Cocoyam Meals two ways

Cocoyam Meals two ways    

In this issue, we treat you to two of the most favoured meals in Nigeria, prepared with cocoyam. While one, the Ekpang – Nkukwo is a popular meal among the Efiks in Cross River State, the other, Ifokore is one of the most celebrated meal among the Ijebus from the western part of Nigeria. Below are the recipes for both meals, and believe us when we say they are both worth trying out. 

Ekpang Nkukwo



8 medium tubers of cocoyam
1 bundle of cocoyam leaves (Substitute: spinach or lettuce)
1.5 cups of periwinkles with their shell Dry fish
1 cup of crayfish
1 cup of tiger shrimps
4 cubes of maggi
1.5 tablespoons of dry pepper
1⁄2 teaspoon Crushed dry bitter leaves
1 tablespoon blended crayfish
4 cups of water
3 cooking spoons of palm oil.



Peel and grate your coco-yam
Wash your cocoyam leaves and cut into small pieces (alternative- baby spinach leaves)
Grease your pot with a cooking spoon of palm oil
Line your pot with periwinkles and sea- son with a teaspoon of salt, pepper and 2 cubes of Maggi cube.
Boil 1.5 cups of water
Scoop some cocoyam onto your leaves and wrap them till the edges of the co- coyam are sticking out on both ends of the leaves.
Once this is done, put the pot of the co- coyam on low heat and let it heat up for about 10 minutes.
Season with 1 table spoon of salt, 1 table spoon of dry red chilli peppers, 2 cubes of maggi, a pinch of crushed dry bitter leaves and a tablespoon of blended crayfish.

Add dry fish, shrimp, and dry crayfish but don’t stir in.
Pour in the hot water slowly around the edges and still leave on low heat for 5 more minutes.
Increase the temperature to medium heat and pour in 2 cups of water as your pottage cooks. Cook for 20 minutes on medium heat with a covered pot.
Add more water as need be until the cocoyam at the ends of the leaves start to harden.
Stir your pottage gently at this point and reduce to low heat to cook for 5 more minutes.
Pour in 2 cooking spoons of palm oil, stir in and leave to simmer on low heat for 5 minutes and food is served.



Ifokore RecipeIfokore Recipe  


Knorr Cube
Water Yam
Ground Crayfish
Chopped Fresh Pepper
Pieces of Beef
Pieces of Chicken
Dried Fish (Preferably “Sawa”) Smoked Catfish


  • Cut Water yam in chunks, this makes it easier for you to grate
  • Peel water yam, rinse and grate into a bowl. You have to be careful notto cut yourself.
  • In a pot, boil water and add palm oil, add your pieces of already perboiled meat and dried fish then add crayfish too. Also add the blended pepper, salt and bouillon cube, just a bit. If you have stock, then you may not need to add salt and bouillon. Allow to boil for 5-10 minutes.
  • While it is boiling, take out the pieces of fish/meat etc as many as you can, to avoid them sticking to the bottorm the pot, when the Ikokore is done cooking. You can add extra smoked catfish, gizzard, beef, sawa fish later.
  • After taking out the fish and beef, add a bit of bouillon cube and some
    salt to the grated water yam and mix it so that since you are cutting the grated cocoyam in lumps to the boiling stock, you want it to have some taste.
  • Start adding lumps of wateryam to the boiling pot (if the water is hot enough the balls of wateryam should float)
  • Cover and allow to cook for about 10 minutes,
  • Now add the pieces of fish/beef you took out earlier and sprinkle on someground crayfish and chopped fresh peppers (ata rodo) for added flavour.
  • Note: you don’t need to mix the ikokore when cooking at all. Just let it cook.

Ifokore Recipe