Ogbono Soup Recipe

Have you ever sat at a meal that you felt you couldn’t finish and all of a sudden, your plates are wiped clean even before you can say ‘eat?’


That’s what happens when you have delicious African and Nigerian dishes on your menu. Nigerian foods are simply the best, and so is Nigerian Ogbono soup. If you’ve never tasted it, then you are in for a major thrill.

Ogbono soup which is also known as draw soup is a trendy Nigerian Soup indigenous to the Igbos, Yoruba and few other tribes. Ogbono soup might scare a lot of first-timers away because of its slimy nature but here’s some secret; the slimy nature makes for its sumptuousness. Having well-moulded fufu or eba covered with Ogbono soup slide down your throat will remind you of a thrill at the water side. It makes you want to go again and again until you’re exhausted.

Ogbono soup is easy to cook as most of the ingredients can be prepared at the point of sale by the traders. All you need do is gather the already made ingredients and bring them to cook together in one pot.

Just as people are different, so is their taste and pattern of preparing the ogbono soup. Some people cook their ogbono soup with egusi while others cook it with okra. How to cook ogbono soup with egusi and How to make ogbono soup with okra will be two different tutorials as this post will be concentrating on the general method of making a decent meal with ogbono powder. And how do you get this powder you may ask. Grab your seat and let’s take a delicious slimy ride.

Ogbono soup can be prepared with or without vegetables depending on what your tastebuds crave.

    Ingredients for Ogbono Soup

  • Assorted meat of 1.5kg (includes; beef, shaki (cow intestine and tripe), kidney, liver, heart and so many others)
  • 2 cups of Ogbono seeds (which will be ground to get ogbono powder)
  • 1 medium size dry catfish
  • A bunch of fluted pumpkins (this could be more depending on how many persons you are serving. You could also use other vegetables of choice)
  • 1 or 2 Medium size stockfish
  • 1 cup of ground crayfish
  • 250ml of palm oil
  • 1 teaspoon of ogiri or ground dawadawa (okpei: this is a local ingredient and is optional)
  • Salt and pepper

To get a perfect pot of ogbono soup, you have to select the right seeds. A lot of people cannot differentiate between the original and fake ogbono seeds before grinding. You could buy from a trusted trader or do the ‘draw test’ on the seeds at the point of sale.

The draw test is done by breaking one of the seeds you want to buy into two and rubbing their ends against each other. The slightest draw says the seeds are original.

Also note that frying your ogbono in the red oil while cooking makes it loose its elastic nature, therefore giving you a pot of soup that barely draws the way you want it. You should also take into consideration the type of fish you use as this will determine whether the soup will taste African or not. Most times using the round dry catfish is the best. Let’s get to the preparations, shall we?


  1. Grind your ogbono seeds to get your ogbono powder.
  2. Soak your dry and stock fish in hot water for some seconds, wash, and break the fish to remove the centre bone.
  3. Boil your meat with the necessary seasonings (2 seasoning cubes, onions, a teaspoon of any beef spice of your choice, salt to taste) until soft. Do not allow water to dry.
  4. Cut your vegetables.
  5. Grind your crayfish and pepper and set aside.
  6. Pour palm oil into your pot and allow it to get hot but not heat up, bring it down from the fire and pour your ogbono powder into the oil. Stir the mixture using your spoon to dissolve the powder.
  7. When the powder has adequately blended with the oil, add the stock (water from meat or fish; if fish was boiled).
  8. Put your pot back on the fire and stir the mixture until it blends. Add water but in little quantities until you get a good mixture.
  9. Cover your pot and allow the mixture to boil for 20 minutes with low heat. Ensure you stir from time to time to prevent the ogbono from burning and sticking to the pot’s base.
  10. Add your meat, fish, crayfish, pepper and salt to taste and continue cooking. Add water if you feel the soup is not your preferred thickness.
  11. Once it’s well heated, add the vegetables, chopped onions.
  12. Leave it to heat up, stir and remove from heat.

If you prefer your soup without vegetables, stop at step ten with your chopped onions added. There you have your royal sumptuousness to satisfy your thrilling appetite. Don’t forget your fresh fruit juice.

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