Efo Riro is a very popular Yoruba soup in Nigeria, it is one of my favorite Nigerian soups because of its health benefits. The name ‘efo’ means vegetables, hence it is a Yoruba rich vegetable soup.

Believe me when I tell you that this happens to be one of the most delicious Yoruba soups that I have made.

If you scroll down a little, you will find a deliciously made plate of efo riro, as served with fufu – it was delicious 😉

It is a little bit similar to the popular edikaikong soup, the difference is the use of tatashe, spinach and few other Yoruba local ingredients, although some people choose to use tomatoes for personal reason but I think tatashe does a perfect job.

This recipe shows you how to make efo riro, a yoruba popular soup.

Here are the required ingredients, I think it would take a little over 30 mins for preparing the ingredients and then the actual cooking takes about 60 minutes. As usual, the ingredients below can serve 6 people with a little left over.

Ingredients For Efo Riro

Sliced Spinach leaves (7-10 cups)
7-10 pieces stock fish ear
assorted meat (1KG)
1 cup of sliced/ground tatashe
quater cup of sliced pepper
half cup of sliced onions
Half Cup of Ground Crayfish
2-3 spoons of iru (locust beans)
smoked fish (2-3 medium)
Palm oil (200ml)
3 Seasoning cubes

Here are some of the ingredients for making efo riro, top left is smoked fish, followed by sliced onion at top middle, then 3 spoons of iru in a plate. Below is sliced spinach and pepper/tashe at left and right respectively.
Making Efo Riro


You need about 5 midium sized tatashe (not red bell pepper) remove the seeds and blend alongside the fresh red pepper and transfer in a bowl.

You could slize the tatashe like I did initially but when you blend it, you will end up with a better looking soup by the end of the day.

Wash meat thoroughly with lots of water and salt to remove sand then be sure to also wash the smoked fish if you are making efo riro soup with fish.
Here is my delicious efo riro, served with fufu
Efo Riro Soup/Stew

How To Cook Efo Riro

If you follow the steps outlined below cautiously you will end up with a very delicious pot of obe efo riro, {obe} is the yoruba name for soup in case you are wondering. 😀

Step 1
Place the washed meat in a pot, add a little of water, season with salt, sliced onions, 2 seasoning cubes and allow to boil for 10-15 minutes, add 1-2 cups of water and cook till tender and the water is almost dried.

Add the smoked fish, stockfish, add a cup of water and cook for another 10-15 minutes depending on the hardness of your stockfish, I love them when they are very soft. The water should be almost dried, don’t allow to burn.

Step 2
Remove the pot from heat, place another pot on heat and pour in some palm oil, 200ml. Allow to heat before adding the sliced onions, ground pepper/tatashe, stir and allow to fry for another ten minutes while stirring occasionally to avoid burning.
making efo riro

Step 3
Add the cooked meat/stock fish/smoked fish, stir and allow to simmer for 5 minutes, add the crayfish, iru, stir and allow another 3 minutes. Add a seasoning cube, salt to taste, stir and add the spinach leaves. Stir all together and allow to simmer for another 3-5 minutes and you just made a delicious pot of efo riro

Step 4
This is how to make efo riro soup in Nigeria, please serve with Eba, Pounded yam, rice, beans, Semolina, Amala or any other similar Nigerian Food of choice, I like pairing with fufu the way it appears above.

You can see the video for preparing efo riro below! You can also go ahead and read up other articles about Yoruba foods. this soup is just one of them, you can also learn how to prepare gbegiri (the popular beans soup), we also have a Yoruba version of Bitter leaf Soup.

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Quick Guide 3 Minutes Video

Learn how to prepare efo riro in this 3 minutes video

Learn how to make Ewedu Soup

Efo riro recipe

Efo Riro Recipe

Chy Anegbu
Efo Riro Recipe is a very popular Yoruba soup in Nigeria, it is one of my favorite Nigerian soups because of its health benefits. The name ‘efo’ means vegetables, hence it is a Yoruba rich vegetable soup.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Nigerian Cuisine
Servings 6 People
Calories 889 kcal


  • Cooker
  • Blender


  • 8 cups Sliced Spinach leaves
  • 6 pieces stock fish ear
  • 1 KG assorted meat
  • 1 cup of sliced/ground tatashe
  • quater cup of sliced pepper
  • half cup of sliced onions
  • Half Cup of Ground Crayfish
  • 2 tbsp Iru locust beans
  • smoked fish 2-3 medium
  • 200 ml Palm oil
  • 3 Seasoning cubes


