Unpacking & Storing Nigerian Food Ingredients from Nigeria | Flo Chinyere

Hey guys! It’s time to unpack and put these away. Before we start, let me answer the most asked question in my last video. Weight, weight, weight. What do you do about excess weight?

There were 4 of us and each of us got a baggage allowance of 2 bags, that’s 8 bags. And each bag weighs 23kilos that’s 50 pounds. So we had a grand total of 184 kilos that’s 405 pounds in baggage allowance. This is the free baggage allowance that came with the flight ticket. That is way more than what we need.

We did not even carry up to 8 bags. So excess weight was not an issue for us at all. Once we get back, I put the frozen bitter leaves and snails straight back into the freezer. I also put the stockfish and dry fish in the freezer. One, that will prevent my home from having a fishy smell within hours, and two, any weevils in the fish will die off.

Let the weevils be suffocating there in the meantime while I sort out every other thing, later I will remove the tapes and repack them. Usually, even before we travel, I make space in my freezer in readiness for when we get back with all these food ingredients that need to be kept in the freezer. I put the crayfish in this food warmer. It does a good job keeping the smell of the crayfish contained and the crayfish remains crunchy dry in there for a long long time. If you have space in your freezer, keep it in your freezer.

My freezer is quite small so perishable ingredients have top priority followed by fish that may contain weevils. When buying stockfish and dryfish, I make sure I buy those that do not contain weevils. Usually there are telltale signs that fish contains weevils. For instance dust will be flying out when you tap the fish, it will look old and dull instead of shiny. It will have a damp feel to it instead of a bone dry feel.

I spread the groundnuts like this because you want them to remain dry rather than damp. If damp, they will start sprouting, not good. When I want to cook the groundnuts, I soak them in cool water overnight so the freshness will come back. Then boil as usual. You can see that some of the pears are going bad already.

So give room for the percentage that will go bad when buying. The rate at which ube goes bad depends on the type of ube. Some pears are oilier than others. The oilier the ube is, the quicker it will go bad.

The irony is that oily ube tastes better than the ones that contain less oil.

I just spread the ube here temporarily because I needed to catch some sleep first. Ideally as soon as I get back, I would sort out the bad ones, rinse the good ones very well and put in the freezer. Ube keeps well in the freezer. Like, for as long as possible. But the trick is that when you want to soften it, throw it into the boiling water while it is still frozen.

And it will be like fresh softened ube when done. If you leave it to defrost first, it will be like this. Soft like ube lulu okpo. I’m not sure how to translate that to English. Fermented ube?

Yeah, something like that. Next the fresh vegetables. This is what they look like. Still quite fresh, no? Scent leaves usually go dark first.

I wash them, chop them, For the oha, one thing I now do differently since I made the last video is that rather than chop the oha with a knife, I tear them up with my fingers. That way, I get better results when I use the frozen oha to cook soup. That is they are not too dark in the soup. Knife marks can darken oha leaves.

Unpacking & Storing Nigerian Food Ingredients from Nigeria | Flo Chinyere

Put in single use plastic bags, label them and put in the freezer.

I have a detailed separate video on how I do that. The link should pop up on the screen right now. This is what the frozen uziza straight out of the freezer looks like. And this is the frozen oha. Still green, eh?

When I want to cook oha soup, I add everything I want to add to the soup. I add the vegetables while still frozen. Keep stirring gently till it separates. Add boiled meat and fish, stir and take it off the stove immediately and transfer to a cool container ozigbo ozigbo. This is the result.

The vegetables look green in the soup, the flavour of the uziza and the oha are still intact.

You won’t know this is prepared with frozen vegetables. Uma leaves: I remove the stalk, wash them thoroughly, sort into big and small and store in the freezer. Uma leaves tsore well in the freezer. Again I have a detailed videos on this.

Links hould pop up on the screen. The ugba or ukpaka. If I want to store it like this in its rubbery state, I just rinse it and put in the freezer. But if I want to soften it a bit before storing, Ukpaka tastes better in the meal when it’s softer that is a bit fermented. So if I want to do that, I put it in a container, cover it and keep stirring every day till I get the texture I want.

Then I put it in the freezer. Details in the same video I linked to earlier, the preservation of vegetables video. For the yams, if there’s space in my freezer, I peel them, cut into cubes, rinse well, put in Ziploc bags and store in my freezer. If no space in my freezer, just like we have now, everywhere is full, I just leave it in my kitchen. It means that we will go on yam diet till the yam finishes else they go bad.

Over the next few days, everybody will be asking: “Is it only yam that we are eating in this house?” For the abacha, I just put it in a cupboard. Abacha lasts for years no problems. So long as it doesn’t come in contact with water, no problems. I don’t even think weevils eat abacha so yeah, Abacha is that good with storage.

The beans, again, if you have enough space in your freezer, put the beans in a container and put it in your freezer.

Else, put it in a container, add dry cayenne pepper, I have a detailed video on how to do this. Close the container tight and put in your cupboard or pantry. These prevent weevils from attacking the beans. I store ukwa and achicha ede the same way because they are prone to weevil attacks too.

We came back with garden egg, put it in the fridge in the vegetable compartment or as close to the vegetable compartment as possible. Garden eggs can last up to a month in the fridge and still be fresh. We came back with spicy peanut butter, just put that in the fridge. Bittercola, just put that in your cupboard, putting it in the fridge dries it up so no, put bittercola in your cupboard. What else?

I hope I did not forget anything. I guess that’s it! With this video, I hope I have settled everyone that has been requesting these series of videos.

The next video will be a recipe video, the real content you signed up for on this channel! Bah byeee see you soon!