The Best Recipes For Making Egusi Soup (Frying Methods)
Egusi soup is a very popular dish in West Africa, it is also known as melon soup and is typically made with the dry seeds of melon and can also be made with pumpkin seeds depending on what you have around.
There's a variety of ways to cook Egusi soup, but you can cook it in a frying pan method with ease if you don't have a large pot lying around, you simply have to simmer it in a frying pan instead with a lid!
Below we've made a guide to cooking Egusi soup with a frying pan below, this will have a few different recipes allowing you to choose which ingredients you have to make the soup with.
What Is Egusi Soup?
Egusi soup as we mentioned above comes from West Africa, it is thickened with dry melon seeds and typically contains meat plus some other leafy vegetables with stock to make the soup.
The soup can also be cooked with tomatoes to make it a stew with ground seeds.
Tips for Cooking Egusi Soup
Cooking Egusi is straightforward once you get the hang of it, we've listed a few of your favourite tips and tricks down below to get you the best soup possible.
fryUse more oil if needed - For the frying method you need to make sure you are using a decent amount of oil, don't hold back as you want to make sure every seed of Egusi is coated with yellow oil, if you want to cut down on oil then do not use the frying method.
Keep the Egusi on a low heat - When frying off the Egusi you will need to do this around for 10 minutes, keep it on a low heat for this time to stop it from burning.
Cook the meat first - Before starting the Egusi make sure you cook the meat first, start with the toughest first the move on to the other meats.
Soak the stockfish first - When using stockfish you should make sure you soak it first or boil it for 20 minutes to break it up.
Use red meat - Egusi tends to work much better with red meat such as goat meat or beef.
Add bitter leaves first - Add bitter leaves early so as they can have more time to cook down and the bitterness can be removed.
Our Favourite Ways For Making Egusi Soup (With Frying)
Some people cook Egusi stew in a large pot, but there is no reason as to why you can't use a frying pan method too, we've listed some of our top recipes below to give you some Egusi cooking inspiration.
Egusi Fish Frying Pan Method
500g of Egusi seeds.
Dry fish and stockfish.
Three spoons of red palm oil.
One tablespoon of dried crayfish.
Pumpkin leaves and spinach.
Three stock cubes.
Add your palm oil to a frying pan then put the Egusi seeds on the pan, mix with a spoon until all of the seeds are coated and stir fry in your pan for around 10 minutes in total.
Now pour in your stock from cooking the fish and beef to add flavour and cover the frying pan, cook for around 25 minutes and make sure you stir now and then.
Egusi is typically cooked properly once you see that the oil has separated, do not finish it too early otherwise, it could lead to a potential bad stomach.
Add your crayfish now and spinach at this stage then the meats as well as your stockfish.
Season and allow the soup to simmer until it is the thick consistency you want.
Egusi With Ugu Leaves
125ml of palm oil.
One large onion.
Four strong chilli's.
Three bell peppers.
Gizzards & stock.
Four tablespoons of crayfish powder.
Two and a half cups of water.
One tablespoon of locust beans.
A cup of ground Egusi.
4 pieces of smoked sole fish.
First of all wash and slice your pumpkin seeds then place them in a sieve for draining and blend your peppers, onions plus chilis.
Pour your palm oil into the frying pan and allow it to heat up then add the locust beans and pepper mix that you just blended.
Throw in your gizzards, crayfish, Egusi and some seasoning then stir.
Fry in your frying pan for around 5 minutes making sure to stir now and then to stop it from burning.
Add a cup and a half of water plus the stock from your gizzards if you have.
Place your sole fish in the soup, cover the frying pan and cook for around 10 minutes stirring now and then, remove the sole fish after this time to stop it from breaking up inside of the soup.
Add in your pumpkin leaves plus some water and allow it to cook for 5 minutes, put the fish back in and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
Cook your tripe, oxtail and other meat then grill the chicken.
Heat your frying pan with palm oil and start to fry your onion and stir in your ground Egusi until the oil starts to separate on top and it releases a smell.
Pour in a litre of stock and stir every 5 minutes letting it simmer away, add in your chicken, pepper and crayfish then season.
Let the chicken simmer and add spinach and serve with some rice or plantain!
Egusi With Pumpkin Seeds
3/4 cup of pumpkin seeds.
One kilo of beef pieces.
Half a cup of peanut oil.
Two large tomatoes.
Two large chillies.
500g of spinach.
Spoon of tomato paste.
1kg of shrimp.
Blend the pumpkin seeds until they become powder and fry off your beef with some seasoning until browned but not cooked.
Blend your tomatoes, onions, and pepper in a blender then add to meat and cook for around 50 minutes.
Add your shrimp, tomato sauce and water.
Throw in the ground pumpkin seeds plus spinach and cook for another 15 minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions About Making Egusi Soup
What is an Egusi seed?
Egusi is a protein-rich seed that comes from squash and melon, it is typically grounded to be used in West African stews, it's known for helping digestion and can help to make stews much thicker for pairing with side dishes such as fufu and rice.
How long does Egusi take to cook?
Egusi typically takes around 30 minutes to cook and 20 minutes to prepare, you also need to factor in the time for preparing ingredients such as meat which will need to be fried off slightly first.
What do you eat Egusi with?
Egusi can typically be eaten with rice, fufu, fried plantain or yams, as it is a soup it is typically paired with high carb dishes.
Is Egusi healthy?
Egusi is very high in fat but it is good fat like sunflower seeds have and pumpkin seeds, it is also known for inflammatory properties and can help to aid digestion in the body.
How else can I cook Egusi?
You can also cook Egusi by boiling it in water, this way contains less oil and is the healthier option. To cook Egusi by boiling it you simply mix it with the stock and water rather than frying it beforehand. In total it will take about 20 minutes to cook.
What type of frying pan do I need to cook Egusi in?
We would suggest cooking your Egusi in a deep non-stick frying pan which is heavy duty and can conduct heat well, make sure it's big enough to hold the depth of the soup.
How do you cook bitter leaves?
The bitter leaf should be cut into small pieces and the leaves should be rubbed and washed till the bitterness is removed from them. It is often paired with meat in stews and its flavour is mostly brought out by certain spices.
Should I use beef or chicken in my Egusi?
Egusi typically works better with red meat such as goat or beef as it is richer in taste, you can however use chicken or fish but it is less traditional, they will also need to be fried off first before adding to the stew.
Overall, Egusi can be cooked in a variety of ways with the frying pan method, just make sure you use enough oil and cook the Egusi slowly, make sure to fry the meat beforehand too. If you don't want to fry your Egusi you can always try boiling it, this will contain less fat.
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