Ogbono soup is also called the draw soup. Because of its slimy texture, it pairs well with the coarse fufu. The soup gets its name from the ogbono plant, whose seeds are ground and then cooked. The plant, Irvingia gabonensis, originates from Southern Nigeria where the native settlers first domesticated and planted it. There are different indigenous names for this soup, including ugiri, pekpeara, ogwi and oro, depending on the language.
The ogbono seeds, when ground, make a soup that serves as a thickener. To achieve its slimy consistency, you add water and palm oil. Depending on what you are aiming for, you can add other condiments like leaf vegetables, red hot chili pepper, or other seasonings, which change the color. You can also add meat (beef, bush meat, goat) or fish (tilapia, shrimp, or crayfish) to the soup and still get the mucilaginous texture. It looks quite similar to the okra soup.
Is the Ogbono Soup Healthy?
According to research by Oluwasoun Bamidele, a food science and nutrition expert, fully-made ogbono soup can be a basis for a balanced diet. It can contain different ingredients like dika kernel powder, fish, locust bean, onions, and other healthy components in different ratios.
From samples that he used in his research, the soup contained proteins, crude fat, crude fiber, and mineral content. Also, vitamins such as vitamin C, B2, A, and B3 were present. In a sensory evaluation, the soup was highly acceptable (tasty). To fully enjoy it, dip some fufu into the soup and swallow.
Why is my Ogbono Soup Bitter?
When cooking ogbono, ensure that you let it simmer for at least 20 minutes. Cook it on low heat to bring out the taste. Some people cook it for only five minutes (especially when they buy the ogbono instant mix powder). This is too fast, and you will end up with a soup that tastes off.
Ogbono seeds that have gone moldy can bring out a bitter taste. Ensure that you check the ground seeds for mold before cooking them. Anyways, the human mind is tricky. What may seem bitter when you first it can actually give you a sweet sensation over time. Guess that is how people become addicted to beer.
How can I Cook Ogbono Soup to avoid Burning?
Since ogbono soup is sticky, it can lead to serious burns if it lands on exposed skin. When cooking, start by turning down the heat when it starts boiling violently. However, if you can avoid reaching scalding hot temperatures, do. It helps to set the cooker’s heat knob at 4 out of 9.
Secondly, if you are cooking the soup with crayfish or shrimp, do not add it until towards the end. This is because the crayfish speeds up the cooking process—making the soup burn faster. Sometimes, you cannot avoid this because the ogbono powder came pre-milled with the crayfish, in which case you will need to keep the heat down.
Finally, non-stick pots are the worst culprits when it comes to being scalded by the soup. To avoid burns, use an aluminum pot, or one of those wrought iron pots used for slow-cooking.
Why Won’t My Soup Draw?
Ogbono soup should draw. After all, you are making Draw Soup. These are the main reasons why the soup might not draw:
#1. You bought the wrong seed. There is a very similar seed found in markets in Nigeria. If you find the seeds unusually cheap, take a closer look and confirm it is ogbono.
#2. If the ogbono you used is old or was ground a long time ago, it would lose its potency and consistency.
#3. Too much water makes the soup watery rather than the target slimy. Do not add too much water to a small amount of ground ogbono.
#4. Frying the ground ogbono in palm oil will make it to lose its consistency and potency completely. Instead, soak the ground seed in the palm oil rather than frying it.
#5. Old ogbono seeds will not draw. The best seeds are less than a year old.
10 Ogbono Soup Recipes That Will Get You Drooling Over African Soup
#1. Ogbono Soup (or Apon) by AbiGlobalFoods
Ogbono (Ibo) or Apon (Yoruba) is the seed of the African wild mango (Oro). The seed is dried and then milled with some crayfish in order to make Ogbono soup powder. This is by far one of the easiest and fastest Nigerian soups to prepare. You can choose to make use of your preferred protein – Beef, dried fish and fresh fish all make great accompaniment to the soup.
#2. Ogbono Soup By Chef Lola’s Kitchen
Ogbono soup is a delectable Nigerian concoction soup common to most Nigerian Tribes, especially Igbos and Yorubas
Ogbono Soup is super easy to prepare. It’s a thick and hearty stew made with Ogbono seeds (wild mango seeds) loaded with meats and fish simmered in a light delicious broth. When Ogbono is cooked it has a mucilaginous (slimy) texture like cooked Okra and Jute leaves (Ewedu). This is a stew and not a soup in the real sense but we call it soup anyways!
#3. Ogbono Soup (Draw Soup) By Low Carb Africa
Ogbono soup (Draw Soup) is a rich, nutrition-packed Nigerian soup made from ogbono seeds (ground African mango seeds), palm oil, assorted meats, and traditional spices. It packs a lot of bold and rich flavors and is incredibly delicious!
Ogbono soup is commonly eaten with fufu dishes like pounded yam or eba. It is called 'Draw Soup', due to the mucilaginous nature that gives it a slippery and viscous texture.
