Ogbono Soup Recipe

Ogbono soup is a Nigerian  soup made with ground Ogbono  (wild African mango) seeds. Ogbono soup is very popular and the method of preparation differs from tribe to tribe. This is my mum’s method of preparation and it has never failed me. Now, some people prefer the frying method, which is basically frying the Ogbono first, then adding stock and meats, I’be tried this method once and it failed woefully, I’ve since sworn off it, never again! It may have been my own fault but the experience totally put me off trying again. I prefer the boiling method and I have decided to stick with it.

Ogbono soup is incredibly versatile. Babies and toddlers are introduced to solids with Ogbono, the sliminess helps them swallow with ease.  Loads of people eat Ogbono soup with rice and I remember posting a photo of Ogbono on Instagram and was advised to try it with pasta. I did and it was really yummy. You can choose to make your Ogbono soup plain; without adding vegetables. This is also a tasty method. If you do choose to use vegetables, Pumpkin leaves(Ugu), Spinach and Bitter leaf are the most common vegetables used. Do remember if you choose to use Spinach to squeeze out as much water out of it as you possibly can.

I’ll be adding Efinrin/Basil leaves at the end, I just love the aroma of Efinrin when incorporated into Ogbono, you don’t have to use it though but I’m sure you’ll love it if you do. I’ll be using dried Efinrin.

Note: DO NOT cover the pot after the Ogbono has been added, covering the pot will make the soup watery and cause the Ogbono to lose its slimy consistency. Covering the pot is a definite NO NO!

So, Ogbono soup, let’s cook….


Assorted meats (Ponmo, Shaki, Bokoto, Beef, Goat meat and Offals (internal organs) are ideal)

1 Cup Ogbono Seeds

2 Cooking Spoons Palm Oil

Ugu Leaves

Efinrin/ Basil leaves (Optional)

3 Tablespoons Ground Crayfish

1/2 Cup Smoked/ Raw King Prawns(optional)

Smoked Catfish

Dried Stockfish

1 or 2 Scotch Bonnet/ Ata Rodo (Optional)

1 Red Onion chopped

Tablespoon Cayenne Pepper (Atagungun)

Bouillon cubes (I’m using two Knorr cubes and 1 Maggi crayfish)

2 Tablespoons Iru (Locust Beans)

Salt to taste


Get your core ingredients ready…Ogbono soup
Grind your Ogbono seeds finely and set aside…image
Pick and wash the Ugu leaves with hot water to rid if of dirt. Be careful not to soak it in hot water for too long…ogbono soup
If you’re using dry Basil leaves/Efinrin, soak in hot water for 5 minutes to soften and remove all traces of dirt…

ogbono soupWash all the meats you’ll be using thoroughly to rid them of blood and dirt. I’ll be using Shaki (tripe), Ponmo, Goat meat, Bokoto (cow leg) and Fuku (cow lungs)…
Then, set a big pot on a hob on low heat, add in the tougher meats, in this case, the Shaki, Cow leg and Ponmo, add the sliced onions and salt to taste. Cover and let it simmer on low heat for 20 minutes. This helps to release the meats’ natural juices.ogbono soup
Boil Fuku (cow lungs) separately…

Most internal organs are very bloody and it’s a struggle getting all the blood out, what I do is clean and wash as much as I can, then add water and boil till slightly tender. When it’s half cooked, I decant all the water, wash again, then add more water and salt to taste, then continue cooking till doneness.imageAfter twenty minutes, turn up the heat to medium, add more water to cover the meats, cover and let this cook till tender, not soft, just tender. This should take around half an hour, you can save time by using a pressure cooker…
When it’s tender, add the softer meats, in this case, the goat meat, Also add the stock fish, continue to cook till meats are soft….ogbono soup

Now, add the cooked offals (if you’re using any) and smoked catfish when the meats are cooked..ogbono soup
After 5-6 minutes, take out the stockfish and shred to smaller pieces, now add the chopped pepper…ogbono soupNow add the ground pepper, Iru, ground crayfish, both the raw and smoked king prawns…ogbono soupNow add the palm oil, cook for another 3-5 minutes to allow the palm oil melt further and be well combined with the meats…ogbono soup
Then,  add the Ogbono gradually, stir till fully dissolved ( the Soup should begin to draw at this time)ogbono soup
Combine thoroughly and leave  to cook for at least 15 minutes, stir occasionally….ogbono soup
Now add the washed Ugu leaves, turn the heat to low at this time…..image
Stir and  combine…ogbono soup
Now add the Basil leaves/ Efinrin, let it cook for 3-5 minutes, then switch off the heat and let the soup simmer with the residual heat..ogbono soup
Add more stock/water if you find the consistency too thick (I added a cup of water, 250ml)and let it continue to simmer…

I try not to cook Ogbono soup with too much water.This is only because Ogbono soup is bound to curl up with time. This is because of the stock and also the palm oil, both ingredients have a tendency to make soups thickish, what we call “sleep” in Nigeria; causing soups to need water to restore desired consistency. You’ll find yourself adding water to “awaken”, (for want  of a better word) your soup from time to time. This is why I leave the water adding process till after it’s fully cooked.Ogbono doup

And that’s it, your Ogbono soup is ready. Serve with any swallow of your choice..ogbono soup


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32 thoughts on “Ogbono Soup Recipe

  1. Love your recipes. I’ve tried ayamase, designer stew (my favourite!) and especially the stir fry recipes as I love my stir fry and they always come out great. Tried this today and came out lovely as usual- I normally do the frying method as well.

    2 Questions/observations pls:

    1) do u peel your ogbono? As I find if I don’t peel, it comes out darker and not as nice

    2) Also, the quantity I made seem quite small though I didn’t follow your quantities to the letter so I had to add water

  2. This is my second time trying this recipe and it came out even better than my first. As usual, thanks from the bottom of my heart!

  3. What if I told you that I’ve been following every bit of your cooking methods for a long time now and I’ve been trying it out too. One suggestion please and I/we won’t mind. How about any delicacy from the Northern part of the country?

    • Hi, sorry for the late response and thanks for the kind words. Northern recipes will surely be posted, I’m just having a pretty hard time sourcing ingredients. I’m on it though…..?

    • Hi, some people don’t add onions cos they claim onions affect the elasticity, but if you know your onions (pun intended) LOL! That won’t be a problem. I always add onions.

    • Hi Hadiza, I was so sorry i had replied you, I even posted some cooking tips a couple of days after your comment. So sorry. Thanks so much, working on more cooking tips….

  4. Am a foodie but like to explore more on ow to make d best out of me at home.. Have not tried most of ur recipes buh hoping to try out d Nigeria fried rice dis Xmas inshaa Allah. Hopes it comes out well+ dT pasta mixed veggies hope I come across dose sauces here in 9ja..lol coz I want to take all ur step.. Lol

  5. Wow! I love you Sisi Jemimah. This days I don’t cook without referring to you recipes even the food I know how to cook. I always follow you recipe and I must say my cooking skills have improved greatly. I now have more confidence in my cooking. Thanks much

  6. Hey… I really liked your collection. Perhaps i could bring my wife to learn from you. My suggestion is, if you could be recording the video of the entire process and upload to this site and YouTube, It would be better and you could have more visitors. Thanks

    • Thanks Lamide, chai! seen all my typos, thanks for that. Do let me know how you get on with this recipe. Thanks dearie…

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