Detailed on this page easier than the other recipe where the ogbono is dissolved in palm oil before adding other ingredients. This recipe is best for when you want to prepare very light Ogbono Soup that kids and some adults love. I prefer light Ogbono Soup to conc. ones any day. 🙂
Your Ogbono Soup does not have the perfect elasticity when done? Check out: Ogbono Soup: Frequently Asked Questions.
Ingredients for Ogbono Soup
For grinding the ogbono seeds, you will need:
Notes on the ingredients
- With most Nigerian recipes, especially Nigerian soups recipes, we go freestyle when it comes to the quantities of ingredients. The quantities of all the ingredients listed above can be adjusted to your taste.
- Feel free to add ponmo (Kpomo) (see video) and stockfish to your own Ogbono Soup. I used ribs because that part of beef is very tasty and makes Ogbono Soup more delicious. The quantities and varieties of meat and fish to add to your Nigerian soups is entirely up to you. The only meat we don't normally use for Nigerian soups is chicken. Goat meat, Beef, Lamb etc go well with Nigerian soups.
- Add palm oil to your liking.
- For vegetables, add the quantity you like. Some people do not even add vegetables to their Ogbono Soup and they love it that way. Watch the video below for more information. If you are in Nigeria, use Ugu (Nigerian Pumpkin leaves), outside Nigeria, use spinach (I prefer frozen spinach to leafy spinach for my Nigerian soups). Some people even add bitter leaves.
- You can use cayenne pepper (fresh or dry) or Scotch bonnet peppers instead of habanero peppers.
Before you cook Ogbono Soup
- Grind the Ogbono with a dry mill.
- Soak the dry cat fish in some cool or lukewarm water. When soft, clean thoroughly and debone.
- If using frozen spinach, cut it when it is not completely defrosted. It is easier that way. Then when completely defrosted, squeeze out the excess water.
- If using Ugu, pick and cut into thin slices.
- Grind the crayfish and ogiri okpei with a spice/coffee grinder.
- Cut the onion into big chunks. I use chunks of onion when I want the taste of onion but not pieces of onion in what I am cooking.
- Grind or pound the pepper.
- Boil some water and set aside, you may need it.
Cooking Directions for Ogbono Soup
- Cook the assorted meat with the seasoning cubes and onion. Remember to start cooking the toughest part of meat first (eg shaki), then add beef when almost done.
- When the meat is done, turn off the heat, remove the chunks of onion then take out the meat from the beef stock.
- Add the ground ogbono, spreading over the meat stock as you add. Then stir very well with a slotted spoon to ensure that they mix with the beef stock without lumps.
- When happy, cover the pot, turn on the heat to very low and start cooking. Yes, you can cover the pot while cooking Ogbono Soup and the elasticity will not be affected. There are a few reasons why your Ogbono Soup does not have the perfect elasticity but covering the pot is not one of those reasons. See below.
- Stir the soup very often as you cook so it does not burn.
- After 15 minutes, add the crayfish and ogiri okpei blend, habanero pepper, deboned dry cat fish, salt and palm oil in no particular order and continue cooking. Remember to stir often.
- After 5 minutes (a total of 20 minutes of cooking), add the remaining ingredients: the boiled meats we took out earlier and leafy vegetables. You can add more salt if necessary. For vegetables, I add, stir, add, stir till I am happy with the ratio of the vegetables to the soup. This is how I add vegetables to almost all Nigerian soups.
You need to cook Ogbono for at least 20 minutes for the delicious taste and flavour to come out. You will know when you have cooked it long enough because you can even smell this delicious aroma when it happens. If you have ever wondered why your Ogbono Soup does not taste as delicious as that one you ate somewhere else, it may well be that you are not cooking yours for long enough.
- Cover the pot and at the first sign of it boiling again, it's done!
Take the soup off the stove immediately and pour into another pot (cold pot) or the container(s) you will use to freeze it. This ensures that the vegetables retain their green colour. Though you have turned off the heat, if you leave the soup in the hot pot, the vegetables will continue to cook and will turn dark and unappetising.
This is even worse if you have a vitro ceramic cooker (hot plate kind of cooker) that still has lots of residual heat long after you have turned off the heat. Pouring the soup into a cold container stops the cooking process.
After pouring the soup into the new container(s), leave them on your kitchen counter to cool down completely before freezing.
Serve Ogbono Soup with any Nigerian Fufu meal. This easy and light Ogbono Soup is perfct for the little ones in your family.