It might take some getting used to due to this texture, but once you taste it, it really does taste amazing and it makes your fufu go down easily!
#4. Ogbono Soup with Bitter Leaf By Global Food Book
The inspiration for this soup was drawn from my mum's eldest sister. Ogbono soup with bitter leaf happens to be my mum's sister's favourite soup. Growing up, each time I visited her, there would always be an ogbono soup with bitter leaves in a pot relaxing off in the kitchen.
Ingredients for cooking a typical ogbono soup include palm oil, local seasoning (ogiri okpei), meat, fish, pepper, stockfish, salt to taste and leafy vegetables such as ugu leaves, spinach or bitter leaf. Ogbono soup can also be cooked with okra too.
This ogbono soup with bitter leaves is pretty easy to cook, tasty, aromatic, flavourful, and above all filled with assorted meats and fish to appease your taste bud. The soup can be served with either pounded yam, eba, poundo, fufu etc.
Simply plate up, dive into the plate and dig in. I encourage you to grab the necessary ingredients, follow the detailed recipe steps and cook for yourself, family or friends a delicious pot of ogbono soup. In the end, I doubt if you will be disappointed with the soup.
#5. Nigerian Ogbono Soup Recipe By Sisi Jemimah
Ogbono soup is a Nigerian soup made with ground Ogbono (wild African mango) seeds. Ogbono soup is very popular and the method of preparation differs from tribe to tribe. This is my mum’s method of preparation and it has never failed me.
Ogbono soup is incredibly versatile. Babies and toddlers are introduced to solids with Ogbono, the sliminess helps them swallow with ease. Loads of people eat Ogbono soup with rice and I remember posting a photo of Ogbono on Instagram and was advised to try it with pasta. I did and it was really yummy. You can choose to make your Ogbono soup plain; without adding vegetables. This is also a tasty method. If you do choose to use vegetables, Pumpkin leaves(Ugu), Spinach and Bitter leaf are the most common vegetables used.
#6. Ogbono Soup With Okro By Global Food Book
Ogbono soup is usually cooked combined with okra and pumpkin leaves, which makes the soup very appetizing. Ogbono soup with okra is often served with pounded yam, fufu or eba.
The fruits are very rich in fat and protein. When ground, ogbono is prepared as soup with other condiments and eaten with fufu or pounded yam. It is a typical African dish made with ground ogbono seeds but with variation depending on the locality.
#7. Tasty Ogbono Soup By The Pretend Chef
Ogbono soup is one of the universal soups we have in Nigeria. Kids usually have their first introduction to “swallow” using ogbono soup. This is due to its mucilaginous nature—the ease with which it slides down the throat, its lack of obstructive ingredients and its simplicity in taste.
The superior, flavourful ogbono is the kernel of the seed of the bitter ugiri fruit. The smell is distinctly richer and bolder than that of the seed of sweet ugiri fruit . It is very mucilaginous (very drawy) so a little goes a long way and the taste is very earthy, rich with a hint of sweetness.
#8. Delicious Ogbono Soup By Nigeria Lazy Chef
Who doesn’t love Ogbono soup. If you don’t then ahhh you are missing out on a delicious delicacy
What is Ogbono. Ogbono, also known as Apon is gotten from the wild or bush mango. It is then dried and grinded into a smooth powder. According to some research these bush mangoes help in controlling hunger, lowers cholesterol and heps to control diabetis
Ogbono soup reminds me of my mother and how she used to make it with all sorts of vegetables. I have a memory of her bending over a pot of ogbono soup, trying to make sure it tasted right.
#9. Viscous Ogbono Soup By Dolapo Grey
Ogbono is a viscous soup enjoyed by many tribes in Nigeria. It’s tasty, easy, and quick to prepare, and delicious.
#10. Ogbono Soup and Pounded Yam By African Bites
Ogbono Soup and Pounded Yam from Scratch – A tasty and hearty Nigerian soup made from Ogbono seeds (bush mango seeds) added with pre-cooked meat. And paired with smooth, tasty and filling Pounded Yam for an extraordinary African meal experience!
Ogbono soup is a hate or love it soup. No, I didn’t grow up eating it but quickly fell in love with it after moving to the U.S. It’s appeal? Chunks of meat and fish. Annnd it’s comforting and hearty.
For those few who aren’t familiar with Ogbono seeds, they are often times called wild mango, African mango, bush mango and dika. The trees bear edible mango-like fruits and the seeds (also called dika nuts) and are basically like nuts that can be eaten raw or roasted. Seriously I don’t know anyone who eats this as a snack but some say they do.
As you can see from the recipes above, this soup is relatively fast and easy to make. You can eat it with fufu, or nshima. There are many different combinations of food that you can mix and match to get the perfect dish out. Try it out this month and experience the explosion of flavors! Meanwhile, which of the ogbono variations enticed you the most? Share your thought in the comment box below.