Say hello to my new best friend: Efo riro! Efo riro actually needs no introduction but if you’re from my part of the world, this may sound strange to ya! Don’t freak out! Efo riro is one of the most popular dishes in Nigerian. Efo means vegetable soup. This meals is particularly enjoyed by the Yoruba’s of Nigerian but loved and enjoyed by many other tribes as well.
It is made using just about any green leafy vegetable like kale, ugwu, soko or spinach, cooked in a red bell peppers-onion sauce with palm oil and lots of assorted meats. But you know Auntie Zee. I love to add my own signature to food and in my kitchen, nothing is out of bounce.
A reason to jubilate
Wait! Believe it or not, I found green (efo tete/African spinach) at my local Afro shop (African store). Pause….and do a praise break (eh eh eh eh my God is good oooo). I couldn’t believe my eyes when I spotted fresh green sitting pretty in one basket like that as if to say ‘take me, take me, take me’. You know Auntie Zee did not waste time! I rushed to that basket with a speed faster than light fam. Ha! Who deh loss sense? Needless to say that I bought the whole stock available. Opportunities like these come once in 10 years in these parts. Grab it!
The Original Efo Riro Recipe
The original version calls for the use of fresh red bell peppers aka. tatashe ONLY!!! I have tried with red bell peppers only and it tasted o.k. in my humble opinion. Iru or locust beans and crayfish are also a must in this recipe. I personally love iru in stews but not so much in vegetables so I opted out on this one. Issa (it’s a) no no for me!
My version of Efo riro
For my version of Efo riro, I am using green also known as African spinach or Efo tete in Nigeria. I use a mixture of smoked bell peppers and fresh deseeded tomotoes, lots of assorted meats as well and some fresh prawns. This is one recipe that you’ll enjoy and even lick your fingers my lovies. I know my Cameroonian friends will love this one since it is so similar to fried green except for the addition of dried catfish which takes this dish to a whole new level. So good!
How I cook my Efo riro
First, I boil my meats with some salt, beef seasoning powder and onions. You don’t want to season heavily during this process because meats have a distinct taste. If you season heavily, you overshadow that beefy taste. Not good! Next, I season my fresh prawns lightly as well and set aside while I chop my tomatoes and onions. Then I fry my tomatoes and smoked bell peppers in palm oil, add crayfish, meats, and green et voila! It’s that simple.
If you give this recipe a try, be sure to Instagram, Facebook or Twit me a photo. As always, I love seeing your creations. Keep in mind, I’ve got more SUPA recipes on my YouTube channel. You can try my Asian-inspired veggie stir-fry or make this extremely delicious meatballed scotch eggs. Here is a weight loss meal plan you can follow if you are trying to lose some weight. And don’t forget to hit the subscribe button if you haven’t done so already so you never miss a video recipe.
- 3 bunches of green or 1500g, fresh
- 3 onions, coarsely chopped
- 4 tomatoes, deseeded and coarsely chopped
- 3 red and green bell peppers, smoked and coarsely chopped
- 1000g of assorted meats of choice
- 200g prawns, fresh, de-shelled
- 2 tbsp. crayfish, heaped
- 200ml red palm oil
- 3 scotch bonnet peppers (ata rodo)
- Salt & seasoning to taste
- Wash and season assorted meats with salt, seasoning and onions. Cook meat until 95% cooked and then set aside.
- Wash green thoroughly to remove any stones
- Slice to desirable sizes and set aside.
- Bring water to boil in a pot, add a small piece of akanwa aka. bicarbonate of soda. Once akanwa has dissolved in boiling water, add green, turn the heat completely off and cover the pot. The akanwa will soften the green just enough to reduce the crunch while maintaining a beautiful green color.
- After 10 minutes, strain green, and wash thoroughly with cold water to stop the cooking process and also to get rid of the akanwa. Make sure to squeeze out all excess water to avoid watery efo riro.
- Fry prawns in a little oil or boil with salt only.
- Smoke bell peppers in the oven by sprinkling some vegetable oil on it and popping it in the oven to roast untill it turns golden brown on the surface.
- In a pot, add palm oil. Do not bleach. Add chopped onions and fry till transluscent. Then add chopped tomatoes, smoked bell peppers, cryfish and scotch bonnet peppers. Fry till excess water dries up. Add assorted meats, salt and seasoning.
- Now add your greens. Stir well. Taste for seasoning and sautée for about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Enjoy with plantain, yam or rice.
- 1. You can completely leave out the tomatoes and you do not need to smoke the bell peppers either. I just did that to obtain a smoky flavor that I so love.
- 2. Use any dark leafy green of choice. Like kale, spinach, or ugwu.