Efo Riro Soup

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

Preparation:

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

Equipment

  • Cooker
  • Blender

Ingredients
  

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • 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

Video

Keyword Efo riro recipe, Yoruba foods, Yoruba soup

84 Comments

Tunde B
Reply

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

July 24, 2013
Olar
Reply

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.

February 15, 2017
Mary
Reply

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

July 24, 2013
Ms. S
Reply

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
Ms.S

August 30, 2013
Obalakaye
Reply

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

August 15, 2017
Shantel
Reply

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

October 26, 2013
Jaydee
Reply

thanks you’re a life saver

December 23, 2013
flakie
Reply

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.

February 7, 2014
BOLAWA OLUWAFUNMILAYO
Reply

WHY,U RE A GREAT TEACHER OF FOOD

March 8, 2014
Yetunde
Reply

Well done. This is great.

May 14, 2014
timothy owolawi
Reply

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.

June 9, 2014
Alason Damola
Reply

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

June 23, 2014
Toyin
Reply

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 ?
Tanks

June 28, 2014
hajara
Reply

I love tradional foods,

July 31, 2014
Bukola Abiodun
Reply

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

August 4, 2014
Halimat
Reply

I Like Yoruba People,CultureFoods. Yoruba is my Culture

August 13, 2014
Airat
Reply

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

September 1, 2014
geenability
Reply

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

September 15, 2014
unita
Reply

U re too impressive u av enchance ma cookin

September 16, 2014
hatroop
Reply

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

September 22, 2014
shyni
Reply

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

October 13, 2014
Ene
Reply

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

November 16, 2014
Chy Anegbu
Reply

Sure, he would be.

November 20, 2014
Sonia Daniels
Reply

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.

November 24, 2014
Chy Anegbu
Reply

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

November 30, 2014
Mosunmola
Reply

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

January 4, 2015
abimbola
Reply

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

February 19, 2015
Chy Anegbu
Reply

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

February 23, 2015
nkem
Reply

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

March 3, 2015
nenoyima
Reply

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

March 24, 2015
Chy Anegbu
Reply

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

March 27, 2015
vickky
Reply

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

May 19, 2015
Eloho
Reply

thank alot,this is nice

July 21, 2015
Josephine
Reply

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

July 25, 2015
Charyz
Reply

Great Job!

August 26, 2015
TRICIA
Reply

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?

September 15, 2015
Chy Anegbu
Reply

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

September 19, 2015
Omolola
Reply

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

September 26, 2015
Ify
Reply

Thanks a lot chy for this wonderful recipe!

October 23, 2015
fafcy
Reply

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

November 25, 2015
Chy Anegbu
Reply

No, they are not the same.

November 27, 2015
temi
Reply

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

December 28, 2015
meme
Reply

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

January 18, 2016
Chy Anegbu
Reply

the red fresh one, thanks.

January 19, 2016
viva
Reply

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

January 23, 2016
ann
Reply

Most pple use green

December 21, 2017
Dick Pinaere
Reply

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

March 1, 2016
kafilat Olota
Reply

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

March 23, 2016
mbonu ify
Reply

PLEASE WHAT IS THE LOCAL NAME OF EFO RIRO LEAVE,SO DAT IT COULD BE EASY FOR ME TO SEARCH FOR IT IN THE MARKET.KINDLY REPLY TO MY EMAIL.
E MAIL ADDRESS:IFEYINWAMBONU@GMAIL.COM

THANKS

April 11, 2016
Chy Anegbu
Reply

I hope you got my email? @ mbonu ify?

April 12, 2016
Kimora
Reply

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

April 15, 2016
Chinwe
Reply

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.

April 26, 2016
enitan
Reply

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

January 23, 2017
joy
Reply

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

April 30, 2016
JOY
Reply

Nice one

April 30, 2016
Adejoke Akeju
Reply

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

May 23, 2016
Chy Anegbu
Reply

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

May 24, 2016
Anjorin Oluwaseyi
Reply

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
Thanks.

September 6, 2017
Chekwube
Reply

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.

May 28, 2016
oluwa nene sanni
Reply

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

August 22, 2016
ella
Reply

I really apperciate your good work keep it up.

September 7, 2016
habidez
Reply

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

November 16, 2016
Ololade
Reply

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!!!!

March 24, 2017
XRumerTest
Reply

Hello. And Bye.

April 5, 2017
Kimalee
Reply

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.

June 15, 2017
Chy Anegbu
Reply

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.

June 16, 2017
Kimalee
Reply

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.

June 16, 2017
Veevyan
Reply

Is spinach also known as waterleaf?

July 13, 2017
Temitope
Reply

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

September 17, 2017
Iphie
Reply

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

November 25, 2017
fina
Reply

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

December 6, 2017
Joy
Reply

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….???

March 30, 2018
Edith
Reply

Thanks for d receip, it cool

April 18, 2018
Linda
Reply

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

May 13, 2018
Ngozi
Reply

Please what is iru

May 16, 2018
Chef Chidi
Reply

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

May 17, 2018
Debbie
Reply

Is spinach same thing as uguw leaf ?

August 7, 2018
Chy Anegbu
Reply

No, they are different!

August 8, 2018
Kessy Felix
Reply

Trying to cook, for my warri family

November 16, 2018
Bisitola
Reply

Quite educating, thanks so much!

April 19, 2019
Jemimah
Reply

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.

May 3, 2019
Chy Anegbu
Reply

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

May 4, 2019
Grace
Reply

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

May 23, 2019
Jimmy
Reply

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

July 12, 2019

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