Nigerian ogbono soup

This Nigerian ogbono soup step-by-step recipe is packed with local seasonings. And assorted meat and fish (goat meat, beef, stockfish, dried fish, kpomo, shake, etc). The meat can even be made a day ahead or hours ahead to save time and help the flavours develop.


  • Assorted meat and fish: goat meat, kpomo, stock fish, and dried fish
  • Ogbono seeds
  • Palm oil
  • Ground crayfish
  • Medium onion, sliced
  • Seasoning cubes (Maggi/Knorr)
  • Ugu (pumpkin) leaves. Alternative you can use spinach or bitterleaf
  • Salt and pepper to taste (hot pepper)

Tip: Ogbono soup should be thickish and draws, hence try not to cook ogbono soup with too much water – usually the little stock/water from cooked meat.


  1. Get the major ingredients ready. Grind the Ogbono seeds with a dry mill. Pick and cut the pumpkin leaves, and set aside. Defrost chopped spinach if that is what you are using. Grind crayfish and pepper, and set aside.
  2. Wash and clean the meat thoroughly. Cook with sliced onions and seasoning cubes to taste. Cook on low heat – cover pot and allow to it simmer for about 30 minutes. This allows the meat to cook tender and soft, but also helps to release its natural juices.
  3. After 20 minutes, add the stock fish and dried fish. Add the hot pepper and ground crayfish, and continue to cook for the next 10 minutes. Add palm oil, cook for another 5 minutes to allow the palm oil melt and combine well with cooking contents.
  4. Put heat to very low and stir-in ogbono gradually, stir continuously – this allows ogbono to dissolve nicely, and eliminates forming lumps. You will notice the Ogbono start to thicken and draw – keep stirring till the ogbono has completely absorbed the meat stock.
  5. Combine thoroughly and leave to cook for about 15 minutes on medium heat. Taste for seasoning, salt and pepper – adjust if necessary. Stir occasionally, scraping the ogbono that sticks to the base of the pot.
  6. Finally, add the pumpkin leaves (or any of the alternative leaves you using). Stir very well, turn the heat low and allow to cook for about 5 minutes.
  7. Best served with pounded yam or garri (eba). OR serve with your favourite kind of fufu (swallow).
  8. Enjoy!

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