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/stew.
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.

Here are the ingredients for making efo riro, 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 just about 5-6 people, you can increase or decrease depending on your audience.

Ingredients Include: (for 5-6 People)

Sliced Spinach leaves (7-10 cups)
7-10 pieces stock fish ear
assorted meat (1KG)
1 cup of sliced 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 knorr 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


Use either tatashe or shobo, about 5-10, slice alongside the fresh red pepper and transfer in a bowl, this improves the look of the soup at 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 knorr cube 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, stock fish, add a cup of water and cook for another 10-15 minutes depending on the hardness of your stock fish, you need to know that people like them better 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, 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 cube of maggi, salt to taste, stir and add the spinach leaves. Stir all together and allow to simmer for another 3-5 minutes and you just mad 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 this soup and 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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Learn how to prepare efo riro in this 3 minutes video

Learn how to make Ewedu soup


  1. 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

  2. Mosunmola  January 4, 2015

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

  3. 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.

  4. nkem  March 3, 2015

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

  5. 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

  6. vickky  May 19, 2015

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

  7. Eloho  July 21, 2015

    thank alot,this is nice

  8. 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

  9. Charyz  August 26, 2015

    Great Job!

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Ify  October 23, 2015

    Thanks a lot chy for this wonderful recipe!

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. kafilat Olota  March 23, 2016

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

  19. mbonu ify  April 11, 2016



    • Chy Anegbu  April 12, 2016

      I hope you got my email? @ mbonu ify?

  20. 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


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