Saka-Saka (Cassava Leaf Soup)

By McBride Sisters – April 27, 2021

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Congolese cuisine is grounded in strong roots that date back 80,000 years, mixed with French and Belgian influence following colonization. Saka-saka is the Congolese word for cassava leaf and is the namesake of this simple yet delicious dish that is a staple in the Republic of Congo and the Democatic Republic of the Congo.

Because we don’t have Cassava leaf available locally (it can be found in the ground-up form in African and Filipino food shops), we substituted for a mixture of kale, collards, turnip greens and spinach, and then we added shrimp and paired with our Black Girl Magic Sparkling Brut.


  • 3 lbs cassava greens (or feuilles de manioc), or substitute kale, collards, turnip greens, spinach, or similar, stems removed, cleaned, and cut or torn into pieces
  • 1 pound beef cut in bite size pieces
  • ½ pound smoked chicken, turkey, or fish
  • ½ - 1 pound of shrimp (optional)
  • 3 tbsp red palm oil, Moambé Sauce, or any cooking oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup ground crayfish or dried shrimps
  • 4-5 tablespoon ground groundnuts or peanut butter puree
  • 1 tablespoon chicken bouillon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large saucepan, season meat with salt, chicken bouillon and onions and boil until tender, depending on the choice of meat. You should have at least 1-2 cups of stock.
  2. Remove the meat and beef stock, reserve. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, add onions and crayfish and sauté until fragrant for about 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add beef and or / smoked meat Stir in peanut butter or groundnut paste, then add stock about a cup cook for another 5 minutes.
  4. Throw in the drained cassava leaves and continue cooking for about 5 more minutes.
  5. Finally add shrimp (if using) - cook until shrimp turns pink about 3-5 minutes Adjust seasonings (chicken bouillon, salt, soup consistency with water and oil) to taste Serve warm over rice"