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Igbo Foods And Recipes: Delicious Popular Igbo Dishes And How To Make Them

delicious igbo soups

Igbo Foods And Recipes: Popular Igbo Foods, Dishes And How To Make Them

The Igbo people are rich in a number of delicacies. They are very famous specifically for a long list of tasty soups associated with their region. Here are a few Igbo dishes and their recipes which you should definitely try.

Different Types Of Igbo Soups And How They Are Made

These soups are usually eaten with solid foods like pounded yam, fufu, semo, eba and the likes.

Okazi Soup

This is the Igbo version of the famous Afang soup except for little differences between the two. The ingredients required for the preparation of this soup are: 1 cup of ofor or egusi (ground), stock fish, palm oil, dry fish, half a kilo of meat, crayfish, pepper (fresh or dry), seasoning cubes, salt and okazi leaves.


Properly wash, season and boil your meat and stock fish. Also wash and de-bone your dry fish. Chop your onions and grind your crayfish.

Pour the ofor/ egusi into a bowl, add a little water to it and mix it. Then wash and slice the okazi leaves as well. Set both of them aside.

In a pot, pour in a few spoons of palm oil and place it on the fire. As it gradually heats up, add chopped onions. Then pour in your ofor or egusi into the pot and stir well.

Pour in the desired amount of meat stock and stir again. Put a lid on the pot and let it boil for a couple of minutes, preferably 4-5 minutes.

Add in the crayfish, meat, pepper, stock fish, dry fish, salt and seasoning cubes to taste. Cover your pot once again for a few more minutes, then put in your sliced okazi leaves, stir and let it steam under low heat for 2-3 minutes before turning off the heat. Your soup is just about ready!

Ofe Okra Soup

This is simply okra soup. The soup is rather common, considered healthy and easy to make. For this soup you would need: okro, stock fish, Cray fish, half kilo of meat, dry fish, seasoning cubes, palm oil, salt and pepper.


Wash your okra and either grate or slice it into very thin and tiny bits. Wash season and boil your meat and then wash and add the stock fish about 15 minutes before the meat gets properly cooked. Wash and de-bone your dry fish too.

When the meat and stock fish are ready, add in some palm oil depending on the quantity you prefer, then pepper, seasoning cubes and salt to your taste. Be mindful of your ingredients as your meat stock is already seasoned.

Then add dry fish and then your okra. Stir it all together and let it cook for 2-3 minutes. It is ready to be served.

Ofe Oha

This is simply known as oha soup some prefer to refer to it as ora soup. But whichever one you choose, it’s all the same. The ingredients for Oha soup is as follows: 4 small cocoyam/ cocoyam flour, oha leaves, crayfish, pepper, seasoning cubes, stock fish, salt, palm oil, pomo and cow tripe/shaki, meat (beef) and dried fish.

oha soup


Start by washing, seasoning and then boiling your meat, pomo, shaki and stock fish. They all have various cooking times so be sure to take note. The shaki, pomo and meat should go first, the stock fish can be added almost at the end of the cooking time.

Wash your cocoyam and boil it properly, peel it and then mash into a smooth dough. A mortar and pestle would do a great job of this.

Wash and shred your oha leaves with your hands rather than using a knife.

Into the pot of cooking meat, add pepper, crayfish (ground), and seasoning cubes. Then cook this for about 8-10 minutes.

At this point gently and in small quantities, put in your pounded cocoyam and then pour in about 11/2 cooking spoon of palm oil.

Cook this mixture until the cocoyam completely blends in with the soup. If the soup looks too thick at any point, it is okay to add some water.

Then put in your oha leaves, stir and allow it to cook some more for another 3 minutes. Add salt if necessary or any other needed ingredient, stir it once more and turn off the heat.

Ofe Akwu

This soup is made from the rich palm oil extract gotten from palm fruit. It is popular not just amongst the people of the South-East but also amongst the people of the South-South region of Nigeria. It goes by the name Banga soup in the South-South. The ingredients needed are: fresh palm fruit about one kilo, a handful of scent leaves, salt, pepper, meat, seasoning cubes, onion, stock fish and dried fish, locust beans (iru) and crayfish (ground).

Ofe Akwu


Wash and place your fresh palm fruit into a pot and pour in some water. Place the pot on the fire and let the fruit boil until its outer layer softens and beginnings to release oil when rubbed.

With the help of a mortar and pestle, pound your hot palm fruits until the outer oily skin separates from the hard nut.

Pick out the nuts. In batches, pick up the separated outer layer of the palm fruit, pour in warm water to extract the oil and squeeze into a bowl. Repeatedly wash this oily outer layer to remove as much oil as possible. Then repeat this procedure for the rest, until all the oil is extracted. Be mindful of the quantity of warm water used during extraction.

Sieve it then pour your extract into a bowl and allow it sit for a while. This gives it time to separate and lets the chaff settle. Pour out the surface liquid free of chaff into a pot.

Clean, season and boil beef and stock fish. Wash, clean and de-bone your dried fish too.

Get your ingredients ready, chop your onions, blend your locust beans (iru) if you wish, wash and shred your scent leaves.

Place the pot containing the oil extract on the fire and then boil until the oil can be seen popping onto the surface. Make sure the mixture isn’t too watery or too thick.

