In Nigeria Hospitality House at Rio 2016, the bukka restaurant would be open with loads of choices, and if you’ve never ever eaten Nigerian dishes before, how do you know what to start with? Fret not, I’m here to guide you .If you’re like me, you don’t like trying out new foods unless you’re sure that they’d be a winner on your taste bud. One thing I always do when I travel abroad or visit a new continental restaurant is to ask the server to tell me their bestsellers. Yes! So instead of trial and error, I just order their customers’’ favorites. And, in this post, I want to give you that same treat – to tell you some of Nigeria’s top 5 foods that foreigners like best and come back for more. Read on.
- Jollof Rice
This is a favorite food of most Nigerians, prepared from rice cooked in tomato sauce. It is a popular party food, and usually makes it to every home on special events like Christmas, New Year, Easter and other holidays. Although this food is also very popular in West Africa, there’s no jollof rice like Nigerian jparty ollof rice. Don’t take my word for it, just come to Nigeria Hospitality House at Rio 2016 Olympics for a tasting.
Main Ingredients: Rice, tomatoes, pepper and onions, bell pepper.
Usually Served with: Fried Plantains, Moin-Moin, Salad or Coleslaw, Chicken, Beef or Fish
Click here for how to prepare Nigerian jollof rice.
Image credit and recipe: Wives Town Hall
- Pepper Soup
Nigerian Pepper Soup is a spicy, broth-like soup made with assorted meat (either goat meat/ mutton, chicken) or fish, mixed spices and of course, hot pepper. Catfish pepper soup is a favourite Friday night delicacy in Nigeria, and the fun part is that most outdoor food joints offer a ‘point and kill’ service – meaning that you’ll get to pick/ point a live-fish which would be killed and cooked into fish pepper soup for you. Another favourite pepper soup among Nigerians is the goat meat pepper soup (recipe here).
Main Ingredients: Meat or Fish, mixed spices, hot pepper
Usually served: Alone as a side dish, sometimes as a starter or eaten as a whole meal.
- Moin-Moin (or Moi-Moi)
Image source and recipe: Amanda’s Kitchen
This is a traditional Nigerian steamed bean cake that is made from steamed, pureed beans and a mix of peppers, onions. Sometimes, boiled eggs and or assorted condiments such as shredded, boiled meat or fish and small cubes of boiled liver are added to the mix before steaming the mojn-moin.
Main Ingredients: Black-eyed beans, red pepper, vegetable oil
Usually served with: as a side dish, with rice, soaked garri, can also be eaten alone or with pap/ custard (for breakfast).
- Edikang Ikong Soup
Image credit and recipe: eatingnigeria
This Nigerian mixed vegetable soup of thick consistency is one of the most popular lunch-time soups among vegetable lovers. It’s prepared with a generous amount from fresh, leafy vegetables – water-leaves and fluted pumpkin leaves (Ugu), meat, fish and palm oil. This soup is filled with loads of sumptuous goodness such as assorted meat, dried fish and periwinkles. Your taste buds will love this soup and your tummy would never stop asking for more – come to the Nigeria Olympic House at Rio 2016 and have a taste.
Main Ingredients: Fluted pumpkin leaves (Ugu leaves) and water leaves (botanical name: Talinum triangulare), beef, fish, crayfish
Usually served with: Pounded yam, Eba, Semovita, or served on white rice
Recipe and Cooking steps: Here
- Egusi Soup
Image source: FoodStantly
Egusi soup can be said to be Nigeria’s most popular soup – because people from almost every Nigerian tribe grows the melon seed (its main ingredient) and also eat it – and the methods of preparation is almost the same, except for some slight variation. This soup can be made to be of a medium or thick consistency, and would still taste delicious.
Main Ingredients: Ground melon seeds, fluted pumpkin leaves (ugu), plam oil, beef, fish, crayfish
Usually served with: White rice or Swallows such as Pounded yam, Eba, Semovita, or served on white rice
Recipe and how to cook: http://www.dobbyssignature.com/2015/06/egusi-melon-soup-with-ugu.html
So, Which Food Would You Start With?
There you have it, on a virtual tasting tour of the top 5 favourite Nigerian cuisines that foreigners should try. In case you plan to be in Rio during the 2016 Olympics, visit the Nigeria Olympic Hospitality House for some food tasting. And, if you’ve eaten any of those foods, let me know your experience in the comments below.