Edikaikong soup has over the years topped the list of Nigerian popular soups because of its nutritional value and ease of preparation.

When we say “vegetable soup” in Nigeria, we are actually talking about this delicacy.

This soup is native to the Efiks, people from the cross river state. The name edikaikong simply translates to “vegetable soup”

I make more of this soup than every other Nigerian soup simply because it is likely the best source of vitamins known to me.

Edikaikong soup
The only downside to this soup is that it loses its nutritional value when refrigerated over a long period of time.

It is advisable to make what would be enough for a few days, one week at most. (but that is if you care about its nutritional value, some folks don’t remember that part).

Here are all the ingredients for making Nigerian edikaikong soup, you can reduce or increase depending on the number of people you are looking to feed.

Ingredients For Edikaikong

Serving 6×2
Stockfish head (medium size)
500g Dried fish or roasted fish
1 cup of ground or pounded crayfish
Waterleaf (12 cups)
Fluted pumpkin (ugwu leaf) (8 cups)
2 cups of palm oil (500ml)
Meat of choice (preferably assorted meat)
Salt and pepper to taste
Maggi or knorr cube (3-4)
1 cup of Periwinkles (optional)
2 spoons of ofor or achi
Half cup of onions

Below are the images of some of the ingredients used for edikaikong soup, I like to pound my pepper/crayfish whenever I am making this delicious soup.

Ingredients For Edikaikong

You would find sliced water leaves in one bowl, sliced ugu leaves, 1.5kg of meat (goat meat and cow liver), pounded crayfish/pepper and periwinkles.

Have you seen or eaten periwinkles before, I like them so much. You can purchase already-cleaned periwinkle from most Nigerian market, although it is entirely up to you to decide if you want them or not. You will learn more from the video below

How to prepare water leave soup

Step 1
Slice the ugwu leaves and Water leaves to bits (this is normally done by the traders in the market (in Nigeria) but you can slice at home with the help of a very sharp knife and a chopping board.

Pour the leaves separately in bowls and soak in water, wash to remove sand.

It is advisable to wash the leaves thoroughly before slicing or slice before washing, this is actually the major reason why I chose to slice my leaves myself.

You can wash the fluted pumpkin before slicing but you will need to slice the water leaves before washing.

How to Cook Vegetable Soup

Step 2
Parboil meat with necessary ingredients, 2 cubes of maggi, half cup of onions, salt and other spice of choice.

(I like to also add kitchen glory (beef seasoning) while parboiling meats but I am not sure if this spice is available in other countries)

Cook for 10 minutes then add water and cook till meat is 70% softer for consumption, wash the dry fish and stockfish with hot water to remove sand and impurities then add to the cooking meat on fire.

(You can add this at the beginning if you have very dry (strong) fish

Step 3
To the boiling meat on fire; 1 cup of Palm oil (500ml), it takes lots of oil to prepare this soup. I used about 300ml to make the soup in the video below.

Step 4
Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 5-10 minutes, be sure the whole combination is boiling with very little trace of water. It should look like this.

Vegetable soup

Step 5
Stir, taste for salt and pepper before adding the water leaves, stir and allow for about 3 minutes then add the ugwu leaves (fluted pumpkin).

the pounded crayfish/pepper, periwinkles, 1 seasoning cube should follow.

making edikaikong

Step 6
Stir, taste for salt, add one tablespoon of ground ofor or achi (optional), sprinkle a spoon or a little more, stir. cover half-way and allow to simmer for 3-5 minutes.

You just made delicious edikaiakong soup, you can serve with Nigerian fufu, semo, wheat, eba, or pounded yam.

Water leave Soup

What you find below is a plate of edikaikong soup (vegetable soup) and wheat (swallow).

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Here is a simple edikaikong soup video and Recipe

Most people learn faster with videos so we also included a video on making Nigerian Edikaikong soup, you will also learn about all the ingredients used in making this soup and even much more about other Nigerian foods.

I made this video about a week ago in my kitchen, In the Nigerian Kitchen.

It gives you a better illustration of the above-written article, you will learn about all the ingredients used in making edikaikong soup as well as the processes involved in making the soup.