  • Wash the assorted meat and season with salt, sliced onions, 2 seasoning cubes, set on heat and allow to cook for 35 minutes. Add water in between until meat is tender.
  • When the meat is well cooked then add the washed smoked fish, stockfish, add a cup of water and cook for another 10 minutes, The water should be almost dried, don’t allow to burn.
  • In a separate pot, add 250ml palm oil and allow it to heat. Add the sliced onions, ground pepper/tatashe, stir and allow to fry for another ten minutes while stirring occasionally to avoid burning.
  • Add the cooked meat/stock fish/smoked fish, stir and allow to simmer for 5 minutes, add the crayfish, iru, a seasoning cube, salt to taste, stir and allow to simmer for 3 minutes.
  • Now add the sliced spinach, allow to simmer for 3 minutes and you are done.
  • You can see the video for preparing efo riro below


Keyword Efo riro recipe, Yoruba foods, Yoruba soup


  1. Tunde B  July 24, 2013

    OMG! I love this soup also, efo riro is like the best soup that I have eaten, my mum is a very good cook but unfortunately she did not teach me how to cook, she focused more on my sisters so I was more of a consumer but now I live alone and would like to learn how to make some of this Nigerian foods, just to keep body and soul together before getting married. I want to learn more of yoruba soups – I am a yoruba person

    • Olar  February 15, 2017

      Bros u can Cook it on ur own if u follow the receipt very well….don’t worry iyawo will teach how to Cook all the whole food.

  2. Mary  July 24, 2013

    Thanks for the recipe, I am also a yoruba person. I like yoruba foods too and obe efo riro is one of my best Yoruba recipes

  3. Ms. S  August 30, 2013

    Hi there,
    great stuff!! I would recommend you use the word ‘simmer’ on low heat rather than ‘boil’ in step 4, after vegetables are added. If veg reach a ‘boil’ state, they’re practically dead of nutrients. Vegetables cook very quickly and can cook from just the heat of the ingredients already in the pot. The greener the veg the more healthy the meal is, brown looking veg is over-cooked and stripped of its valuable nutrients.

    Thanks again

    • Obalakaye  August 15, 2017

      Yes. You are right, that makes you a professional.

  4. Shantel  October 26, 2013

    Oh my God! I made it d exact way it was written ere and it came out fantastic.am going through other recepies ryt now.gosh,
    !!!!!! I cant wait

  5. Jaydee  December 23, 2013

    thanks you’re a life saver

  6. flakie  February 7, 2014

    Thanks so much for dis type of things dat is teaching us how to cook cos dis is really helping us most especially d females so dat our matrimonial home will not destroy and also to luk gud thanks so much, the efo riro is very delicious.



  8. Yetunde  May 14, 2014

    Well done. This is great.

  9. timothy owolawi  June 9, 2014

    wow,dis is delicious.i almost bit my mouth.i cnt wait again 2 cook dis 4 my future wife,nt my mum but my wife.

  10. Alason Damola  June 23, 2014

    I am the most lazy out of my family i hate cooking.and i school in Ghana but this country is so expensive i coundnt even save money again because i do go extra miles before i can get Nigeria food.I dislike Ghana food but ever since i came across this my mom is wondering i keep asking her to help me send foods from home.lolThank for this

  11. Toyin  June 28, 2014

    Ur recipe looks really delicious nd av learnt hw to improve on my eforiro. But i never knew water leave was to b added to eforiro oh. So what shd b d proportion of water leave to spinach ?

  12. hajara  July 31, 2014

    I love tradional foods,

  13. Bukola Abiodun  August 4, 2014

    .Wow!….Delicious.You are a veteran in cooking.Thanks for keeping my home alive!

  14. Halimat  August 13, 2014

    I Like Yoruba People,CultureFoods. Yoruba is my Culture

  15. Airat  September 1, 2014

    Tanx that was a big relief because there was something I really needed t be cleared of, which u did now tanx again.

  16. geenability  September 15, 2014

    nice blog u hav here chy. I’m nt a yoruba babe buh i jst luv tryin out foods frm diff parts of d country. u didnt specify hw d spinach wil b prepared cos i learnt its gonna be soaked in warm water for sum mins befor usin it. pls clear me on dt. Tnx n kip d gud wrk goin

  17. unita  September 16, 2014

    U re too impressive u av enchance ma cookin

  18. hatroop  September 22, 2014

    well i,m abt going in2 commercal cookn ta,s y i wnt 2 improve in my cookn thks

  19. shyni  October 13, 2014

    Trying to cook Nigerian foods for my Nigerian hubby, hope this works!!!!!

  20. Ene  November 16, 2014

    wow!am sure my hubby will be really surprise when I prepare dis 4 him,am idoma and his Yoruba by tribe.thank alot

    • Chy Anegbu  November 20, 2014

      Sure, he would be.

