how to make ekwang

HOW TO MAKE DELICIOUS EKWANG

When you love someone and you want to express your love, make them some Ekwang. That is if the person knows what Ekwang is. It is one of the meals I cooked to declare my love for Mr N in the good old days. Making Ekwang is a process which involves grating, wrapping then wrapping some more. This thing could take some hours of your life. But there’s a reward. The reward is the scrumptiousness. There’s never enough Ekwang when I make some. It disappears fast! It’s the kind of food I dig into with no cutlery. It is rich in ethnic flavours: crayfish, palm oil. So finger-licking good! It is the perfect meal for a contri geh like me. Click below to watch me whipping it up.

So what is Ekwang? It is grated cocoyams tied in cocoyam leaves and cooked with palm oil and other aromatic ingredients. This is one of the dishes that reminds me of the similarities between Nigerians and Cameroonians. The Efiks and Ibibios in Nigeria prepare something very similar which they call “Ekpang Nkukwo.” In Cameroon, it is called, “Ekwang”. Some people call it, “Ekpang” while others call it, “Ekwang Coco”. It is a staple of the Bafaw people of the South West region of Cameroon but widely eaten in the rest of the country. Because it is so good!

 

ekwang

 

The ingredients used in making Ekwang include cocoyams, cocoyam leaves, palm oil, crayfish, smoked fish and spices depending on preferences. I always add in some freshly blended garlic and ginger paste and some chopped onions.
ekwang-ingredients

The cocoyams used in making Ekwang are a particular specie. They are longer and slimmer than other types of cocoyams. They are either white or pink on the inside. In stores here, they are labelled, “taro white” or “taro pink” while in Cameroon, they are locally called, “macabo coco”. For a successful Ekwang dish, please get the right cocoyams. Then you peel the life out of them.

macabo-cocoyams

 If you can not find cocoyam leaves for wrapping, feel free to use any green leaves. I have used potato leaves before. Others have used spinach and they say it works well. Any green leaves should be fine. Just make sure they have no holes so they keep your grated cocoyams secure. In this recipe, I used collard greens.
collard-greens
 Grate your cocoyams into a paste. You could use a food processor but I love going the old-fashioned way with a grater. The texture it gives is unbeatable.
grating-ekwang
Then you wrap the cocoyam paste in leaves. Please watch the video to see how I wrap them.
wrapping-ekwang
I always rejoice at the sight of this!
ekwang-all-wrapped-up
When all the wrapping is done you dump in the other ingredients and make a heartwarming pot of Ekwang. Be still, my heart.
pot-of-ekwang
Make some soon! Check out the printable recipe below for all details.

 

5 from 1 vote
ekwang
Print
Ekwang
Prep Time
1 hrs
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
1 hrs 30 mins
 

A Cameroonian delicacy typically made by the Bafaw people of the South West region of Cameroon. It features grated cocoyams, wrapped in green leafy vegetables then simmered with crayfish, palm oil and other ethnic spices.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Cameroonian
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 360 kcal
Author: Precious Nkeih
Ingredients
  • 8 large "macabo" cocoyams white and pink mixed
  • 6 bunches cocoyam leaves (or spinach/collard greens)
  • 2 pounds smoked fish/stock fish/beef do a mix or choose 1
  • 1 1/2 cups palm oil
  • 2 cups crayfish
  • 1 habanero pepper - blended optional
  • 1 medium sized onion-chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground "contry onions" (rondelles) optional
  • 2 tablespoons blended garlic and ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon white or black pepper
  • 3 seasoning cubes (Maggi) or 1 1/2 large crayfish seasoning cubes (Maggi crevette)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Peel cocoyams and grate to a paste using a grater with small holes. You could alternatively use a food processor to bring the cocoyams to a paste. Season the paste with a quarter teaspoon of salt and mix together well.

  2. Coat a large pot with palm oil the way you will coat a pan with oil/margarine to bake a cake. Take a teaspoon of cocoyam and place at one end of a leaf and start wrapping until you get to the end.  Please see the video.
  3. Repeat wrapping process until the paste is finished. Make sure you place your little wraps in criss-cross patterns so the stock goes round well.
  4. Add every other ingredient mentioned above to the wrapped cocoyams. Add 2-4 cups of water and bring to a boil. If you have stock from boiled meat or something, use it instead of water.

    Let it cook together for 30 minutes. Half-way through the cooking, check to see if you need to add more water. If the liquid is at the same level as the wraps then it is good. Avoid stirring so you don't unwrap the little wraps. This is what I do: I hold the pot on both handles and shake so every ingredient mixes nicely and evenly. If you must stir, use a wooden spoon and run it around the edges of the pot. 

  5. Taste, adjust seasonings if need be and voila! Ekwang is ready! Serve warm. 

Recipe Notes

The sweetest part is the burnt portion under the pot. My brother and I will fight for this. Enjoy your Ekwang!

 pre-signature-pro

8 Comments

  1. Tempting post!!!! You are right if you love some one make them some ekwang!.
    I am with you about the burnt part being the best. I discovered something useful. When I plan to make ekwang especially if it is a whole big pot, I grate and wrap it overnight infront of my favourite TV prog. While my eyes watch, my hands are busy. I keep the pot in the fridge and in the morning I start cooking. By mid day, my pot is ready and everyone wonders when and how I did everything. It is time consuming but the end results is well worth it.
    That ya one cup oyel so ern I no sure oh. One of the few dishes I really love with oil. I also avoid country onion in mine. Over all, whatever way it is prepared so far as I see oil, I eat :).

  2. That ya style na de eye! I'll do that next time oo so I don't spend my entire day in the kitchen. Hahaha I don increase the oyel to 2 cups. Thanks for drawing attention to that. A little contry onions gives it an unbeatable flavour but you can definitely do without it. I love this dish any day, any time!

  3. I am literally salivating. The meal looks so scrumptious!

  4. Where I live they don’t sell Macabo cocoyams. Is it possible to use the small ones use for achu or the very large taro? Please help!

  5. Pingback: KWACOCO AND BANGA SOUP | Precious Core

  6. Thanks very much Precious. I did the ekwang thing last saturday and it was muahhh. I could hear my children shouting “mama it’s nice”. You keep our marriages booming. Thanks once more.

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