Edikaikong soup

Edikaikong Soup | Vegetable Soup from Nigeria

Chy Anegbu
Edikaikong is the most popular vegetable soup from Nigeria. This recipe is easy and could serve up to 12 people when paired with a Nigerian swallow - (fufu, eba or semo)
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 10 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Nigerian Cuisine
Servings 12 People
Calories 420 kcal


  • Pots
  • Pressure cooker


  • Waterleaf 12 cups
  • Fluted pumpkin ugwu leaf (8 cups)
  • 2 cups palm oil
  • 1 Stockfish head medium size
  • 200 g Dried fish or roasted fish
  • 1 cup of ground or pounded crayfish
  • 2 kg assorted meat
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 Seasoning cubes
  • 1 cup of Periwinkles optional
  • 2 spoons of ofor or achi
  • Half cup of onions


  • Using a sharp knife and chopping board, slice the water leaves and fluted pumpkin to tiny bits, wash and set aside in different bowls.
  • Season your meat with 2 seasoning cubes, onions and a teaspoon of salt.
  • Allow to the meat to boil for 10 minutes, then add water and let it cook till it becomes soft and the water is almost dried.
  • Add 2 cups of Palm oil (500ml) to the cooked meat in the pot while still on heat.
  • Salt to taste - be sure the soup is boiling in oil, no water then add the water leaves.
  • Stir for 3-5 minutes. you can add them little by little. Add the ugu (fluted pumpkin) leaves.
  • The pounded crayfish/pepper, periwinkles, 1 seasoning cube should follow.
  • Stir and taste for salt, you can add another seasoning cube. Allow simmering for 3-5 minutes and you have Nigeria's most popular vegetable soup - Edikaikong soup.


Keyword Calabar soup, Edikaikong soup, Efik foods, Vegetable soup

Make a delicious pot of Egusi Soup – Edikaikong soup

Return to the complete list of All Nigerian Soups


  1. Judith  August 7, 2013

    Bitter-leave soup(Ofe onugbo) is an Igbo food not yoruba. Thanks for the edikaikong soup, you are the best

    • Liz  July 2, 2018

      It’s also a yoruba soup.

  2. Mr Joy  October 19, 2013

    Yea! I love this soup. Edikaikong is my favorite soup since I learned to prepare it from you. For a long time I have been hearing about how delicious it is but now I can also say that this soup is super delicious. It is now my favorite vegatble soup.

    • Blessing  October 7, 2017

      My husband love this soup well well

  3. Nkiru  October 19, 2013

    Please can I use just fluted pumpkin leaves for edikaikong soup, I collected a lot of those from my little garden beside my house and I am wondering if I need to buy water leaves since I have enough of fluted pumpkin. Thanks

    • Vicky  March 3, 2017

      Yes, the combo gives a unique blend of taste.

    • Queen Lateefah  June 13, 2017

      No u can’t. It won’t give the taste u want

    • Eldred  June 25, 2019

      Yes of course. It makes up the soup

    • Akintoye Oyelade  November 11, 2019

      of course

  4. tessy awu  January 17, 2014

    Nice one! Pls when do I start receiving mails from you???

    • The Nigerian Kitchen  January 20, 2014

      Once you subscribe to my weekly newsletter form you will start receiving free weekly recipe emails from me. Just look out for the form, it is everywhere /thanks/

  5. Kelechi  July 29, 2014

    You have the best site for Nigerian foods, thanks for all these wonderful recipes, I found your site while I was searching for how to make edikaikong soup. I am from Igbo but I really love this calabar/efik soup
    thanks for teaching me.

  6. Chinanu Umeh  July 29, 2014

    wow!!! this is super delicious and you are the best, please keep doing this wonderful job of teaching us to cook with confidence, my God will surely bless you and enlarge your coast. I will try the edikaikong this weekend, thanks

  7. Teewa  August 9, 2014

    Nice work sis… Pls is it necessary to wash or perboil d periwinkles?

  8. ololade  August 26, 2014

    thanks a lot for this soup,you’re the best

  9. Oluwatoyosi  September 6, 2014

    Tnks alots for more enlightment about ds soup.

  10. folake  October 1, 2014

    Thank u, am really enjoying the book i bought from u which i receive some weeks back…pls i ve a question for u pls is it possible to use red kidney beans for fruit salad instead of green beans?

    • Chy Anegbu  October 4, 2014

      For fruit salad? Green beans is used for vegetable salad and not fruit salad dear. and yes, you can add kidney beans but it might no completely fill the place of green beans.

