How to Prepare Nigerian Ogbono Soup

How to Cook Nigerian Ogbono Soup

Ogbono soup (draw soup) is one of the most popular soups in Nigeria. Here, you will learn how to make this delicious soup and why it falls into the list of Nigerian popular soups.

You will also find a video on making Nigerian Ogbono (ogbolo) soup at the bottom of this page.

While searching the web I have learned that there are over forty different soups that are eaten in Nigeria and there are probably about a hundreds of other foods, the list would likely run into thousands if both fruits were counted.

Here we talked about the process involved in making Nigerian draw soup. This soup is actually easy to prepare because almost all of its ingredients could be prepared by traders in the market, making it very easy for the cook.

What you find above is a delicious plate of ogbono soup, I used just a handful of uziza leaves

Although, most people prefer this soup without leaves, the video below was made with bitter leaves. You can substitute different leaves for most Nigerian soups, this soup can also be made with fluted pumpkin leaves. I have even eaten ogbolo soup that was made with uha leaves by my grandmother several years ago. So you can go ahead and experiment wildly!

Here are all the ingredients for making Nigerian Ogbono Soup, it would serve about 6×2 persons ( the remainder could be refrigerated for up to two weeks)

Ogbono Soup

Ogbono soup (draw soup) is one of the most popular soups in Nigeria. Here, you will learn how to make this delicious soup and why it falls into the list of Nigerian popular soups.

Keyword African food, Nigerian food, Ogbono Soup
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 12 People
Calories 260 kcal


  • 1 Cup ogbono seeds
  • 1 Stock fish head (medium size)
  • Meat of choice (beef, chicken, turkey or assorted meat)
  • 2 Medium size dry fish
  • 1 Cup crayfish (ground)
  • 1 Bunch Fluted pumpkin
  • 1 Tbsp ogiri or ground dawadawa or okpei (local ingredients) (optional)
  • 10-15 Cl palm oil
  • 1 Ltr water
  • Salt and Papper
  • 2 cubes Knorr/Maggi

Meat of choice (beef, chicken, turkey or assorted meat) 1 cups of ogbono seeds Stock fish head (medium size) 2 medium size dry fish 1 cup of crayfish (ground) Fluted pumpkin (a bunch) 1 teaspoon of ogiri or ground dawadawa or okpei (local ingredients) (optional) 10 to 15 cl of palm oil About 1 liters of water salt and pepper to taste.

Assorted meat is always preferred above all other types of meat in Nigeria. This is just different parts of a cow, from the intestine to the tripes (shaki), kidney, liver, heart and also red meat (beef).

Like I stated above. This soup is very easy to prepare, you can grind/blend ogbono seeds with a blender or hand grinding machine. This can either be done at home or by the trader who sold it to you in the market (if you live in Nigeria).

Selecting the right Ogbono seed and other ingredients.

Most people don’t know the difference between the authentic and the fake ogbono seeds, the best approach would be to buy from a trusted trader. Although there is just very little difference between the two, the only difference is that one has better elasticity

Another ingredient that has a direct effect on any Nigerian soup is the kind of dry fish used, I like to use the round dry cat fish. It is sold in most Nigerian markets and African shops, if you can get your hands on a good one it tastes nice in soups

You can also slice the ugwu leaves (fluted pumpkin) in the market, the traders will assist you or you can do it yourself at home. Just pluck off the stem and slice with a sharp knife and a chopping board (I use tray sometimes), but that is only if you are making this soup with fluted pumpkin

But if you want to make this soup with bitter leaves you might want to boil the bitter leaves with water for ten to fifteen minutes, this technique would further reduce the bitter tastes and also soften the leaves (some people also add a little bit of edible potash just to hasten the whole process but I highly advice against this practice because it can change the entire texture of your soup thereby decreasing the nutritional value.

I did say that you can also make ogbono soup with just a handful of uziza leaves

How to Make Ogbono Soup

Soak the dry fish and stock fish with hot water and wash thoroughly to remove sand and impurities.

Here is how to make Nigerian ogbolo or Ogbono soup.

Parboil your meat the normal way, with all the necessary ingredients (2 cubes of knorr or maggi, salt, onions, half T/S of thyme and other spices or flavors of choice).

Add water to the meat after about ten minutes and cook till it is soft enough for consumption and the water is almost dried (just about 1 cup left), You will need to add 5-7 cups of water at this point. Add the washed dry fish and stock fish, about 10 to 150 ml of palm oil, ground crayfish, stir, cover and cook for 10-15 minutes.

Add salt and pepper to taste, add a cube of maggi or knorr (optional), add the ground ogbono seeds, stir and cook for another five minutes.

Add the vegetables. Allow to simmer for three minutes after adding the chopped fluted pumpkin leaves or bitter leaves

One thought on “How to Prepare Nigerian Ogbono Soup

  1. Ernest Inyang says:

    I can send you stuffs from Akwa Ibom

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