When you see that green soup being served with tuozafi or akple, you can only think of health and goodness. Ayoyo soup is a serious delicacy in Ghana and it can be prepared in different ways.
You can skip to the recipe with the button below or have a look at some questions we answered about ayoyo?
The Ewe people of Ghana call it Ademe detsi. And the way it is prepared varies from region to region in the country. This recipe shows you one of the many ways to prepare it. Before then, let’s answer a few questions you might have.
What is the English name for ayoyo?
The English name for ayoyo or ademe is jute mallow leaves.
What are some benefits of eating ayoyo soup?
- Ayoyo or ademe is rich in calcium and magnesium. These minerals are needed for bone health and therefore ayoyo can help maintain a healthy bone.
- Ademe/ayoyo contains omega-3 fatty acid, though in small quantities. Omega-3 fatty acid helps in brain development. It can also reduce inflammation in the body. This means ayoyo can be considered an anti-inflammatory food.
- Your body needs antioxidants to protect itself from damage caused by stress, unhealthy food, pollution and other disease-causing agents. Ayoyo contains lycopene, ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and retinol (vitamin A) which are antioxidants to help your body with this function. This helps to boost your immune system.
What nutrients are in ayoyo?
|Amount per 87grams of cooked ayoyo leaves)
|14% of DV
|13% of DV
|Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C)
|32% of DV
|Retinol (Vitamin A)
|25% of DV
How do you boil ayoyo?
Ayoyo leaves are soft so boiling it to cook completely does not take much time. If you cut or blend it before boiling, it takes even less time.
To boil ayoyo leaves, put the raw uncut, cut or blended leaves into a saucepan. Add some amount of water. The thicker you want the soup to be, the less water you need. You may add salt to taste. Cover and bring to boil. Uncut leaves take just about 10mins to cook.
Please note that the time of cooking varies based on the level of heat and the amount of ayoyo leaves in the saucepan.
You can also blanch ayoyo leaves and store in your freezer for use in the future. This is helpful if you are not ready to use it within two days after buying.
Don’t know how to blanch? We’ve got you. How to blanch vegetables
Can I mix ayoyo and okra?
Absolutely! You can mix ayoyo or ademe with okra. This gives a really good combination and adds more sliminess to the soup.
Can I use ayoyo for stew?
Yes you can. Just add in a generous amount of blended tomatoes. The sliminess will vanish and you can have your stewy ayoyo.
What are the ingredients for ayoyo soup?
You can check out the ingredients for ayoyo soup in the recipe below. But for the basis, you need ayoyo (of course!), water, salt to taste, source of protein, onions and okro (not compulsory).
Are there any disadvantages of eating ayoyo soup?
Just like any other thing, ayoyo comes with its negative sides. Some people may have allergic reactions upon consuming ayoyo. Most of these allergic reactions are swelling of lips and indigestion.
The rule is, if it doesn’t work for you, don’t take it. And also, moderation is key in everything, including eating ayoyo soup!
Recipe for ayoyo or ademe soup
Ademe soup or Ayoyo soup
- 2 Deep saucepans
- 1 Ladle
- 2 Kitchen bowls
- 5 pcs Fish you can include koobi (salted fish) and momoni (fermented fish)
- 3 tbsp Jala Spice Mix for Stews
- 200 g Okra chopped, grated or blended
- 500 g Ademe or ayoyo leaves
- 1/2 cup Blended tomatoes don't use if you want soup to be slimy
- 1 bulb Medium-sized onion
- 5 pcs Habanero or Scotch bonnet pepper
- Water as desired
- Wash okro and chop into smaller pieces. You can also blend or grate for more sliminess
- Soak ademe/ayoyo in water with a generous amount of salt for about 5mins
- Wash the ayoyo and pick from wash water
- Repeat step 3 but in fresh water only
- Take a bundle of the leaves, fold them into your palm and cut. You can also use a food processor.
- Wash the fish well and put aside in a bowl
- Peel, wash and chop the medium-sized onion and set aside in a bowl
- Wash the habanero or scotch bonnet pepper and add to the chopped onion
Heat treatment of ingredients
- Pour enough water to cover the bottom of a medium-sized saucepan and bring to boil.
- Pour in the ayoyo leaves and cook for 5mins, while stirring occasionally
- When leaves are soft or cooked, transfer into a kitchen bowl
- Repeat the boiling process for the chopped okra and boil for 5mins
- Transfer into a kitchen bowl as well
- Put the fish in the saucepan
- Add Jala Spice Mix for Stews, salt and a little bit of water to combine the ingredients
- Bring to boil in about 5mins
- Add blended tomatoes (if you don't want it too slimy) and allow to cook for just 2mins
- Add in the boiled okra and ayoyo leaves. Also add in the pepper and chopped onions
- Bring to boil for 10mins on medium heat
- Stir to combine ingredients and check for salt and pepper
- Adjust any condiments as needed and it's done
- You can use poultry or meat instead of fish
- Use a mix of blended onion and garlic or other spice blends if you don’t have Jala Stew Mix. The resulting taste might be quite different though.
- Adjust ingredients as you prefer
- Don’t use tomatoes if you want it very slimy
- Eat this soup with banku, tuozafi, workple, kenkey, gariba, etc
- There’s no need to wash the ayoyo twice if it is neat from the market