  11. chidimma  October 4, 2014

    I love your site. Sometimes when I’m less busy with school, I spend hours here. I’m not married yet so most times I try out your recipes on my roomate. Lol. The last soup I made was the vegetable soup and it didn’t turn out like what I see. Mine had water despite I made sure that before adding the veggies there was almost no water in the already cooked ingredients. It was just a thick consistency of meat,oil and the other ingredients. I figured the water came from the waterleaf. My question is how do you deal with the excess water from the waterleaf without overcooking it? (Overcooking it makes it black and that green colour is essential). A friend suggested after washing the waterleaf I should put it in a sieve and allow it drain out completely before adding to the soup.

    • Chy Anegbu  October 11, 2014

      You could simmer the waterleaves alone in another pot for four minutes, 70% of the water would spill out, you can then transfer into a sieve and allow to drain, then just add it, stir and bring down the soup. If you want to use this method you will then have to add the fluted pumpkin leave to the soup first.

    • Gold  October 22, 2016

      @ chidima, all you need do is find that effik water leaf. The leafs are tiny, those one contains little or no water. It’s best for edikaikong soup

    • Confidence  April 3, 2019

      Please what if you fried the water leaf ?what’s the difference.

  12. Nasa  October 13, 2014

    dis site is superb, tumbs up dear chy. Plss i would like to be getting your mail, how do i go about it. Thanks.

    • Chy Anegbu  October 13, 2014

      Just subscribe via one of the forms on my site.

  13. nelly  October 28, 2014

    chy i di too much keep it up

    • Mary Ezelu  February 25, 2020

      5 stars
      Wao…. God bless you for this.

  14. john  November 10, 2014


  15. Kenny  November 27, 2014

    I will try out d edikaikong soup soonest.
    You r really doing a good job.
    Keep it up!

  16. Airat  December 2, 2014

    This soup is my favorite, and now watching it on dis site taught me a better way t cook it. Tanx t Nigerian kitchen

    • Chy Anegbu  December 3, 2014

      Airat, thanks for commenting and welcome once again to the kitchen.

  17. joy  January 12, 2015

    Nice and natural with originality from Nigeria for real. Not people who modernise our traditional dishes into oyibo what I don’t know.

  18. mathew edibo  February 28, 2015

    thanks for d info but how can I get your book and do u have a catering school? Thanks

    • Chy Anegbu  March 3, 2015

      pls call 08035051468 for the books

  19. Emilia  March 7, 2015

    i just made a delicious edikaikong soup for the first time. My husband loved it..he did not know my secret….thanks so much for this recipe…am feeling like great cook; Bravo!

  20. Tolulope  April 16, 2015

    Thanks so much, am still single but abt to get married and am always coming to ur site to learn so many things. am going to try this edikaikong soup this weekend

  21. Pricilia  May 20, 2015

    I love this. Gud job

  22. yetunde  June 23, 2015

    wow is lovely but have question to ask for 30 persons how mach fluted pumpkin leaf and water leaf will go to cook edikiakon soup

  23. abosede  July 2, 2015

    I love this!

  24. Doris  July 7, 2015

    I love this site,i jst learnt how to cook edikaikong my fiancee is from cross river i’ll surprise him this weekend CHEERS!

  25. wanny  July 19, 2015

    You have no idea how wonderful this site is to me…i never thought i would find such a concise guide to Nigerian foods, especially our soups which are super important. This is simply awesome and you’re awesome Thank you so much. 🙂

  26. odunayo  October 15, 2015

    Chy,tnx….i rilli can’t Tnk u enough.its wonderful bin part of ds site.God bless u real good

  27. claire  October 15, 2015

    Hello Nigerian Kitchen,
    I love your work here, especially the video presentation on the soup ( edikanikong soup). Please permit me to point out a few personal observations, being from that part of the country.
    1. The name is edikang-ikong not edikaikong
    2. it is much better to wash the ugwu leaves before slicing and then before adding it to the soup, you squeeze out a little bit of the water. Same thing goes for the water leaves. In fact, it always advisable to squeeze out water from the water leaves before adding to the soup. if you add it like you did in the video, there will always be excess water in the soup. Originally, the soup is not supposed to have much water.
    3. After adding the ugwu leaves, you stir ,cover the pot allow it simmer for just 5mins (not 60mins) then put off the heat and serve. You will discover that the residual heat from the pot will continue cooking the leaves, so In order not to over cook the leaves, allow it for just 5-10mins. That’s the beauty of the soup, fresh green leaves.
    Just try it, you will see a difference& YOU WILL LOVE IT
    That’s how it is made. Thanks . Keep up your good work. Really enjoy it.
    I’m also learning about other soups apart from mine.

