Ogbono soup or Ofe Ogbono as it's called by the Igbos in Nigeria is a delicious Soup that is similar to Okro/Okra soup because of its viscosity. In fact Nigerians almost always include it when cooking Okro/Okra Soup. This soup whether made with spinach, Ugu or bitterleaf, happens to be my favorite soup therefore I have learnt to make it to perfection, and yes I am willing to share my expertise with you. Let me show you exactly how I make it.
The only Ogbono Soup Recipe you need!
Besides this oil free ogbono soup recipe, believe me when I say this is the only other plain ogbono soup recipe you need. Quit Moving from one recipe to another and sit tight and enjoy this soup with some Pounded yam, Oat fufu or Plantain fufu.
Ever heard the word 'draw soup'?, It is a term used to refer to soups that ar viscous in nature. Ogbono has always been one of my favorite draw soups. Others include Ewedu aka Molakhia and ￼Okro soup, I know you can make Ogbono soup with Okro but there are otherways to cook okro without it. These include plain Okro, Okro vegetable soup and Ofe Ugba.
What is Ogbono (African Wild Mango)
It is the seed from the African wild mango tree, with the botanical name Irvingia gabonensis The tree itself bears mango-like fruits for which it is popularly known around the world. The flesh of the fruits is eaten and used for a variety of things which include jelly and black dye.
In Nigeria, It is known for its nutrient dense seeds, which is the main ingredient in this soup.
Are you on a keto or low carb diet? Ogbono soup definitely falls into the category of healthy African keto/low carb foods. Just make sure you are serving it with vegetable based fufu like cauliflower fufu.
Health benefits of Ogbono
Most of the health benefits I researched had to do with the African mango fruit itself and not the seeds. Permit me to assume that if it's flesh has so much speculated health benefits, the seeds would certainly share some. So below are a few of the health benefits of the African mango, feel free to read this article for more info.
- It can help control blood sugar.
- Aids weight loss due to high fibre content.
- May help to reduce cholesterol.
- African mango is a good source of antioxidants.
Nutrition and Calories
Unfortunately I don't think enough research has been done with the African mango seeds to gather enough info about calories in ogbono. Most search results I found were about the flesh or the supplements. Therefore I am sorry I can't provide you with that info at this time. I will definitely update this post if I do come across it.
For the same reason stated above, the nutrition info in this post excludes the Ogbono seeds. If you do find out about it please leave me a comment with the source of your info, I would be happy to check it out.
- Ground Ogbono seeds
- Ground crayfish
- Assorted meats
- Stock fish
- Dry fish
- Salt and bouillon cubes or powder
- Palm oil
- Ugu/Spinach/Collard greens/bitter leaves
How to make it
There are various ways to cook Ogbono soup based on the ingredients used and the cooking method.
Based on the ingredients used
Ogbono soup can be cooked with ugu, spinach, collard greens or bitter leaves. Making it with the first three listed leaves taste alike, but it tastes a little different when cooked with bitter leaves.
Some people especially the Igbos love to add Uziza leaves to this soup because it takes it to another level of deliciousness. You should try it if you haven't and leave me a review.
Based on cooking method
- Frying Method: In this method, the ground ogbono is lightly fried in palm oil before the meat stock and other ingredients are added.
- Boiling method: The ground Ogbono is added into the boiling meats either directly or mixed with palm oil before adding to the soup.
Step by Step Photos
Step 1-3; Bring meat to boil, cook meat, add palm oil, then the ground seeds.
Step 4-6; Stir in the chopped onions and extra fresh proper, then add the chopped vegetable of choice. Stir and turn off heat.
Making Ogbono soup with okro.
This is another way to make this soup. It is called Okro with ogbono or vice versa. I cover that variety in this post.
It can also be made with Egusi what we call a fast emergency soup 😋 It is similar to this Nigerian emergency soup recipe, but instead of adding okro, you can add some ogbono.
