Abak Atama Soup Recipe

Delicious Delight courtesy of dobbyssignature

Abak Atama Soup Recipe
 Abak atama is a popular soup Native to the Efiks which is an ethnic group located primarily in south-eastern part of Nigeria i.e Cross River State. It’s similar to Ofe Akwu of the easterners and Banga soup of the southerners with the only difference being the spices and herbs used in cooking. The name “Abak” simply means palm fruit extract and “Atama” is a vegetable also known as Beletete in delta state hence the name Abak Atama which is derived from a combination of the palm fruit and vegetable used in cooking it. It’s mostly prepared with seafood which is quite popular in the region but you can use beef in the preparation also. Below is a quick tutorial on how to cook it. 

How to make Abak Atama  (Efik style palm nut soup)

• Prep Time:  30 minutes
• Total Time: Over an Hour
• Serves : 10-12 people

• 1800kg Fresh Palm Nuts (Abak) (2 Derica cups)
• 800g Beef (Red meat), Cut in chunks or Fresh Fish
• 400g assorted meat :Pomo, Cow Intestines, Tripe a.k.a Sharki – optional
• 1 cup Periwinkle (In shell with bottom part chopped off and washed)
• 1 Cooking spoon Crayfish, Ground
• 2 medium sized Dry fish / Smoked Fish
• 1 medium sized Stock fish head
• 1/2 cup smoked/ fresh prawn
• 1/2 piece Uyayak – Aridan “tetrapleura tetraptera “(prekese)(an aromatic spice)
• 1tbsp. Dry Pepper
• 2 Seasoning cubes. Crushed
• Salt to taste
• 1 handful Atama leaf “Efik” Also known as Beletientien leaves – Sliced/crushed
Step 1:

Rinse the palm nuts 2-3 times with water then place in a medium sized pot. Add clean water just enough to cover the palm nuts in the pot and cook on the burner for 15-20 mins till the nuts get soft. you can check this by biting into one of the nuts. if it’s soft, then its ready. Strain the liquid used in boiling out and place the palmnuts in a mortar and pound with a pestle till the skin separates from the kernel. Scoop the pounded nuts into a clean bowl and add water into it. Squeeze and strain the palm oil into a bowl.

Step 2:

Wash and place the Beef and assorted meat in a different pot. Add the Crushed seasoning, Pepper, Salt and water just enough to cover the meat in the pot. Cook till the meat gets tender leaving the concentrated meat stock within.

Step 3:

Prepare the stock fish (if using any) by soaking it in hot water to soften for 10 minutes then rinse with clean water. For the smoked fish or dry fish, all you need to do is open it up from the middle, then remove the bone and gut. Rinse and set aside.

Step 4:

Pour the extracted palm nut liquid in a medium sized pot and cook for about 10 minutes. Gently add the Beef and assorted meat (Including the stock “Meat water”).

Step 5:

Add the smoked fish , stock fish, ground crayfish, shrimp and Uyayak. Stir and leave to cook with the pot covered for 25-30mins.

Step 6:

By now the soup should be thick. Add the Periwinkles and crushed Atama leaves into the pot of soup, Stir and leave to simmer for 5 mins.


Turn off the burner and serve with your favorite swallow.
abak atama soup
Culled from www.dobbyssignature.com
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