    • Chy Anegbu  October 19, 2015

      Thanks for this tip dear, you are welcome once again to the kitchen

    • Jay  March 27, 2020

      She listed ofor or Achi amongst the ingredients. However I don’t see it mentioned during the process. Are they necessary ingredients on the soup? If you don’t have access to them can you substitute with another ingredient in order to get the same great taste?

      • Chy Anegbu  March 31, 2020

        I use ofor to thicken the soup. see step 6

  28. Bassey, Unwana-Whyte  October 21, 2015

    Great work I really must commend, but your choice of ingredients takes away the identity of the Soup. First of all it’s spelt Edikanikong. Achi and ofo are not native to us. Traditionally the soup is cooked with very little water. The stock from the meat is further allowed to reduce.when the meat is tender, you add your oil, crayfish, dried fish, dried prawns, periwinkles and adjust seasoning (I.e pepper and salt).N/B. Stock fish is boiled with the meat to ensure its soft and enjoyable. Next is your waterleaves. It is best to wash thoroughly every vegetable before cutting it. This way you keep the water soluble vitamins intact. For Edikanikong, the leaves are shredded very finely.the process is repeated severally. This is what gives the soup it’s characteristic texture. Excess water must be squeezed out from both leaves. After the waterleaves have cooked for about 5mins, stir in the ugwu leaves and turn off the heat.
    For me, I turn into containers immediately or place the pot in a basin containing water. This help end the cooking process but at the same time leave the vegetables very fresh and green.

  29. LAGRACIER  October 26, 2015


  30. Jayeola  October 26, 2015

    This is delicious, i love all of them i will try to cook them.
    my mouth is watery

  31. halima  November 24, 2015

    Hi chy,pls can i use frozen leaves ie. Ugwu and waterleaf for my edikang ikong?

    • Chy Anegbu  November 25, 2015

      I suppose that is possible but I have not tried it. Why not try it and then tell us how it all went.

  32. oyinoluwa  November 25, 2015

    I have got to admit this recipes are gr8. I have prepared water leaf and pumpkin leaves desperately b4 so this should be easy.

  33. pat  December 1, 2015

    thanks for ur assistance, I was able to prepare nsala (white soup)for my husband n he love it so much. keep up d good work.

  34. Oris Peter  January 23, 2016

    Pls can I use rodo peppe and tomato to cook my edikaikong soup?

  35. Funke  February 17, 2016

    This is awesome but was wondering if you had an App…So we could just download and have it at our finger tips.

    • Chy Anegbu  February 17, 2016

      no app yet, but soon.

  36. winni  February 24, 2016

    I subscribed to your site because my boyfriend is nigerian and I have tried some of your ercipes and it has made him very happy that I have gonethe extra mile to learn. I thank you so much for strengthening our bond thru your recipes

  37. chiomachi  February 24, 2016

    this is wonderful. thanks so much

  38. Iso  February 24, 2016

    tanks alot i just made my own after receiving ur mail and i tell u my husband enjoyed it tanks alot keep the good work going pls i need ice cream tips

  39. chioma prisca afonne  February 24, 2016

    Thank you chy. I have really learnt alot from this site and your ultimate Nigerian cookbook is the best. I love you ma.

  40. BECKY  February 25, 2016

    Dear Chy,

    Thanks in a million for the edikaikong soup recipe, I tried it and it came out superb. My husband and my children love it to the extend they want to eat swallow in the morning.

    God bless you real good is my prayer for you. I love this site. it is a great help.

  41. Amanda  March 28, 2016

    Thank you so much chy,i made egusi soup using your recipe and it was so good. God bless u

  42. TESCO  March 28, 2016

    Nice one, pls note that vegetables is the last ingredient to add…allow it to simmer for 1 to 2 minutes….edikaokong is ready

  43. tina  April 2, 2016

    chy, please can I use green vegetables in place of d ugwu leaf cus there’s no ugwu here.

