How To

How to Cook Ugba Soup (5 Easy Steps)

Is Ugba soup your favorite? Ugba is the Igbo name for the fermented African oil bean seeds if you are wondering what ugba is. Ugba is the Igbo name for the fermented African oil bean seeds (Pentaclethra macrophylla, Benth). It is called Ukana by the Efiks in Southern Nigeria. It is eaten by over 15 million people in Eastern Nigeria, most of whom are Igbos. Ugba is a traditional food generally cooked in homes as a small family hustle.

The method of production varies from one producer to another. Let’s leave the history of Ugba lets talks about ugba soup, the delicious African delicacy. Ugba soup is delicious and a lot of people like it, though most people do not know how to prepare it this article is for you. Just follow the instructions and you are good to go. Sit down and enjoy your soup with swallow.

Ingredients for cooking Ugba soup

These are the ingredients for cooking ugba soup;

  • 20 okra fingers
  • 1 cup of ugba (milk cup is ok)
  • 2 pieces dry fish (dry catfish or mangala fish)
  • 2 pieces stockfish (dry codfish)
  • 1 smoked mackerel (smoked Titus fish)
  • 2 cooking spoons palm oil
  • Habanero pepper (atarodo, ose oyibo, atarugu: to taste)
  • 1 handful crayfish
  • 1 piece of ogiri okpei (dawa dawa, iru)
  • 1 onion
  • Garden egg leaves (alternative: spinach)
  • Salt (to taste)


  1. 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. In everything you do, let the ugba shine through.
  2. I used only fish in preparing this soup, feel free to add meat if you wish. Do not use chicken.
  3. Add palm oil to your liking.
  4. For the leafy vegetables, add the quantity you like. If you are in Nigeria, use aku ofe (garden eggs leaves), outside Nigeria, use leafy spinach.
  5. You can use cayenne pepper (fresh or dry) if you wish.

What to do before cooking Ugba soup.

You have to do these things before cooking Ugba soup.

  1. Soak the stockfish for a few minutes and clean with a food brush.
  2. Soak the dry fish in cool or lukewarm water till soft. Clean, debone and break into pieces.
  3. Break the smoked fish into small pieces, debone and rinse.
  4. Grind the crayfish and the ogiri okpei with a dry mill.
  5. Cut the okra fingers into pieces. For the best Ofe Ugba, please do not blend the okra. You can grate it but hand-cut is the best.
  6. Slice the onion into small pieces.
  7. Cut up the pepper into small pieces. You can grind it if you wish.
  8. Cut the garden egg leaves into small pieces.

How to cook Ugba soup

  1. Place the stockfish in a pot, add some water and start cooking. Add water in small amounts and top up when necessary because you want as little water as possible in the pot when done. I use a pressure pot to cook stockfish, softens in no time.
  2. When the stockfish is soft, use the cooking spoon to break it into small pieces.
  3. Add the dry fish, ugba, crayfish, and ogiri okpei, pepper, onions, smoked fish, salt, and palm oil. Cover the pot and continue cooking on high heat. Stir often so it does not burn.
  4. After about 5 minutes, add the leafy vegetable and okra, stir and add salt if necessary. You want as small a quantity of water as possible in the soup before adding the vegetable. I used leafy spinach, watch the video below to see how I pre-prepared the leafy spinach before adding it to the soup.
  5. Take the pot off the stove and transfer it to another container immediately so that the green vegetables stay green.

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