Otong Soup – Efik Style Okra Soup

Otong soup is a popular traditional Okra soup recipe from the Efik people of Cross river, South Eastern Nigeria. Otong soup is very similar to the Yoruba Okra Soup; Ila Alasepo. The major difference is the addition of Ugu leaves which isn’t a requirement in the preparation of Ila Alasepo.

If you cant source Ugu leaves, you can use spinach, Water leaves or Kale instead. If you cant source Uziza leaves, which is optional anyway, you can use ground Uziza seeds insead.

I’ve got a recipe for Ila Alsepo, click HERE to view the recipe.

Let’s cook!




30-40 pieces Fresh Okra

1 Cooking spoon Palm oil

Assorted meats (Shaki, Ponmo, Cowfoot, Beef, Goat meat and Offals are ideal)

2-3 Pieces Stock fish

2 Medium size Smoked fish

Fresh prawns (Optional)

Smoked prawns

1 Cooking spoon Crayfish

2 Cups Chopped and washed Ugu leaves (substitute for Spinach, Water leaves or Kale)

Handful Uziza leaves, chopped and washed (Optional)

1 Onion

2-3 Scotch Bonnet (Ideally Yellow Nsukka Pepper)

Knorr Chicken Cubes/ Maggi Crayfish

Salt to taste


Pound in a mortar or chop the Okra with a processor. I prefer to chop 3/4 finely with a food processor then chop the rest by hand cos I love my Okra with a bit of crunch. If you want it chunky all through, with little or no elasticity, then you can chop the entire Okra. I prefer mine both ways.


Clean the Smoked Fish and soak in hot water to remove all traces of dirt, shred and set aside.


Chop or blend the Scotch Bonnet and set aside. Also blend the Onion and set aside…


Boil the meats, starting with tougher meats like Shaki, Cow foot, Ponmo, add softer meats as you go. Start by transferring the meats into a big pot, add blended Onions, Salt and Bouillon cubes, do not add water, allow the meats to sweat out. Stir from time to time and allow to steam for 5 minutes..

otong soup

After 5 minutes, add enough water to cook the meats, cover and cook till soft. When the meats are soft, add the Stockfish and leave to soften for 6-8 minutes..


Then add chopped Pepper and half of the Crayfish…


Add the Smoked/ fresh Prawns, and shredded smoked Catfish, leave for 2 minutes….


Add the Palm oil and leave to boil for 2-3 minutes. Use Palm oil sparingly, unlike Ila Alasepo, Otong soup requires very little palm oil..


Now, add the Okra, combine and leave to cook for a minute…

Once the okra is added, do not cover the pot till you’re done cooking. covering will affect the elasticity of your Otong soup.


Add the Ugu and Uziza leaves, combine and leave to cook for 2 minutes…


Add the rest of the Crayfish..

otong soup

Switch the heat off, then allow to simmer with the residual heat for 2 minutes…


Your Otong Soup is ready! Enjoy with your preferred Swallow!

otong soup

otong soup






Will be waiting on your feedback when you’ve had the chance to replicate this easy Otong soup recipe. See you soon!


22 thoughts on “Otong Soup – Efik Style Okra Soup

  1. Hey mama! I had reached the point where I was bored with same ol’ food. I didn’t even look forward to eating my own food. Then I came across this….thank you so much. I tried it today and I love it. Yet to serve the family. I am trying the beef stirfry tomorrow. Thanks

  2. What can I say???? I tried to recreate this recipe today…..It turned out AWESOME!!!!!!!….A friend of mine partook of it…with every mouth full, she prayed for me!!!

    Well done…..Sisi J……your recipes ROCK!!!!!!

    • Yay! Awesome feedback! Glad it worked out great for you and thanks for taking the time to leave a feedback..

  3. I love otong soup. The taste is alot better than asepo. I plan to try this the efik style. When do u add uziza seed if you don’t have the leaves? Good job dear. I love visiting your page.

    • I prefer Otong Soup to Ila Alasepo as well, taste is more intense, Uziza seeds can go in before the palm oil is added. Thank you so much…

  4. Hi and thank you soo much for this recipe. It looks really saucy, I will definitely try it soon.
    You have made me love West Africn cooking, well done! thanks again

    • You’re very welcome. Please give it a try, I’m sure you’ll love it. I’m glad you find my recipes helpful, thanks for taking the time to leave a feedback…

  5. Hello ma’am a few of the recipes I have been reviewing today with this one included it does not indicate how much meat to use. I wouldn’t know if I should use 1 lbs or 2 lBS based of the measurements offered in the rest of the recipe. Please help! Thanks for the recipes you share it makes it easy for me to cook and they are always so delcious.

    • Hi Priscilla, It’s had to ascertain the measurement of assorted meats in Nigerian recipes cos most of the meats are boney. I intentionally leave out the measurement for this reason. Though, if you’re good at eyeballing, you’ll be able to get a rough idea from the photos. For this recipe, I’ll say roughly 2 Kilos. Hope this helps, I’ll work on including measurements in future recipes and you’re very welcome….

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