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Fermenting Ugba is key to enjoying Ugba related dishes. Ugba is sliced African oil bean seed (Pentaclethra macrophylla) which is a popular ingredient in eastern Nigerian cuisine. This post will show how To ferment Ugba in case you find yourself in the same situation I found myself recently
To be honest, I have never ever thought of fermenting Ugba until recently. Because I always got my Ugba already fermented and ready to use, I have never given much thought to how to how ugba is fermented. The little things we take for granted.. I know.
This post is not about how to process Ugba from scratch but rather the process of fermenting ugba at home. But I will give you a bit of insight on how it is done ( from the little I gathered) Fresh African Oil bean seed is cooked for up 12 hrs then sliced washed and fermented for up to 5 days. Read more about it at the end of the post.
If you live in diaspora, then you need to learn how to ferment Ugba in case you find yourself with an unfermented package straight from Naija.
My brother came visiting and brought some Ugba. Because his visit was an impromptu one, most of the things he brought along from Nigeria were bought in a haste. My Ugba was one of them. (Usually my mom-in-law would place the order to her customer ahead of time but like I said my brother’s visit was impromptu). The Ugba was fresh so I needed to ferment it. I didn’t know how to, but my momma thought me. She simply sent me a kind text outlining how I should go about it even before the Ugba arrived. When the Ugba arrived I received more instructions. This time it was from mom and dad.
Why Ferment Ugba?
- Some studies showed unfermented African oil bean seeds contained traces of a poisonous alkaloid known as paucine, as well as small amounts of caffeoylputrescine, (which is a growth depressant)
- Bacteria such as E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus, as well as molds that can produce mycotoxins in foods, have also been isolated in African oil bean seeds, cooking and fermenting Ugba helps take care of these harmful substance.
- Fermented Ugba Tastes better. (Not that I have tasted the unfermented Ugba I just know. It should shouldn’t it ? )
- Fermented Ugba has a softer texture than fresh unfermented Ugba
- I was told Unfermented Ugba has a bitter taste.
- Ugba is supposed to be fermented ?
What Dishes can you use Ugba for.
- Abacha aka African Salad
- Ofe okwuru Ugba aka Ofe Ugba
- Ugba akworoagwo.
- Vegetable Yam porridge
- Vegetable sauce
Benefit of African oil bean seed
- Ugba is very nutritious and has a high protein content
- It also contains some fats and oil
- It contains saponins, or phytochemicals found which is also found in most vegetables, beans and herbs, and which has been linked to lower cholesterol levels*
* Fermentation of Ugba may reduce the levels of these phytochemicals
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Ok Let me show you how to ferment Ugba ?. If you know any tips and tricks to help this our fermentation process kindly drop your comments below, I would love to hear from you.
PIN FOR LATER
How to Ferment cooked African oil bean seed ( Ugba )
- 500 g already processed Ugba (processed means cooked and sliced but not fermented)
- 1 tsp salt
- Put the processed Ugba in a bowl that has a lid
- Sprinkle the salt over it and mix in thoroughly by hand.
- Cover the bowl with the lid
- Store in a warm place for 3 to 5 days see recipe notes
- Divide the Ugba into two small freezer bags and store in the freezer till ready to use.
- The color will change from light gray or beige to a dark brown color
- The Ugba will be softened