How To Prepare Abak Atama Soup, A Cross River/Akwa Ibom Delicacy

Abak Atama soup is a delicious soup popular amongst the Efik and Ibibio tribes in the Cross River and the Akwa Ibom state in southern Nigeria.


  • Beef (1/2 kilo)
  • Fresh or smoked fish (1 medium size)
  • Cowhide (10 medium pieces)
  • stockfish head (1 middle head)
  • 1 cup periwinkle in shell
  • 1 small bunch of Atama leaves
  • palm fruit
  • 3 tablespoons ground of2 crayfish
  • Uyayak (local spice)
  • 1 Knorr cube
  • 2½ liters of water (for fatty liquid extraction)
  • Salt and seasoning to taste.
  • Pepper


  1. Wash and cook the palm fruits for about 30 minutes. Filter the water and pound the palm fruit until the pulp/fiber separates from the nuts.
  2. Boil clean water and add to the pounded palm fruit and mix well to separate the oil extract from the rest of the pulp, then strain the oil extract.
  3. Wash, slice and season the meat with salt, seasoning and small pepper, then steam for about 5 minutes on low heat.
  4. Then add about 1½ cup of water and stockfish head and continue to cook for about 20 minutes until the meat is almost cooked, and remove from the heat.
  5. Cut the Atama leaves into tiny pieces. Pound them for about 10 minutes until the leaves are finely pounded.
  6. Then place the oil extract on the burner and boil for about 5 minutes to remove all the moisture.
  7. Add cooked meat and washed smoked fish, meat stock, periwinkle, crayfish, pepper and seasoning cube, and Uyayak. Stir and boil for about 10 minutes.
  8. Add the atama leaves and cook without stirring for another 10 minutes. Stir and add salt to taste.
  9. Simmer for another 15 to 10 minutes or until slightly thick. Remove from the heat and serve with pounded yam, eba, or crushed fufu.

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