Today for the first time I made Ewedu. And I made it without supervision, am proud of myself. Anyways i’ll like to let Other Ewedu lovers in on some usual Ewedu associated rules that can be broken and infact taste better when this rules are broken and a lot more stress free.
Ewedu is this simple Yoruba vegetable that you prepare as an addendum to be eaten with stew. So its only function is to be the sticky addition to stew that you eat with Amala or Eba (garri). Suprisingly I found out from the chocboi.com site that Ewedu has an English name! it’s called Corchorus, can also be called Jew’s mallow. “If I were you I’ll just stick with the name Ewedu!”(Chocboi) In this case we’ll learn how to make Ewedu that can stand on its own, i.e be eaten without stew and still taste good.
So if you’ve just been plucking Ewedu, plonking it in hot water for a few minutes and serving it with stew, let me show you something different. Make Ewedu my way and I promise you’ll have no regrets.
Ingredients you’ll need:
Ewedu leaves and Okro – ratio 70 – 30%
3 tablespoons of Iru – fermented locust beans
Kaun – potash cubes
1/4 cup of Ground Crayfish
To your satisfaction- Smoked fish
Seasoning cube – Knorr chicken cube preferred
Are you thinking Kuyet!!!! Yes? this is Ewedu, simple and quick Ewedu.
So let’s get started:
1. Get a bunch of Ewedu leaves. Its usually sold in a bunch so i’m afraid I don’t have a measurement guide for Ewedu. carefully pick the leaves of the thin stalks. Dunni’s Kitchen Tip #1: Unlike other vegetables where you pick the leaves with the stalk and set aside the thick branch, with Ewedu you only pick the leaves. So, pick your leaves and rinse thoroughly with plenty water to remove the sand.
2. Rinse the smoked fish with warm salty water. Chop off the okro tip and roughly chop the rest of it, rinse the iru and set aside. Also roughly blend the crayfish and set aside
Dunni’s Kitchen Tip #2: Traditionally Ewedu is made by adding the leaves whole in hot water and when it is boiling, it is beaten with a short broom with hard bristles called “ijabe”. This is the computer age! 21st century! people, use a blender. You must be wondering, why okro? I picked up this useful tip from Dunni. Ewedu can be tricky. Sometimes you just get it wrong and it refuses to be sticky and elastic, and you are left with this flat green concoction that looks like the green juice people on diets have for breakfast. Very, very humiliating. So even though Dunni doesn’t know she has taught me to use okro, not only are you assured of the result it also gives the Ewedu more body and volume.
3. Ewedu is not a fine textured soup. Remember the “ijabe” was used in the past which gave it a rough appearance, so blend the okro first then add the ewedu leaves and roughly blend till the leaves are in shredded bits. Dunni’s Kitchen Tip #3: If you add both ingredients together, in the time it will take to blend the okro smoothly, the ewedu leaves would have been totally beaten.
4. You are left with this thick glob of green veggies, set it aside. Now I can introduce measurements. So, for every 500ml (half a blender jug) of blended ewedu and okro use 1/2 a cup (125ml) of water. Crush one thick chunk of Kaun into the pot add water and turn on the heat till the Kaun totally dissolves and the water is bubbling. Kaun is important to keep the Ewedu sticky. If you don’t have kaun, don’t despair the okro would do the trick.
5. Add the mixture in the pan and let this cook for 3 minutes on high heat. In about 2 minutes you will begin to see bubbles form. Dunni’s Kitchen Tip #5: Make sure you have a deep enough saucepan so it doesn’t boil over. Once it starts to bubble add the, smoked fish and Iru. Let this cook for another 2 – 3 minutes and turn down the heat to very low.
6. Add the crayfish and sprinkle in 1 seasoning cube stir and let this sit on the cooker on low heat till they dissolve. This should take 1 minute or less than two. You can use salt instead of a seasoning cube, I just prefer using a seasoning cube
Dunni’s Kitchen Tip #6: Ewedu and okro cook very fast so 6 – 8 minutes should do for 500ml. When over cooked the colour changes from a deep lovely green to a yucky slimy brown. You don’t want that.
So, that’s Dunni’s Ewedu reloaded. Try it out and you’ll never go back to making Ewedu plainly again. If you want the full Buka experience, serve Ewedu with Buka Stew (I’ll be dropping the recipe for Buka stew in my next post)
Ewedu leaves are good for weight loss. They are both full of vitamins which can be destroyed by heat, reason we do not overcook these greens. For mums introducing their babies to solids, this soup is it. I think babies love this soup because it makes swallowing fufu very easy. Try giving them with amala, soft eba, soft wheatmeal, or any other swallow but not too soft please. This soup cooks very fast.
Ewedu soup is mostly served with solids. Mostly cooked without palm oil and served with a little tomato stew. When cooked without palm oil, it tastes better and I love it.
You’d notice I used “#Dunni’s kitchen tips” all the way well that’s because they’re actually Dunni’s tips. She’s my online coach:)
I hope this helps.