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. 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.

  2. 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?

  3. JOY  April 30, 2016

    Nice one

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. oluwa nene sanni  August 22, 2016

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

  7. ella  September 7, 2016

    I really apperciate your good work keep it up.

  8. 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

  9. 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!!!!

  10. XRumerTest  April 5, 2017

    Hello. And Bye.

  11. 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.

  12. Veevyan  July 13, 2017

    Is spinach also known as waterleaf?

  13. Temitope  September 17, 2017

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

  14. Iphie  November 25, 2017

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

  15. fina  December 6, 2017

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

  16. 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….😙😚😘

  17. Edith  April 18, 2018

    Thanks for d receip, it cool

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Debbie  August 7, 2018

    Is spinach same thing as uguw leaf ?

    • Chy Anegbu  August 8, 2018

      No, they are different!


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