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10 Ogbono Soup Recipes That Will Get You Drooling Over African Soup

ogbono soup

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.

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OGBONO SOUP (OR APON) 1

Yields4 Servings
Prep Time15 minsCook Time30 minsTotal Time45 mins

 1 cup Ogbono seeds – blending in a mill will give you around 1 3/4 cups
 1 big handful of Okra
 1 handful of chopped Uziza leaves (hot leaf) – are you a little surprised?
 ½ cup Iru fermented locust beans
 1 wrap of Ogiri – fermented oil seeds. Still surprised?
 500 g 1 kilo of Assorted Meats
 1 cup Shredded smoked fishyou can use Eja Osan, Eja Sawa or simple Eja Kika
 1 cup of smoked large prawns
 1 medium sized Stock fish
 Periwinkle– (optional)
 2 Red bell Peppers – Tatashe
 4 pieces of Ata Rodo – scotch bonnet/habanero pepper
 2 cooking spoons of Palm oil


Ingredients

 1 cup Ogbono seeds – blending in a mill will give you around 1 3/4 cups
 1 big handful of Okra
 1 handful of chopped Uziza leaves (hot leaf) – are you a little surprised?
 ½ cup Iru fermented locust beans
 1 wrap of Ogiri – fermented oil seeds. Still surprised?
 500 g 1 kilo of Assorted Meats
 1 cup Shredded smoked fishyou can use Eja Osan, Eja Sawa or simple Eja Kika
 1 cup of smoked large prawns
 1 medium sized Stock fish
 Periwinkle– (optional)
 2 Red bell Peppers – Tatashe
 4 pieces of Ata Rodo – scotch bonnet/habanero pepper
 2 cooking spoons of Palm oil
Ogbono Soup (or Apon) by AbiGlobalFoods

#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

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Ogbono Soup By Chef Lola's Kitchen

Yields6 Servings
Prep Time5 minsCook Time30 minsTotal Time35 mins

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!

 4 cups stock Beef or Chicken
 Meat Tripe, cow skin or Fish of choice
 1 cup Cup Stock Fish
 salt to taste
 2 stock cubes
 Ugwu Kale or Collard Greens
 ¾ cup Periwinkle
  cup Palm Oil


Ingredients

 4 cups stock Beef or Chicken
 Meat Tripe, cow skin or Fish of choice
 1 cup Cup Stock Fish
 salt to taste
 2 stock cubes
 Ugwu Kale or Collard Greens
 ¾ cup Periwinkle
  cup Palm Oil
Ogbono Soup By Chef Lola’s Kitchen

#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!

RatingDifficultyIntermediate

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Ogbono Soup (Draw Soup) By Low Carb Africa

Yields8 Servings
Prep Time5 minsCook Time40 minsTotal Time45 mins

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!

 1 lb beef
 8 oz shaki (tripe)
 12 oz cow feet
 ¾ cup palm oil
 1 cup chopped spinach or your choice of leafy greens
 1 cup chopped onions
 2 cups meat stock
 2 cups water
 salt to taste


Ingredients

 1 lb beef
 8 oz shaki (tripe)
 12 oz cow feet
 ¾ cup palm oil
 1 cup chopped spinach or your choice of leafy greens
 1 cup chopped onions
 2 cups meat stock
 2 cups water
 salt to taste
Ogbono Soup (Draw Soup) By Low Carb Africa

#4. Ogbono Soup with Bitter Leaf By Global Food Book

RatingDifficultyIntermediate

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Ogbono Soup with Bitter Leaf By Global Food Book

Yields12 Servings
Prep Time20 minsCook Time1 hr 10 minsTotal Time1 hr 30 mins

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, pepperstockfish, 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.

 2 tsp salt
 1 dried fish
 2 kg assorted meat
 200 ml red palm oil
 5 ½ cups stockfish fillets
 1 yellow habanero pepper
 1 cup ogbono seeds (ground)
 A handful of washed bitter leaves

Ingredients

 2 tsp salt
 1 dried fish
 2 kg assorted meat
 200 ml red palm oil
 5 ½ cups stockfish fillets
 1 yellow habanero pepper
 1 cup ogbono seeds (ground)
 A handful of washed bitter leaves
Ogbono Soup with Bitter Leaf By Global Food Book

#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. 

RatingDifficultyBeginner

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Nigerian Ogbono Soup Recipe By Sisi Jemimah

Yields6 Servings
Prep Time5 minsCook Time40 minsTotal Time45 mins

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. 

 2 Cooking Spoons Palm Oil
 Ugu Leaves
 Efinrin/ Basil leaves (Optional)
 ½ cup Smoked/ Raw King Prawns(optional)
 Smoked Catfish
 Dried Stockfish
 1 or 2 Scotch Bonnet/ Ata Rodo (Optional)
 1 Red Onion chopped
 1 tbsp Cayenne Pepper (Atagungun)
 Bouillon cubes(I’m using two Knorr cubes and 1 Maggi crayfish)
 Assorted meats (Ponmo, Shaki, Bokoto, Beef, Goat meat and Offals (internal organs) are ideal)

Ingredients

 2 Cooking Spoons Palm Oil
 Ugu Leaves
 Efinrin/ Basil leaves (Optional)
 ½ cup Smoked/ Raw King Prawns(optional)
 Smoked Catfish
 Dried Stockfish
 1 or 2 Scotch Bonnet/ Ata Rodo (Optional)
 1 Red Onion chopped
 1 tbsp Cayenne Pepper (Atagungun)
 Bouillon cubes(I’m using two Knorr cubes and 1 Maggi crayfish)
 Assorted meats (Ponmo, Shaki, Bokoto, Beef, Goat meat and Offals (internal organs) are ideal)
Nigerian Ogbono Soup Recipe By Sisi Jemimah

#6. Ogbono Soup With Okro By Global Food Book

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Ogbono Soup With Okro By Global Food Book

Yields2 Servings
Prep Time15 minsCook Time25 minsTotal Time40 mins

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. 