  21. Sonia Daniels  November 24, 2014

    Hi I’m South African and my hubby to be is Yoruba. I love the recipe’s but do struggle to get the ingredients in SA. Will try as much as I can though as I’m trying to learn his beautiful language. Ose gan nii Chy.

    • Chy Anegbu  November 30, 2014

      lol, thanks for your comment Sonia, welcome to the kitchen

  22. Mosunmola  January 4, 2015

    Wow! Thanks my dear,you made it very easy for me.

  23. abimbola  February 19, 2015

    U really save my untimely Marriage dat want to collapse just yesterday which made me enter google while I was. Directed to ur blog inshort ur efo riro save my marriage Today.tank so much u are a great menthol

    • Chy Anegbu  February 23, 2015

      Wow! Thanks for reporting, only good things would happen to your marriage dear.

  24. nkem  March 3, 2015

    Thank u for this, it’s really helpful. Xoxo

  25. nenoyima  March 24, 2015

    Hi chy,
    At what point is the locust bean added and is the spinach same as the vegetable commonly called “green”?

    • Chy Anegbu  March 27, 2015

      just when you add the crayfish and green is not spinach. thanks

  26. vickky  May 19, 2015

    Am an edo girl i love efo-riro just learnt hw to prepare it wen i ws in lagos

  27. Eloho  July 21, 2015

    thank alot,this is nice

  28. Josephine  July 25, 2015

    I just made efo riro for my fiance and his reply after eating? “God bless you boo, *sighs* this is just awesome….. BTW he cleaned his plate, not even crumbs were left, a rare occurrence. Thanks so much. Pl keep the recipes coming

  29. Charyz  August 26, 2015

    Great Job!

  30. TRICIA  September 15, 2015

    Thanks a lot. l love this soup even though l have not eaten it. may be l will try it this weekend. please, do l need to grind the locust bean before adding it to the soup?

    • Chy Anegbu  September 19, 2015

      No, you don’t need to grind the locust beans, just add as it is.

  31. Omolola  September 26, 2015

    U really got d recipes nd steps,i love efo riro so much especially if dried fish(eja gbigbe) is added,it brings out a nice taste in it

  32. Ify  October 23, 2015

    Thanks a lot chy for this wonderful recipe!

  33. fafcy  November 25, 2015

    All thanks to you Chy. Please I think I am getting confused on this one. Please is SPINACH same as FLUTED PUMPKIN (Ugu). Thanks.

    • Chy Anegbu  November 27, 2015

      No, they are not the same.

  34. temi  December 28, 2015

    Can I use green instead of Spanish and how do i prepare the green leaves if i can replace green witj spanish

  35. meme  January 18, 2016

    Pls d tatehe is it d dry one or d fresh one know as bell pepper?

    • Chy Anegbu  January 19, 2016

      the red fresh one, thanks.

  36. viva  January 23, 2016

    Spinach ain’t too common in the market. I used to thing efo riro is prepared using “green” and that is why I dnt cook it bcos it comes out watery. Thanx all the same for the great job

    • ann  December 21, 2017

      Most pple use green

  37. Dick Pinaere  March 1, 2016

    Thanks a lot for what you are doing to help most of us in the kitchen department. I want to ask if spinach leaves are the same as ugu leave

  38. kafilat Olota  March 23, 2016

    I will try it. to make the day special for my husband and I.

  39. mbonu ify  April 11, 2016



    • Chy Anegbu  April 12, 2016

      I hope you got my email? @ mbonu ify?

  40. Kimora  April 15, 2016

    You didn’t state the kind of efo to be used, I used efo tete instead of efo shoko. Well it still came out OK, my dad said it’s manageable… Just an igbo girl trying different recipes

  41. Chinwe  April 26, 2016

    pls Chy, what is d local name of spinach so dat I can search for it in d market blc I am confused, i thought it was green vegetable but u said is not. pls send d reply to my email. and ur book is superb I am enjoying it. Thanks.

    • enitan  January 23, 2017

      I tink it’s called efo amunututu…it’s usually grown personal by people in dere yard than been sold in the market.

  42. joy  April 30, 2016

    Pls I live in d north and haven’t seen spinach anywhere around.can I use green or ugwu in place of spinach?

  43. JOY  April 30, 2016

    Nice one

  44. Adejoke Akeju  May 23, 2016

    This is *Oyinbo efo riro* not the local efo riro!!!!

    • Chy Anegbu  May 24, 2016

      Lol. Akeju, Thanks for your comment. Recipes do evolve for the good of all of us.

