Back in the day as a growing child, i had this friend who’s mum would always make hot ikokore whenever it was wateryam season. The lumpy nature of the porridge could never go unnoticed and the distinct mouthwatering aroma would always invite us in to “Play” once we got close to their house during such times. While reminiscing on some of the mouth watering dishes i enjoyed during the good old days, i had to call Dotun my childhood bestie for this recipe. So if you’re thinking of what to prepare with water yam why not try making ikokore. Ikokore is a meal native to the Ijebu people from the southwestern part of Nigeria. Just like Ojojo, it’s made with water yam and also very similar to ekpang nkukwo. The final texture of this dish is similar to a pudding or porridge. Just one taste and you’re bound to get hooked. Some people add peppered stew to it while serving, others serve it plain but it’s all a matter of choice.
• 1 medium size Water yam
• 7 medium chunks Beef
• 5 pieces tripe (sharki)
• 4 medium size dry fish (shawa)
• 2 cooking spoon palm oil
• 2 tbsp. Fresh pepper (shombo “chili” + Ata rodo “Red scotch bonnet pepper“) – ground
• 2 tbsp. crayfish
• 2 seasoning cubes
• Salt to taste
Step 1: Slice and peel the skin off the water yam
Step 2: Wash the yams and cut into chunks. With a grater, grate the yam slices. You’d notice the drawy texture of the grated water yam – set this aside
Step 3: In a medium sized pot, place the washed beef and sharki. Season with salt to taste and crushed seasoning cubes, add just enough water to cover the meat in the pot and cook for about 20 minutes till tender. Break and remove the bones from the fish and wash. Add into the meat pot and leave to cook for about 5 minutes. Turn off the burner and transfer the cooked meat and fish from the pot into a separate bowl leaving the stock.
Step 4: Add some more water to the stock, palm oil, ground pepper puree, check for salt and add more if necessary. Place the pot back on the burner and leave till the liquid in the pot starts to boil.
Step 5: Add some salt to taste and also crushed seasoning to the grated water yam. This is to ensure it has some taste since it’s going to be in lumps. Once the stock liquid starts to boil, start adding scoops of the water yam paste into the liquid. You can use the hollow of your washed hand for this or a spoon. Once you drop the water yam paste into the pot, it’d float to the top. cover and allow to cook for 10 minutes. Sprinkle the crayfish over it. Don’t stir the ikokore in the pot else it’d scatter. Just leave it to cook.
Step 6: Now add the meat and fish removed earlier and leave to simmer for about 5 minutes more. Serve!.
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