Ever wondered what fresh Okporoko looks like? well, wonder no more. Here is Fresh Okporoko/panla .

This post is more of a “Know Your food note” than a recipe post. I will feature some ingredients that I believe deserve proper introduction every now and again.
**if you have any suggestions on ingredients to feature, please let me know in the comment form..pretty/Handsome pleaseeee** **

Okporoko among southern Nigerians, Panla among Western Nigerians. This delicacy originally start out as fresh Cod fish (usually) in Norwegian waters. Stockfish is Norway’s longest sustained export commodity.

Dried cod has two different variations, salted and unsalted. the salted version (Clipfish) is called Kako in Ghana, the unsalted version (Stockfish) is what is commonly used in Nigerian dishes. History has it that Salted Cod fish was originally part of the provisions given to slaves in the Caribbean, most had to go without fresh meat or fish, various salted fish recipes developed on the Island over the years.

Cod is dried by cold air and wind on wooden racks on the foreshore, it is cured in a process called fermentation where cold adapted bacteria matures the fish, similar to the maturing process of cheese. It takes between 3-6months for stockfish to get fully processed. Nigeria, Italy and Croatia are the biggest importer of stockfish in the world.
Cod boasts remarkable nutritional properties: it contains over 18% protein,besides being an excellent low-calorie source of protein (a four-ounce serving of cod provides 52.1% of the daily need for protein for only 119 calories) Cod is a tasty delicacy.

Grades : There are three main grades for most species of stockfish: Prime, Second and Tipo B (African quality).

  • The prime grade  is the best quality, The fish is usually of the leanest variety , free from faults and blemishes.
  • Second grade is usually fish that has not been subjected to prime weather conditions, It may have small, but not serious blemishes.
  • Anything that doesn’t meet the criteria of either prime or second grade is lumped into the Tipo B category.

Knowing what you are buying is an art in itself, there are at least 12 different grades of “Prime class’ , 5 of “second class”, and then the African quality.  

As if understanding the grades isn’t hard enough, you also have to be sure you are actually buying “Cod”, majority of the stockfish available in the Nigerian market are not made of Cod, they are made from either Pollock, Whitefish, ling, Haddock or Tusk which are more widely available, less time consuming and a lot cheaper. If you are bent on getting the best quality Cod fish, I think you might have to buddy up with one of the fish sellers in the market, they know best.

Lose It Nigerian