    • Anjorin Oluwaseyi  September 6, 2017

      Hi Adejoke. Good morning. I’m Oluwaseyi and I’m a male but I love cooking especially trying out several recipes. Can u pls leave me a mail on how to cook efo riro the local way. I would appreciate it. lexy.pato@yahoo.com, anjorinalex@gmail.com

  45. Chekwube  May 28, 2016

    Thank u for this recipe. I am not a fan of Yoruba foods but immediately l read this your tips on how to make efo riro, l rushed to market to buy the things required in making the soup. The good thing is that, it came out well and my husband and his brother didn’t allow me to enjoy the food because of the oliver twist attitude towards the soup. Thank u very much, l think l will have a good night rest tonight. Even my baby in me can testify to the sweetness of the soup.

  46. oluwa nene sanni  August 22, 2016

    Your recipe is for this is efolicious….it is simply amazing

  47. ella  September 7, 2016

    I really apperciate your good work keep it up.

  48. habidez  November 16, 2016

    i love the efo riro recipe just finished making it it taste delicious.
    you just the best thanks for the recipes
    i cooked it for the family

  49. Ololade  March 24, 2017

    OMGosh!!! Unbelievable! I stumbled on this site few weeks back just because I was curious to know how to prepare this dish. I had to look for it today to finally carry out the experiment. Lols… Not really an experiment, it’s a meal for the house tho’. You better believe it! I became a veteran efo riro maker in just an hour ago and also it was my first time cooking this and OMGoodness it came out superb and my uncle even said it tasted like that of a professional. I’m so happy!!! I always believe I can cook. Every woman can cook as long as they are fearless. I felt guilty after reading everyone’s comment and just skipping. Thank God I already bookmarked this site. Big cheers to Chy!!!!

  50. XRumerTest  April 5, 2017

    Hello. And Bye.

  51. Kimalee  June 15, 2017

    Hi I have fallen in love with this dish in a restaurant and can’t wait to make it this weekend, along with fufu! Your recipe is the one I decided to follow as it looks sooo good. I see alot of questions about what green leaf/spinach I should purchase but I don’t see your response. I am going to a world market so they should have the actual one you use. Can you tell me the name? Also, does ground crawfish come already ground? I have never made African food before, sorry.

    • Chy Anegbu  June 16, 2017

      I used spinach leaves, everybody knows what is spinach in America. I think you can use green leaves alternatively if you live in Nigeria and can’t visit spar or shoprite to buy spinach. You will need half cup of ground crayfish.

      • Kimalee  June 16, 2017

        Thank You! Found everything except Locust beans and knorr cubes. Look forward to finding them somewhere and making it. I bought dried codfish and smoke herring because that’s all they had. I will let you know how it and the fufu come out! Thanks again.

  52. Veevyan  July 13, 2017

    Is spinach also known as waterleaf?

  53. Temitope  September 17, 2017

    Thanks Chy.
    Waterleaf cannot be used for efo riro. You can use ‘green’ or skoko

  54. Iphie  November 25, 2017

    Please which locust beans is used? Fresh or fermented one? Also must it be grounded?

  55. fina  December 6, 2017

    I’m a Guinea girl engaged with a Yoruba guy and would love to prepare Yoruba meals for him

  56. Joy  March 30, 2018

    Wow! Wow!! Wow!!!….just finished preparing the efo riro and m-e-n, can’t wait for hubby to return home to enjoy the soup alongside pounded yam. Thank you so so much. Looking forward to other recipes. God bless you immensely….???

  57. Edith  April 18, 2018

    Thanks for d receip, it cool

  58. Linda  May 13, 2018

    Is iru optional?if it’s Not,what can I use to improvise as iru is not available in my area.

  59. Ngozi  May 16, 2018

    Please what is iru

    • Chef Chidi  May 17, 2018

      Iru is a Yoruba food ingredients used for making soups. It is in same category as ogiri and dawadawa.

  60. Debbie  August 7, 2018

    Is spinach same thing as uguw leaf ?

    • Chy Anegbu  August 8, 2018

      No, they are different!

  61. Kessy Felix  November 16, 2018

    Trying to cook, for my warri family

  62. Bisitola  April 19, 2019

    Quite educating, thanks so much!

  63. Jemimah  May 3, 2019

    Whao Bravo!!!! I wish I could eat this right now more power to your elbow. I have tried cooking efo riro with Tatashe which is nice but it doesn’t give the desired taste in the sense that it suppresses the taste of other ingredients as it has a strong taste. I prefer Tomatoes to Tatashe. it brings out the taste of other ingredients giving your Efo Riro a great taste.

    • Chy Anegbu  May 4, 2019

      Nice!!! You are welcome to try something different.

  64. Grace  May 23, 2019

    Wao! I followed the steps here and got amazing result. Thank you

  65. Jimmy  July 12, 2019

    It ain’t easy to cook but I’ll get there


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