Ogbono Soup: The Making Of Tasty And Nutritious Nigerian Soup

Apr 29, 2012
Travel Blog
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Ogbono soup (image credit: avartsycooking.com)

Just like Egusi, Ogbono soup – also called agbono soup – is thoroughly enjoyed by almost all Nigerians.

It is particularly favourite amongst the Igbos in the eastern Nigeria to whom this superb soup is deemed incomplete without the addition of stockfish.

The Nigerian culture is rich and diverse in many ways; this country is made up of different tribes that have their different food and cooking styles.

But for the purpose of this article we will concentrate on the three predominant tribes and their food, talking about the Hausas, Igbos and the Yorubas.

However, the beauty of Nigerian food vis-à-vis the tribes is not just cooking and eating alone, but the nutritional benefits found in the different food eaten.

Take for instance, there are certain foods recommended and cooked for a pregnant woman and another for a new mother and so on.

In this segment we will be focusing on Ogbono soup, a popular food eaten amongst the Igbo tribe, the health benefit, the cooking method and the disadvantages of eating too much of it.

Ogbono is the seed of African mango or wild bush mango otherwise known as Irvingia Gabonensis and is found commonly in West Africa.

Their high content of mucilage enables them to be used as thickening agent for dishes such as Ogbono soup.

Ogbono is usually eaten as an accompaniment with eba, fufu, pounded yam and amala; all these are major staple foods made from yam and cassava flakes in Nigeria.

Ogbono soup is not difficult to make and the ingredients can readily be purchased in the local market.

However it’s important to note that the seeds when blended into powdered form, loses its taste, flavour and thickness over time.

It’s therefore advisable to blend the portion or quantity that is required to cook each time.

Image credit: avartsycooking.com


  • Ogbono seed (milled into powdered form)
  • Beef or goat meat
  • Dried fish
  • Crayfish
  • Dried Haddock (pre-soaked in water)
  • Dried pepper (milled)
  • Locust beans (a local spice)
  • Palm oil
  • Vegetable (optional)
Start by washing your meat and season it with salt and Oxo, Knorr or Maggi cubes.

Avoid using onion or curry when boiling your meat as it affects negatively the overall outcome and taste of the soup.

One of the major characteristics of this soup is the sticky-thick consistency and using onion causes it to lose its density.

Boil your meat until tender and add your already washed dried fish, haddock and your milled pepper, crayfish and locust beans.

Bring to boil for about 20 minutes and add palm oil (let it boil for another 5 minutes).

In a separate pot, add palm oil and let it be hot, add milled Ogbono to soften it and mix thoroughly in the meat pot.

Leave to boil for 5 minutes more and add washed cut vegetables, stir thoroughly and leave it to cook for 2 minutes.

Then, you are done and ready to go!


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