Hors d’oeuvres, known as finger foods, come in all shapes and flavors with one thing in common: they are easy to nibble on. Usually they serve as appetizers as they set the scene, giving your taste buds an idea of what is to come. However, depending on the quantity or combination served, they could form a whole meal.
In different cities within the country, finger food choices are considerably different as they generally favor local tastes, but most of the country’s favorites include recipes adapted from outside the country. From crunchy samosa triangles, spring rolls with creamy dips to spicy gizzard kebabs, Jovago.com, Africa’s No.1 online hotel booking portal reveals some of Nigeria‘s favorite finger foods.
Known worldwide as a popular Indian appetizer, Samosa has warmed its way into the hearts of many and is now a staple finger food in the country. Conically shaped and usually filled with savory delights such as potatoes, onions, green peas, cabbage, minced meat or chicken, it is deep fried in vegetable oil resulting in a crunchy outer crust.
Similar to the arabic Luqaimat, Ghana’s Bofrot (togbei) and Cameroonians beignet, puff- puff is a popular finger food in West Africa as a whole. Partygoers will not be able to resist these fluffy soft dough buns usually deep fried in oil. The basic ingredient consists of: flour, sugar, yeast, water, salt and oil for deep frying.They are light and buoyant and are often paired with spicy meats.
Popular Chinese cuisine, spring rolls are savory rolls with cabbage and other vegetable fillings wrapped inside a thin cylinder shaped pastry. The rolls should generally have smooth, light, crisp-crackly skin when ready and should be small enough to enjoy in 4 bites; with the filling light, full of tender-crisp vegetables that you can taste, but do not be surprised to find takeout joints in Nigeria featuring spring rolls with thick, chewy, bubbly textured skin and wet, soggy filling. Variations of spring rolls are made with pork, shrimp, prawn, crawfish, fish, beef, or even beans.
Kebab (stick meat)
Nigerians call it stick meat while some others may call it is french name, kebab. Usually, it includes chunks of boneless meat, chicken, turkey or entrails (liver, kidneys and gizzard) strung together on a stick, separated by vegetables and peppers. The meat is usually marinated, boiled and sautéed, however, some barbeque the meat as well. Once the ready, green, bell or yellow peppers and onions are used to spice up the kebab.
This is a common finger food in all parts of the country and is sometimes referred to as chicken suya by locals. Barbecue chicken consists of chicken parts or entire chickens which are barbecued, grilled or smoked. There are many different preparation techniques and cooking styles, but in the end, the outer part of the chicken looks dark and crisp while the inside is succulent and juicy.
Peppered Snails and Gizzards
Snail meat most times referred to as Congo meat is a popular food enjoyed this said of the atlantic. Basically, to make peppered snails, the flesh is cleaned and simmered in hot sauce. Properly made peppered snails usually has a crunchy feel. The aroma almost always has a zing to it. Preparing the gizzard follows the same process but requires a slightly shorter time for cooking.
Asun (spicy smoked chevon)
Asun is simply, grilled goat meat dipped in chili sauce. Very popular in the western region of the country, it is classified as a Nigerian “small chop” and is mostly served as an appetizer, alongside other finger foods. It is usually very spicy, but the recipe can be adjusted to suit any palate.