  44. Dipo  May 19, 2016

    Yeap, I think you have some good piece here, I must say and good job well done, But I have not seen anything on Obe Abula(Gbegiri & Ewedu Soup) I mean beans soup. most men love it but they may not mention it. I remember a day that I came back from Office and my wife served me a freshly prepared Abula Soup and Amala, I wish u could know how excited I was. cos it has long I ate the combination.

  45. Busayo  June 23, 2016

    Awesome! Thanks for these tips on cooking Edikanikong soup. It is very helpful. It wasn’t my first attempt anyway, an akwa-ibom friend taught me about 13 years ago but I just gamble anytime I need to cook cos I’m no longer in touch with her. But these step-by-step procedure really helped. Thanks

  46. clara  July 17, 2016

    Nice work for the none efiks and ibibios to start enjoying this swt meal. But in the efik way of cooking edikangikong soup, there’s no ofor or achi added to it. It’s mainly vegetable leaf and waterleaf. Nice job here.

  47. Best  July 18, 2016

    I cant wait because Am giving this soup a try very soon.I hope my family will like it. Thanks

  48. cynthia  July 24, 2016

    You don’t use crayfish?

    • Chy Anegbu  July 25, 2016

      I did use crayfish, When you are making edikaikong soup, crayfish is a must. please read the recipe to the end. thanks.

  49. Peace  August 1, 2016

    To remove excess water from your vegetable soup, you first put water leaves in the pot as you are boiling you will see a lot of water coming out, allow the water to dry then add oil, stock fish and dry fish, next is your ground pepper and crayfish before you add ugu leaves, don’t cook for long after u add ugu leaves . the only water that should be in your vegetable soup is from your meat stock and use small water to boil the meat Thanks

  50. Oluwakemi  October 14, 2016

    I so much love the soup, have learned more from u kudos

  51. Evelyn  April 22, 2017

    This is great. I have heard alot about this edikaikong soup but wondered how to go about it since I don’t have friends from cross rivers state. I am trying it today, hope it turns out good like urs.

  52. Khadija  June 30, 2017

    Hi mum, pls I have a question. Can I add fresh tomatoes in this soup (Edikaikong)?

    • Esther  July 24, 2017

      No, tomatoes are not used in cooking edikangikong soup. if you add tomatoes then you’re definitely not going to be cooking edikangikong.

  53. Aminat  August 5, 2017

    Pls can edikaikong soup be taking with white rice

    • Chy Anegbu  August 8, 2017

      Why not, as long as you enjoy it. 😀

  54. Abigail  October 26, 2017

    Y r we making use of d archi or ofor

    • Chy Anegbu  October 27, 2017

      It optional.

  55. Miracle  May 28, 2018

    Wow, thanks alot, my dad love the soup so much
    Finally hv learnt how to cook edikaikong soup
    couldn’t believe a rivers bea, can finally cook one of calabar dish,
    Kudos to you guyz

  56. EZE  August 8, 2018

    a good job. we love effort so much.

  57. vivian  September 19, 2018

    I want to make the soup and someone said that I will add ukazi leave too. I mean the grinded one is it right or wrong because the things you listed here about how to cook the soup ukazi is not included

    • Chy Anegbu  September 20, 2018

      Okazi is not park of edikaikong. you only use ukazi when you are making afang soup.

  58. Faidat  January 31, 2019

    I subscribed few days back and i tried the edikaikong today, omg! My friends loved it, it took the grace of God for me to eat out of it, lol. Chy, may God continue to bless u and increase u in wisdom, knowledge and understanding. Great work u got going on here

  59. Inyang  March 15, 2019

    Weldone job, really thaughtful

  60. Anita  March 25, 2019

    Wow nice one can’t wait to get married

  61. Mumof2  April 2, 2019

    i really do love your recipe ma’am but i have two questions to ask
    1. Is it possible to make this soup with water leaf being the only veggie?
    2. While simmering the water leaf first in a separate pot, do i need to add water

    • Chy Anegbu  April 4, 2019

      Nope, you can’t use just water leaves. Also, you don’t add water, once the leave is heated, it produces water.

  62. irenimofe  April 10, 2019

    this is so helpful….I really love this soup

  63. Rukky  July 10, 2019

    Nice one! I’m really learning a lot. Thanks

  64. steph  August 14, 2019

    good day chi,pls ofor or achi is not among the ingredients for edikangnkong.I am from akwa ibom state.just remove the ofor and that’s it.

    • Chy Anegbu  August 16, 2019

      Ok, thanks.


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