 Assorted meat and fish
 Stock fish and dry fish
 Onions
 Chilli pepper
 Maggi
 Salt
 Green leaves (preferable pumpkin leaves)
 Okro (thinly cut)

Ingredients

 Assorted meat and fish
 Stock fish and dry fish
 Onions
 Chilli pepper
 Maggi
 Salt
 Green leaves (preferable pumpkin leaves)
 Okro (thinly cut)
Ogbono Soup With Okro By Global Food Book

#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.

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Tasty Ogbono Soup By The Pretend Chef

Yields1 Serving
Prep Time15 minsCook Time40 minsTotal Time55 mins

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.

 Meat
 Dry fish
 Stockfish
 ½ cup palm oil
 ½ cup ground ogbono
 3 cups stock + water
 ¼ cup chopped onions
 3 scotch bonnet (fresh pepper)
 2 seasoning cubes
 Salt
 1 cup shredded ugu vegetable

Ingredients

 Meat
 Dry fish
 Stockfish
 ½ cup palm oil
 ½ cup ground ogbono
 3 cups stock + water
 ¼ cup chopped onions
 3 scotch bonnet (fresh pepper)
 2 seasoning cubes
 Salt
 1 cup shredded ugu vegetable
Tasty Ogbono Soup By The Pretend Chef

#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

RatingDifficultyIntermediate

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Delicious Ogbono Soup By Nigerian Lazy Chef

Yields8 Servings
Prep Time20 minsCook Time12 minsTotal Time32 mins

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.

For Meats!
 1 small boiler hen cut into small sizes
 ½ tbsp dry grinded chili pepper or red pepper flakes
 salt to taste
 1 tbsp crayfish
For Soup
 10 tbsp ground ogbono
 1 small boiler hen
 1 small smoked chicken
 3-4 medium sized pieces of smoked turkey
 2 large pieces of dry fish or 6 small pieces
 1-2 tbsps of dry grinded pepper or chili flakes
 80 ml palm oil
 2 tbsp crayfish
 1 disc of dawadawa(optional)
 3-4 cups water leaf or water cress leaves
 2 tbsp uziza leaves or spicy curry leaves
 salt to taste

Ingredients

For Meats!
 1 small boiler hen cut into small sizes
 ½ tbsp dry grinded chili pepper or red pepper flakes
 salt to taste
 1 tbsp crayfish
For Soup
 10 tbsp ground ogbono
 1 small boiler hen
 1 small smoked chicken
 3-4 medium sized pieces of smoked turkey
 2 large pieces of dry fish or 6 small pieces
 1-2 tbsps of dry grinded pepper or chili flakes
 80 ml palm oil
 2 tbsp crayfish
 1 disc of dawadawa(optional)
 3-4 cups water leaf or water cress leaves
 2 tbsp uziza leaves or spicy curry leaves
 salt to taste
Delicious Ogbono Soup By Nigerian Lazy Chef

#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.

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Viscous Ogbono Soup By Dolapo Grey

Yields4 Servings
Prep Time15 minsCook Time35 minsTotal Time50 mins

 1/3 to 1/2 cup palm oil
 8 – 10 pieces precooked meats of choice
 1/3 to 1/2 cup blended crayfish
 1 cup flaked stock fishcooked
 1 – 2 pieces smoked fish, deboned
 1 – 3 atarodofinely chopped
 1 handful sliced okra, optional

Ingredients

 1/3 to 1/2 cup palm oil
 8 – 10 pieces precooked meats of choice
 1/3 to 1/2 cup blended crayfish
 1 cup flaked stock fishcooked
 1 – 2 pieces smoked fish, deboned
 1 – 3 atarodofinely chopped
 1 handful sliced okra, optional
Viscous Ogbono Soup By Dolapo Grey

#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!

RatingDifficultyIntermediate

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Ogbono Soup and Pounded Yam By African Bites

Yields6 Servings
Prep Time15 minsCook Time45 minsTotal Time1 hr

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.

 1-2 pounds meat (oxtail , stew beef , tripe and kpomo (cow skin)
 1 cup smoked fish
 1 cup diced onion
 ½ cup ground Crayfish
 1 tbsp chicken bouillon (adjust to taste bud)
 3 cups chopped greens (spinach, collard greens, kale, callaloo (African greens) )
 1/4 – ⅓ cup palm oil.
 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
 ½ cup ground egusi , optional
 1/2 cup ground ogbono
 Salt and pepper to taste
Pounded Yam From Scratch
 2-3 pounds African (Ghana yams)

Ingredients

 1-2 pounds meat (oxtail , stew beef , tripe and kpomo (cow skin)
 1 cup smoked fish
 1 cup diced onion
 ½ cup ground Crayfish
 1 tbsp chicken bouillon (adjust to taste bud)
 3 cups chopped greens (spinach, collard greens, kale, callaloo (African greens) )
 1/4 – ⅓ cup palm oil.
 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
 ½ cup ground egusi , optional
 1/2 cup ground ogbono
 Salt and pepper to taste
Pounded Yam From Scratch
 2-3 pounds African (Ghana yams)
Ogbono Soup and Pounded Yam By African Bites

Conclusion

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.

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