon, crayfish.
1. Boil and season your meats, stockfish, smoked fish and smoked red prawns with salt and seasoning cubes. This is the only point I use seasoning cubes. Your stock should be so rich and delicious, it should also smell great too. It will give you a hint of how your soup will fast alike. The stock will get even better by the time you add the fresh seafood.
2. Stock ready, blend the yellow pepper and add to it. My fried Joy who taught me how to cook Efik soups swears by Yellow Pepper. She told me it has this extra special flavour to the soup and I didn’t need convincing. It really does, especially in Edikang Ikong. Try it next time and see
3. Add the blended yellow pepper to the stock, and finish off with a cooking spoon of ground crayfish and let it simmer along nicely.
4. Add Palm oil, just a little of it. A cooking spoon to a cooking spoon and a half
and bring to a boil.
5. Add the fresh seafood and turn down the heat immediately. Dooney’s Kitchen Soup: you cook seafood on low heat, so as not to overcook it. The stock is already boiling hot, let its residual heat cook the seafood.
6. Allow the seafood cook till the prawns get pink and the crabs turn coral
7. Add the okro. I hand cut mine. It can be pounded, but aint nobody got time for that. I love being a 2014 cook. Once the okro goes in, add ugu and uziza too. You can decide to add the ugu and uziza a few minutes after the okro goes in, but i prefer to add them in quick succession to allow the flavour of the uziza permeate through the okro. Stir very well and keep the heat on low. You don’t want to overcook the okro, so you can keep its crunch and green colour
Let it cook for roughly 5 minutes or under depending on how much okro you have. At this point, I added extra pepper, because it wasn’t hot enough. I used red though, just because I had run out of yellow.
See the meats and seafood lying side by side looking gorgeous
8. Finish off with a little hot water, an extra helping of crayfish to improve the flavour
and tear in smoked mackerel. Turn off the heat, cover the pot and let it just sit there absorbing all the flavours.
………………and that’s your Surf and Turf Ottong Soup, done
You want to make this, trust me. The smell, the taste, the way the meats combine with the fresh seafood and the smoked fish, plus the aroma of the uziza, the crunch of the okro and Ugu. Yum, Yums
As promised, I served this with The Orange Eba. Colours on a plate. I was bone weary exhausted by the time this soup was done. I had been cooking since 12pm, and only sat down to dinner at 9.10pm watching Game of Thrones. Luckily it was the best episode this season (well apart from the one Joffery died, nothing can top that. Loooool), so my Bank Holiday Monday ended on quite a high note.
Would you be willing to try Orange Eba? Look out for how I made it on the next post