Put in your crayfish, pepper, onions, meat, stockfish and dried fish. Stir and allow it boil for an extended period of time. Add your meat stock as well but be mindful of the amount added so it doesn’t get too watery.

Put in your scent leaves, bitter-leaf can also be used in place of scent leaves if you choose. Also put in your salt and seasoning cubes to taste. The soup should be allowed to simmer for a couple of minutes and it is ready to be served.

Igbo Desserts And How To Make Them

Two very popular Igbo desserts are Abacha and Nkwobi. The preparation processes for them both are as follows.


This food is very well appreciated amongst the Igbo. It is described as African salad. The ingredients required are: two handful measurement of abacha, a tablespoon of potash(ground), pepper, salt and seasoning cubes, half a teaspoon of ground roasted ehu seed, one cup of ukpaka, utazi leaves, palm oil, onion and  cow skin/pomo.

Preparation Process

In a bowl of cold water soak your abacha and let it begin to soften. When it softens, drain the water and strain. Wash, boil and chop your pomo.

The ukpaka is to be rinsed very well in slightly warm water. Your ground potash should then be dissolved in half a cup of cold water and mixed properly.

In a pot that isn’t place on a stove or any kind of heat, pour about 2 cooking spoons of palm oil and only the surface water from your earlier prepared potash mix.

Stir it so they both blend together and then add ukpaka leaf, pepper (ground), your roasted and ground ehu seeds, chopped onions and squeeze in your seasoning cubes. Also add in chopped pomo and mix as well.

Add your strained abacha and mix it in, evenly distributing the ingredients. At this point you slice in the utazi leaves. Then you taste just to be sure if your abacha still requires salt and how much.

You can then choose to put it on the fire under very low heat. This is just to warm the abacha up a bit. You could also choose not to subject your abacha to any form of heat. That is if you like it cold.

Your abacha can be consumed with fried fish and garden eggs if you please.


Nkwobi is a delicious Igbo dessert made from a variety of assorted bush meat. But in more recent times people have begun using common domesticated animal meats to prepare this dish.

The ingredients needed for this recipe are: 11/2 kilo of a variety of meat goat, cow leg/tail, bush meat, chicken and the likes. Seasoning cubes, potash, 4 ehu seeds, utazi leaves (8-10), salt, palm oil, 1 cup ugba, bonnet pepper, crayfish and onions.

Preparation Process

Wash and slice your utazi leaves and onions. Wash, cut, season and boil your variety of meats. Their cooking time would definitely defer. So boil according to their cooking time.

The cow leg and tail should take the longest cooking time, about an hour, it could be more or less, depending on how long it takes to fully soften and cook.

In a cup of water, dissolve your potash. When it dissolves, pour out the surface water into a pot and add about three cooking spoons of palm oil then stir.

Add in your desired amount of pepper and salt. Put in crayfish (ground), seasoning cubes and ugba. Stir the mix once again and add the cooked meat.

Carefully stir it all together. Your meat should not be too hot. It should have cooled down considerably before adding it to this mix. After this, your Nkwobi is ready to be served.

Igbo Food Recipes

There are quite a number of more Igbo dishes which are worth a try. You could consider trying Achicha Ede a delicacy made from cocoyam, Ukpo ogede another unique dish which is made from over ripe plantain, there is the likes of ofe achara and also garden egg sauce, there is ukwa which is porridge made from breadfruit, ugba this is made similar to abacha but ugba is the dominate ingredient in this particular dish and there is also yam pepper soup.

The Igbo tribe is most definitely one of those tribes topping the chart when it comes to their various dishes and diverse remarkable delicacies.



  1. Duru James

    June 28, 2019 at 10:53 PM

    Ofe akwu is my favourite, I have not eat it in 2 years

    • lynda

      July 3, 2019 at 1:39 PM

      come and let me prepare it for you.

  2. Mon

    June 29, 2019 at 6:59 AM

    The Igbo dishes has gone global, the best among others..

  3. uzoma

    June 29, 2019 at 10:07 AM

    Ofe Owerri is the best atop there with Edikaikong of the Calabar.

  4. Metu Nyetu

    June 29, 2019 at 12:52 PM

    WHEN IT COMES to Banga soup, Anambra State is the best all over the world, and closely, very closely, followed by Enugu. Or maybe. For Abacha and Achicha Ede, nobody beats Enugu people. They are simply creative with foods. In my humble, most-sincere estimate, Enugu and Anambra are the best kitchen manipulators in Igboland.

    • uzoma

      June 30, 2019 at 10:42 AM

      Metu my man, try Ofe Owerri and Oha soups and you will change your mind.

      • Metu Nyetu

        July 18, 2019 at 7:25 AM

        SURE! OFE OWERRI MUST be a very delicious soup. And I guess, by the way they blow its name, it must be some kind of fulfillment to have eaten that soup. Yet I have not tasted it before. Maybe someday I will.

        HOWEVER, I did not aim to name the sweetest soup or dish in Igboland: my aim was, and still is, to match dishes with people that prepare them best. And so, being ofe Owerri, I doubt if any other people could contest that with Owerri people. But oha soup? Something almost universal? No way, bro! Mess not with an Enugu grandmother or Anambra! They would sell you cheap and fast with the soup, believe that!

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