Ekpang Nkwukor [coco yam porridge]

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Ekpang Nkwukor is one of the many cocoyam recipes that Nigerians, especially Efiks ad Ibibios from Cross River and Akwa Ibom enjoy a great deal. Some Ibo speaking – communities from Abia and Rivers States also prepare and relish this delicacy as well.
It is said to be widely enjoyed in Cameroon and very popular amongst the Bakweri tribe in the southwest part of the country.
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Ekpang Nkwukor is made from grated cocoyam,  some grated water yam, all wrapped in cocoyam leaves and garnished with periwinkle as well as some sea food animals like smoked fish, prawns and lobsters as well. This delicious Nigerian food is so special that it is reserved for special occasions.
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The meal is usually wrapped in vegetables which are also rich in the right nutrients and vitamins.

Since  Ekpang Nkwukor cannot be complete without periwinkles, it is pertinent to note  that in terms of nutritional value,  periwinkles are low in fat and calories and are packed full with protein, omega-3 fatty acid and water.

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There are many types of cocoyam, but for this recipe, the red cocoyam is best used. The white ones too can be used but they have  to be dried  out  days before being used.

For the use of leaves, it is best to use cocoyam leaves or sweet bitter leaves, but any other fresh leafy greens can be a good alternative, but make sure to pick the ones without holes or tears.

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A grater can be used to grate the cocoyam and wateram. Better still, a food processor can equally do the job!


1) 1kilogramme Cocoyam [peeled, washed and grated]
2) 100g Water yam [peeled, washed and grated]
3) Fresh Cocoyam leaves, Spinach or Pumpkin leaves
4) 500g Meat, Goat meat, Snails or Fish for variety sake
5) 6 cups of Stock
6) 2 cups Hot Water
7) 300g Dried Fish
8) 200g Stockfish [slightly cooked]
9) 3/4cup Crayfish
10) 2 cups of prawns or shrimps
11) Chilli  or blended fresh red Pepper to taste
12) Seasoning and Salt to taste
14) 2 medium sized, Onion bulb
15) 3 cooking spoons Palm Oil
16) 5 cups Shelled Periwinkle
17) 1 bunch scent leaf [washed and chopped] [ optional]


  •  Season wash and boil the meat for the stock.
  • Cook the shelled periwinkle for about 5 minutes in salted water and then take out and wash very well so there are no traces of sand or dirt.
  • Use the periwinkle to form the base in the pot.
  •  Next you can add a cup of palm oil.
  • Season the cocoyam and water yam mixture with  some seasonings and  salt to taste.
  • Mix thoroughly with with a wooden spoon.
  • Wrap the cocoyam and water yam mixtures in tiny balls with either the coco yam leaves, spinach or ugu leaves starting from one tip of the leaf to the other end.
  • When all the mixtures are wrapped,  arranged them in the pot with the periwinkle and set aside.
  • Boil about 2 cups of water.
  • Put the pot of  Ekpang on fire, add the 2 cups of water,  cover and steam for about five minutes.
  • Add  the  cooked meat, dried fish and  cooked stockfish and allow to cook for three minutes.
  • Add the crayfish, pepper, onions, and seasoning to taste.
  • Taste for salt and allow to cook for another three minutes.
  • Add the stock and allow to cook for about ten minutes  on low heat.
  • Add the shrimps and allow to simmer a bit before adding the remaining palm oil, scent leaf and salt to taste.
  •  Cut through with a knife and check if it’s done.
  • If not properly cooked, add more water and allow to cook further on low heat.
  • Once it is set, remove from heat and serve hot.

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Submitted by Nene Rasheed Olaoluwa

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