Ila Alasepo – Okra Soup

Ila Alasepo is simply a Nigerian Stewed Okra soup recipe. It is a very popular delicacy among the  Yoruba ethnic group of western Nigeria.  Ila Alasepo is very easy to prepare and very affordable as well.

This Ila Alasepo recipe can be replicated with or without Palm oil. I prefer it with palm oil as I’m not that much of a health freak, anything goes really….?

I never cook Okra soup with Edible Potash (Kaun), in fact I don’t use it at all cos I’m not comfortable using it, so to ensure I get a considerable amount of elasticity in my okra soup while maintaining it’s crunchiness and freshness, I blend some of the okra and chop up the rest. Feel free to stick to your preferred consistency, whether crunchy or puréed.

Some Ila Alasepo recipes call for vegetable leaves, I never use any but feel free to add at the end of the cooking process. Preferred vegetable leaves are Pumpkin leaves {Ugu), Spinach, Uziza Or Basil leaves.

So, let’s get started….


25-30 Pieces Fresh Okra

1 Cooking Spoon Palm Oil

800 grams Assorted Meats (Shaki, Ponmo, Cowfoot, Beef, Goat meat and offals are ideal)

2-3 Pieces Stock Fish

2 Medium Smoked Fish

Fresh prawns

Smoked Prawns

1 Cooking Spoon Crayfish

2-3 Chopped Scotch Bonnet (Atarodo)

1 Bell Pepper Chopped (Tatashe)

4 Cloves Garlic, Minced

1/2 Cooking Spoon Locust Beans (Iru)

1/2 Cooking Spoon Cayenne Pepper (Ata gungun)

1 Medium Onion

Knorr Chicken Cubes

Salt to taste


Firstly, blend 1/3 of the Okra and chop the rest. If you want it chunky with no elasticity, you can chop the, all or blend all if you don’t fancy any chunkiness. I prefer mine both ways. Clean the smoked fish and soak in hot water to remove all traces of dirt, shred and set aside.


Boil the meats on medium to high heat with the chopped onion, Knorr Cubes,  garlic and salt to taste. Start with tougher meats like Shaki, Cow foot, Ponmo, add softer meats as you go. If you’re using stock fish, add with the softer meats…

You’ll need to season your meats really well as this will serve as the base of your Ila Alasepo. If your stock isn’t well seasoned, then your soup may end up tasting bland. Ensure you end up with very rich and tasty stock. You’ll need at least 5 cups of stock left in the pot after boiling the meats so, ensure you add enough water.

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When the meats are soft, transfer the meats into a bowl, leaving just the stock in the pot. Add the palm oil and leave to boil on medium heat for 6-8 minutes…

If you’re choosing not to use palm oil please skip this step.

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Now add the ground pepper, then the locust beans…

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Add the ground crayfish, then the chopped peppers….

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Leave to cook for 3 minutes. Now add the blended okra. Stir vigorously to combine…..

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Now add the shredded smoked fish, smoked prawns, cooked meats and smoked fish back into the pot. Stir and combine, then add the chopped okra…

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Add the fresh prawns if you’re using any, leave to cook for 5 minutes…

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And it’s ready.

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Serve with any swallow of your choice, I love mine with white or yellow Garri (Eba)

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Before you go, have you checked out our Seafood Okra recipe? Click HERE for the recipe if you’re interested.


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20 thoughts on “Ila Alasepo – Okra Soup

  1. Kaffy,

    Hello, I made this Okro soup following your method. I must add, this is my first time making it, and everyone in my house bn praising me…..thanks to you 😊. If I want to add crabs to the soup, at what point do I do that?

  2. Tried this. Absolutely loved it. Although mine was a little watery. I guess I went a bit overboard with water. Thanks jemimah.

    God bless you.

    • Hi…. I thought I’d replied to your comment, wonder what happened. Thanks for the feedback and I’m glad you enjoyed it, thanks once again and you’re very welcome….x

  3. It’s a wonderful bail-out for me, but when do u pour in d okra when u only grate it? I don’t usually get d elasticity I want when I add vegetable to my okra, what’s d reason?

    • Hi, sorry for the late response. Adding vegetable leaves to your Okra will affect the elasticity of your Okra. Especially if you use Ugwu as its quite tough, spinach also cos of its water contents. You’ll have to add potash to it to retain the elasticity you require. Hope this helps.

    • Hi,thanks, Adding the Okra to the oil first will more often than not, overlook the Okra, which could affect the elasticity. Okra shouldn’t be cooked for too long really….

    • Bimz, I actually prefer to grate rather than blend Okra as blending purées it a bit too much. I was just too lazy to grate really. Thanks very much for the kind words and for stopping by….

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