How to serve it
Ogbono soup is best served with swallow foods like Pounded yam, Amala or Eba. If you are on a low carb diet, then serving this with any of the vegetable swallows like cabbage fufu, cauliflower fufu or eggplant amala will be ideal.
Quick Recipes Notes and Tips!
- Though I shared how to make Ogbono with fresh uncooked meat and how to make it with precooked meats, I prefer the later because it saves me time and gets the soup ready quicker. To achieve this some times I cook the meats ahead of time and save the stock. Since getting my instant pot, cooking tough meats have become a breeze.
- Most Nigerian soups and Stews are made with assorted meats which simply means a variety of meats, you can make this soup with just one type of meat if you prefer.
- If you decide to use the frying method, add the ground Ogbono to the oil when the oil is just melted. Stir the Ogbono frequently on low heat so it doesn't burn. Then add your ingredients.
- Adding some onions at the end gives it a unique flavor that makes the soup even more delicious.
- When you add the ground Ogbono the soup thickens, gradually add water to thin it out. Be careful not to flood it or it will lose its viscosity and become too water.
Other Nigerian Soups to try
Frequently Asked Questions
It's either the ground ogbono is stale and not potent or you added too little or too much water. When the Ogbono is too thick, it can't loses its viscosity and if it's too watery, the same thing happens. Try to thin it out gradually.
Yes it is. it is very nutritious.
Did you enjoy this recipe or found it helpful, please leave me a comment and share the link to this recipe with family and friends and in your favorite facebook group.
*This Recipe was first published in April 2017. It has been updated to include a recipe card, more tips, and answers to frequently asked questions.
- 6-8 qt stainless steel pot
- 1 cup (about 130g) dry milled ogbono
- 1 Tbsp dry milled cameroon pepper or 2 scotch bonnet peppers finely chopped. (see notes 1)
- 400 g cow feet cooked
- 500 g stock fish cooked
- 700 g smoked turkey cooked
- 4 -6 cups Meat stock
- ½ cup coarsely ground crayfish
- 2 medium onion finely chopped and divided (see notes 2)
- 400 g Ugu leaves or any green leafy vegetable of choice. I used Kale (washed and chopped)
- 1½ cup palm oil
- Salt and bouillion powder to taste. (see notes 3)
Cooking with Precooked meats
- Bring the meat stock to boil, add the crayfish, Palm oil and Ogbono then stir. When the ogbono is added to the soup, it will thicken so thin it out with more water or stock to your desired consistency. Let it simmer on medium to low heat for about 8 minutes.
- Add the precooked assorted meats, stock fish and cleaned and deboned dry fish to the soup, Cook on medium heat for another 5 to 10 mins, or till meat is warmed through. Stir at close intervals to prevent burning. Remember to taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
- Add the chopped onions and chopped fresh pepper, allow to simmer for about a minute, then add in the chopped Kale vegetable. Stir in the veggies and turn off heat.
Cooking with raw meat
- Add raw meats to pot, and bring to boil, then add ½ of the chopped onions, dry pepper, crayfish, bouillion powder, salt.
- When the meat is cooked, add palm oil then the ground ogbono. After about a minute you will notice the ogbono thicken the soup. If it is too thick, add more water to thin it out to your desired consistency.
- Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly. Allow the ogbono cook for about 10 minutes on low heat while stirring at close intervals to prevent burning.
- Add the chopped onions and fresh pepper, allow simmer for about a minute, then add your kale leaves.
- Stir in the kale and turn off the heat. Let the rsidual heat lightly cook the vegetables.
- If using dry pepper, add it when cooking the meats. If using fresh chopped peppers, I like to add it towards the end of the cooking time at the same time the chopped onions is added.
- As per ingredients list, you need two onions when cooking with raw meats. If cooking with precooked meats, you need only one onion because the second onion would have been used while cooking the meat.
- Salt and bouillion; If cooking with precooked meats, you just need a little salt and bouillion powder to adjust seasoning since the meat stock is preseasoned. But if cooking with raw meat, start with 1 ½ Tablespoon of bouillion and about 1 teaspoon of salt and adjust it from there based on individual tastes.