Authentic Nigerian Recipe: How to Cook Delicious Ogbono Soup


Authentic Nigerian Recipe: How to Cook Delicious Ogbono Soup

Authentic Nigerian Recipe: How to Cook Delicious Ogbono Soup

Authentic Nigerian Recipe: How to Cook Delicious Ogbono Soup

Ogbono soup, also known as “Ogbolo” or “Apon,” is a hearty and flavorful Nigerian dish enjoyed by many across West Africa. This soup is thickened with ground ogbono seeds, which lend it a unique and delightful taste. Often combined with assorted meats, fish, and vegetables, ogbono soup is a wholesome and satisfying meal that is perfect for family gatherings or special occasions. In this recipe, we’ll guide you through the step-by-step process of cooking this traditional delicacy right in your own kitchen.



  • 1 cup ground ogbono seeds
  • 500g assorted meat (beef, goat meat, or chicken) cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 200g smoked fish (cod or catfish) soaked and deboned
  • 1 cup sliced spinach or bitter leaf (substitute with other vegetables if unavailable)
  • 2 medium-sized onions, finely chopped
  • 3 medium-sized ripe tomatoes, blended
  • 3 tablespoons palm oil
  • 2 tablespoons ground crayfish
  • 2-3 scotch bonnet peppers (adjust to your spice preference)
  • 4-5 cups beef or chicken broth (or water)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Prepare the Ogbono Seeds:

    • Toast the ogbono seeds in a dry pan over low heat for a few minutes until they release their aroma. Be careful not to burn them.
    • Allow the toasted seeds to cool, then grind them into a fine powder using a blender or a mortar and pestle.
  2. Prepare the Meats and Fish:

    • Rinse the assorted meats thoroughly under running water and place them in a large pot.
    • Add one chopped onion, minced garlic (if using), and some salt to the pot.
    • Pour enough water to cover the meat, and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and let it cook until the meats are tender.
    • Once the meats are cooked, add the soaked and deboned smoked fish to the pot and let it simmer for a few more minutes.
  3. Prepare the Ogbono Soup Base:

    • In a separate pot, heat the palm oil over medium heat.
    • Add the chopped onions and sauté until they become translucent.
    • Stir in the blended tomatoes and scotch bonnet peppers, and cook until the mixture thickens and the oil separates from the tomatoes.
  4. Thicken the Soup:
    • Gradually add the ground ogbono seeds to the tomato mixture, stirring continuously to prevent lumps from forming.
    • Allow the ogbono to cook for about 5 minutes, absorbing the flavors from the tomato and oil mixture.
  5. Combine the Soup and Meats:

    • Carefully transfer the cooked meats and fish to the pot with the ogbono mixture, using a slotted spoon to avoid adding excess liquid.
    • Pour in the beef or chicken broth (or water) and bring the soup to a gentle simmer.
  6. Add Seasonings and Vegetables:

    • Stir in the ground crayfish, salt, and pepper to taste. Adjust the seasoning according to your preference.
    • Add the sliced spinach or bitter leaf to the pot, and let the soup simmer for an additional 5 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.
  7. Serve and Enjoy:

    • Once the soup reaches your desired consistency, turn off the heat.
    • Serve the delicious ogbono soup alongside your favorite Nigerian staple, such as fufu, pounded yam, or rice.
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Congratulations! You’ve successfully cooked a delightful and authentic Nigerian ogbono soup. This hearty dish, enriched with the flavors of assorted meats, fish, and vegetables, is sure to impress your family and guests. Share this traditional recipe with others and keep the Nigerian culinary heritage alive in your kitchen. Happy cooking and bon appétit!

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