East Meets West Ogbono Soup

I discovered the eastern method of cooking Ogbono was far more sophisticated than the one I had grown up to know...

Ogbono soup

● Type: Main course

● Serves: 5-7 people

● Prep time: 40 minutes

● Cooking time: 40 minutes

● Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes

My Yoruba mum used to cook Ogbono soup as a Sunday special while I was growing up, and I absolutely loved the taste. She always accompanied it with a complementary pepper stew, to improve the quality of the dish. According to her, Ogbono could not be eaten on its own. I strongly held on to this view until I arrived university in late 2007 and met a couple of friends from the eastern part of Nigeria. I discovered the eastern method of cooking Ogbono was far more sophisticated than the one I had grown up to know. The ingredients used in cooking Ogbono transformed the soup into a complete meal, which could absolutely be enjoyed on its own. I pleaded with one of them to take me through the process and she did. From there, my Ogbono cooking skills escalated! Check out this recipe that combines the east with the west, Yoruba with Igbo, transforming Ogbono into the extraordinary.


  • 1 cup of ogbono seeds
  • 1 milk tin of crayfish
  • 1 tablespoonful of okpei (iru in Yoruba)
  • 1 kilo of beef, cut it into 10 pieces
  • 4 Maggi cubes
  • 1 teaspoonful of ground red hot pepper
  • Freshly ground pepper using: 3 bell peppers, 4 large tomatoes, 2 pieces of habanero and 1 spring sized onion
  • 2 cooking spoons of palm oil
  • 1 kg of pumpkin leaves (ugwu) (or uziza or bitter leaves)
  • 5 large pieces of stock fish
  • 4 -5 pieces of smoked mackerel


Voila! Your Ogbono Soup is ready.

Easy right?


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