Easy Ekwang Recipe

Unlock the secrets of Cameroon's ekwang recipe! Dive into a flavorful journey with our step-by-step guide to this traditional West African dish.



  • Cuisine: Cameroonian
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Servings: 8
  • Calories: 200 calories

Ekwang is a traditional dish hailing from the Western region of Cameroon, deeply rooted in the culinary heritage of the country. This hearty delicacy embodies the essence of Cameroonian cuisine, showcasing a harmonious blend of flavors and textures that delight the senses.

At its core, ekwang consists of grated cocoyam, a starchy tuber widely used in African cooking, mixed with palm oil, onions, crayfish, and seasonings. The mixture is then wrapped in cocoyam leaves or banana leaves and steamed to perfection. The result is a dish that is both comforting and nourishing, with a unique taste that reflects the cultural diversity of Cameroon.

Ekwang is more than just a meal; it is a symbol of community and togetherness. Often prepared during special occasions and gatherings, such as weddings, festivals, and family reunions, it brings people together to share in the joy of good food and fellowship.

The process of making ekwang is a labor of love, with each step carried out with care and attention to detail, ensuring that every bite is a culinary delight.

With its rich flavors, hearty ingredients, and cultural significance, ekwang represents the soul of Cameroonian cuisine. Whether enjoyed on its own or paired with other traditional dishes, ekwang offers a taste of Africa that is sure to leave a lasting impression on anyone fortunate enough to experience it.


Explore Cameroon's culinary delights with our tantalizing ekwang recipe! Dive into the flavors of West Africa in this delicious traditional dish.


  • 4 cups grated cocoyam
  • 1 cup grated cocoyam leaves (optional)
  • 1 cup palm oil
  • 1 cup ground crayfish
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 2-3 cups water
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Banana leaves or aluminum foil (for wrapping)

Method Instructions

  1. Peel and grate the cocoyam.
  2. If using cocoyam leaves, wash and grate them as well.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the grated cocoyam, grated cocoyam leaves (if using), chopped onions, ground crayfish, palm oil, salt, and pepper. Add water gradually to form a thick paste-like consistency. The mixture should be firm enough to hold its shape when molded.
  4. Take a portion of the mixture and place it in the center of a banana leaf or aluminum foil.
  5. Fold the leaf or foil over the mixture, making a rectangular or cylindrical shape, and secure the ends tightly.
  6. Arrange the wrapped ekwang in a pot or steamer, ensuring they are not overcrowded.
  7. Add water to the pot, enough to create steam but not touching the ekwang parcels.
  8. Steam the ekwang for about 1.5 to 2 hours until they are cooked through. You can test for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center; it should come out clean.
  9. Once cooked, carefully unwrap the ekwang parcels.
  10. Serve hot with your choice of protein like fish, meat, or tofu, and enjoy!

Ekwang is a delicious and hearty dish that's perfect for sharing with family and friends. Give it a try and savor the flavors of Cameroonian cuisine!

Recipe Video


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To serve ekwang, follow these steps:

  • Unwrap the parcels: Carefully remove the banana leaves or aluminum foil from the steamed ekwang parcels.
  • Slice or serve whole: You can either slice the ekwang into portions or serve them whole, depending on your preference and presentation style.
  • Pair with protein: Ekwang is often served with protein-rich accompaniments such as fish, meat, or tofu. Grilled fish or roasted chicken are popular choices.
  • Add a side: Consider serving ekwang alongside other traditional Cameroonian dishes like plantains, boiled or roasted yams, or a fresh vegetable salad.
  • Garnish: Sprinkle some freshly chopped herbs or green onions on top for added flavor and visual appeal.
  • Serve hot: Ekwang is best enjoyed while still warm, so serve it promptly after unwrapping.


  1. Choose fresh ingredients: Use fresh cocoyam and cocoyam leaves if available for the best flavor and texture.
  2. Grate the cocoyam finely: Grating the cocoyam finely will help it cook evenly and result in a smoother texture for your ekwang.
  3. Adjust the seasoning: Taste the mixture before wrapping to ensure it's seasoned to your liking. You can adjust the salt, pepper, and other seasonings according to your preference.
  4. Use enough palm oil: Palm oil not only adds flavor but also helps bind the ingredients together. Be generous with the palm oil, but avoid making the mixture too oily.
  5. Wrap the ekwang tightly: When wrapping the ekwang in banana leaves or aluminum foil, make sure to seal the parcels tightly to prevent them from unraveling during steaming.
  6. Steam thoroughly: Steam the ekwang for at least 1.5 to 2 hours to ensure that it cooks through completely. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of a parcel; it should come out clean.
  7. Allow to cool slightly before serving: Let the ekwang parcels cool for a few minutes after steaming before unwrapping and serving. This will allow them to firm up slightly for easier slicing or serving.
  8. Serve with complementary dishes: Consider serving ekwang with grilled or fried fish, roasted chicken, or any other protein of your choice. Traditional side dishes like plantains, yams, or a fresh vegetable salad can complement the flavors of the ekwang nicely.
  9. Experiment with toppings: Get creative with toppings and garnishes to add extra flavor and visual appeal. Chopped herbs, green onions, or even a drizzle of palm oil can enhance the presentation of your dish.
  10. Enjoy leftovers: Ekwang can be reheated and enjoyed as leftovers, so don't hesitate to make a bigger batch to enjoy throughout the week.

Ingredient Substitutes

If you're unable to find some of the traditional ingredients for making ekwang, here are some substitutes you can try:

  1. Cocoyam: If cocoyam is not available, you can substitute it with taro root or yam. These tubers have a similar starchy texture and can be grated and used in place of cocoyam.
  2. Cocoyam Leaves: If cocoyam leaves are not accessible, you can omit them from the recipe or substitute with spinach or collard greens. While the flavor will be slightly different, these greens can still provide a nice texture and color to the dish.
  3. Palm Oil: If palm oil is not available, you can use vegetable oil or coconut oil as a substitute. Keep in mind that palm oil contributes to the unique flavor of ekwang, so the taste may differ slightly with a different oil.
  4. Ground Crayfish: If ground crayfish is not available, you can substitute it with dried shrimp or shrimp paste. These alternatives will add a similar umami flavor to the dish.
  5. Onions: If you don't have onions on hand, you can substitute them with shallots or leeks for a similar flavor profile.
  6. Banana Leaves: If banana leaves are not accessible for wrapping the ekwang, you can use aluminum foil or parchment paper instead. Just make sure to grease the foil or parchment paper lightly to prevent sticking.
  7. Seasonings: Feel free to adjust the seasonings to your taste preferences. You can add garlic, ginger, or your favorite herbs and spices to enhance the flavor of the dish


Get ready to impress your taste buds and loved ones with the authentic flavors of ekwang. Embrace the rich culinary heritage of Cameroon in every bite!

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