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Two Simple Ways To Cook Ogbono Soup

You can finally make ogbono soup in Kenya

BY Agnes Amondi

Dec 15, 2021, 09:24 AM

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Ogbono soup might not enjoy the publicity that jollof rice wallows in but if there is one Nigerian dish that you should know about and try out, it is ogbono soup. 

Ogbono soup originated from the Igbos who are found in South-East Nigeria. Even so, ogbono soup has gained lots of praise and is now one of the most popular soups in Nigeria. 

Ogbono soup will leave your tastebuds buzzing with all sorts of flavours that emerge from the ingredients used to prepare it. I love it for this and its tastiness is something I haven't experienced in any other dish. More to that, it provides a lot of nutritional values, another aspect that makes it popular.

Without further ado, here's how to cook ogbono soup.

Ogbono Soup Ingredients

Ogbono seeds are the gateway to having an unforgettable experience with ogbono soup. These are found in the African Mango which gives the soup its thick form hence the name draw soup, which is what ogbono is in English. Remember to have the seeds grounded.
To it, you will add assorted meat. Select from chicken, dried codfish, goat meat, beef, smoked fish, or cowskin. If you want, add spinach, pumpkin leaves (ugu) or bitter leaf to give your soup the greenery that vegetables bring to a plate. 

To your list of ingredients include palm oil, meat stock - which you will get after you steam the meat - to add flavour, seasoning cubes, onions, salt and cayenne pepper in.

With all those picked out, you have two ways of preparing your ogbono stew. You can boil or fry. In this ogbono soup recipe, you’ll find out how you can make ogbono soup in both ways.

Do This Before You Cook Ogbono Soup

  • Ground the ogbono seeds if you haven’t bought the powdered form. The same goes for the pepper.

  • Wash and chop your vegetables

  • Chop the onions 

  • Make sure the meat has been nicely washed. Proceed to boil the meat to make it tender. Set aside some of the liquid here that you’ll use as stock for the ogbono soup.

  • Wash the fish thoroughly and debone it. Then boil it to make it tender and set aside. 

Boiling Method

Add some palm oil to your pan and put it on low heat so that it’s warm enough. When ready, add the grounded ogbono seeds and stir until it forms a paste.

Add the seasoning cubes, chopped onions, salt to taste and the grounded crayfish pepper to a separate pot that has the stock. Stir it then cover it and allow it to boil for 3-4 minutes.

Then add the ogbono paste you made in step one. Mix it until you get a perfect blend. You will notice that the soup will gradually become thick. Add some water if it becomes very thick. The thickness of the soup will depend on your desired outcome. Generally, the soup should have a slimy texture. Let it simmer for a few minutes.
Pour in the assorted meat along with the fish. It should cook for 5-7 minutes for the mixture to absorb all the ingredients. 

Meanwhile, get your vegetables ready to dip into the almost ready ogbono soup. Pour the chopped vegetables and let them blend in for a few minutes.

Take in the aromas of the cooked ogbono soup. Take it with any fufu dish. Frankly, you have a free range here to decide what you want to take your ogbono soup with. 

Frying Method

The pre-cooking tips in the frying method are the same as the ones applied in the boiling method listed above. That done:

Grease your pan with some palm oil. Expose it to medium heat. Then add the chopped onion. Let it cook until they brown.

Pour the ogbono powder into the mix. Stir until it dissolves. Add the stock. Bring it to a boil until it is thick enough. Again, the thickness here depends on your desired outcome. If it’s too thick, add some water to dilute the soup. Make sure it retains its slimy texture.

When that’s done, add the assorted meat and then the steamed fish along with the other spices - grounded crayfish, salt and pepper.

Finally, put in the vegetables you are using, the pumpkin leaves (ugu) or spinach leaves.
With that, feel free to dig in.

Ogbono Soup: Benefits 

Ogbono soup is protein-heavy with assorted meat and fish. It is also a rich source of fibre. So what tricks does the ogbono soup have in its sleeves? 

Ogbono soup is good for bodybuilding and muscle repair because of its richness of proteins.

Ogbono soup has immense nutritional value. It contains calcium, dietary fibre, iron, carbohydrates, vegetables, proteins, fibre, fats and oils.

Helps in weight management. Due to its dietary fibre, it makes you feel fuller for longer periods thus low consumption of food. This limits the chances of rapid weight gain.

Prevents diabetes as it lowers the blood sugar level. 

Ogbono soup lowers cholesterol levels thus preventing cardiovascular diseases like heart failure.

Helps in digestion thus preventing constipation owing to the fibre element in the soup.

Side Effects Of Ogbona Soup

There aren’t any adverse side effects reported as a result of the consumption of ogbono soup. Generally, it may react to people depending on their health status. For example, if you are allergic to spices and you have ogbono soup, you might experience some discomfort.

List of Igbo Soups

Apart from Ogbono soup, the Igbos have a list of different types of soups. Here are just some of them.

Ofe nsala - it’s also called the white soup. Its signature ingredient is the catfish.
Ofe akwu - referred to as Banga in Southern Nigeria, it is made from palm nuts which are combined with traditional spices to give it its flavours.
Ofe ogusi - made from melon seeds.
Ofe Owerri - this soup is made with assorted meat - cow meat, snails, goat meat etc.
Ofe oha - this soup needs cocoyam and the leaves of the oha tree.
Ogbono soup provides a perfect introduction to Nigerian food if you haven't had any. If you have, you can always have it again. Follow this ogbono soup recipe to make yours taste like that of a native. While at it, you can introduce and surprise your family and friends by making a plate.

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