Ogbono soup (draw soup) is one of the most popular soups in Nigeria. Here, you will learn how to make this delicious soup and why it falls into the list of Nigerian popular soups.
You will also find a video on making Nigerian Ogbono (ogbolo) soup at the bottom of this page.

While searching the web I have learned that there are over forty different soups that are eaten in Nigeria and there are probably about a hundreds of other foods, the list would likely run into thousands if both fruits were counted.

Here we talked about the process involved in making Nigerian draw soup. This soup is actually easy to prepare because almost all of its ingredients could be prepared by traders in the market, making it very easy for the cook.

Ogbono soup
What you find above is a delicious plate of ogbono soup, I used just a handful of uziza leaves

Although, most people prefer this soup without leaves, the video below was made with bitter leaves. You can substitute different leaves for most Nigerian soups, this soup can also be made with fluted pumpkin leaves. I have even eaten ogbolo soup that was made with uha leaves by my grandmother several years ago. So you can go ahead and experiment wildly!

Here are all the ingredients for making Nigerian Ogbono Soup, it would serve about 6×2 persons ( the remainder could be refrigerated for up to two weeks)
Assorted meat 1.5kg
2 cups of ogbono seeds
Stock fish head (medium size)
1 medium size dry catfish
1 cup of crayfish (ground)
Fluted pumpkin (a bunch)
1 teaspoon of ogiri or ground dawadawa or okpei (local ingredients) (optional)
250ml of palm oil
salt and pepper to taste.

Serving: 6×3.

Ogbono Ingredients
From top : Stockfish head, ground ogbono seed, assorted meat, dried catfish and bitter leaves (Onugbu).

Assorted meat is always preferred above all other types of meats in Nigeria. This is just different parts of a cow, from the intestine to the tripe (shaki), kidney, liver, heart and also red meat (beef).

Like I stated above. This soup is very easy to prepare, you can grind/blend ogbono seeds with a blender or hand grinding machine. This can either be done at home or by the trader who sold it to you in the market (if you live in Nigeria).

Selecting the right Ogbono seed and other ingredients.

Most people don’t know the difference between the authentic and the fake ogbono seeds, the best approach would be to buy from a trusted trader. Although there is just very little difference between the two, the only difference is that one has better elasticity.
Another ingredient that has a direct effect on any Nigerian soup is the kind of dry fish used, I like to use the round dry cat fish. It is sold in most Nigerian markets and African shops, if you can get your hands on a good one it tastes nice in soups

I made this soup with bitter leaves you might want to boil the bitter leaves with water for ten to fifteen minutes, this technique would further reduce the bitter tastes and also soften the leaves (some people also add a little bit of edible potash just to hasten the whole process but I highly advice against this practice because it can change the entire texture of your soup thereby decreasing the nutritional value.

How to Make Ogbono Soup

Soak the dry fish and stock fish with hot water for few seconds, then wash.
break the fish and remove the center bone.

Here is how to make Nigerian ogbolo or Ogbono soup.

Parboil your meat the normal way, with all the necessary ingredients (2 seasoning cubes, teaspoon of salt, onions, teaspoon of your favorite beef spice).

Ask them for beef spice at the grocery store or local market, there are different brands.

Add water to the meat after about ten minutes and cook till it is soft enough for consumption and the water is almost dried (just about 1 cup left), You will need to add 7 cups of water at this point. Add the washed dry fish and stock fish, 250ml of palm oil, ground crayfish.

cooking ogbono soup
Stir, cover and cook for 10-15 minutes.

Add salt and pepper to taste, add another seasoning cube, add the ground ogbono seeds, stir and cook for another five minutes.
making ogbono soup

Boiling Ogbono soup

Taste your soup. (you can add more salt, pepper or seasoning cube)

Add the vegetables.
add bitterleaves

Stir and allow to simmer for three minutes after adding the bitter leaves (as below)

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You just made a very delicious Nigerian ogbono soup
pot of ogbono soup

Video For Ogbono Soup

What you see above is the video for making Nigerian Ogbono soup, I had to list all the ingredients used as well as a step by step detailed instruction for making this delicious Nigerian soup, Enjoy!

Compare other Nigerian soups

Okra soup in Nigeria


  1. rameed  May 5, 2016

    My favorite draw soup. Prefer mine with okro and ukwu. Atime, I add small egusi. Very delicious, the more the variety of ingredient, d better d taste

  2. funmi  June 1, 2016

    Awesome. Keep the good work up. Will try this tonight…..

  3. Adeola  June 13, 2016

    Please can you make a video of this?

  4. Glory Godwin  June 24, 2016

    I love edikaiong and okor soup, they are very sweet. U
    And urcur making me to be hungry, keep it on.

  5. Urge Offor  July 2, 2016

    The method is fantastic. I am following it to cook my ongoing soup now

  6. Blessed Akajiaku  July 16, 2016

    what does dawadawa actually do in soups? and it hardly dissolves

    • Chy Anegbu  July 18, 2016

      We just love the aroma of dawadawa, you grind it before adding it @ Akajiaku

  7. Olayinka  July 16, 2016

    I will give this a trial. Thanks for the good job you are doing

  8. Adenike Fowosere  October 1, 2016

    I like dis site… It really help

  9. Esther  November 9, 2016

    i like your cooking method ma.since you love daddawa aroma i would like to introduce you to my arewa special made you will like it too i make it and sale.

  10. charlotte bester  December 2, 2016

    hi i am making this next week for my partner and he wants me to use goat meet
    meats i will be using shaki dry cratfish and stockfish i was wondering if you can help. how do i cook the goat meet beofre hand to put it in the ogbono when i am preparing it. thankyou

  11. Nkay  December 17, 2016

    I used goat meat and it was fine.. thanks for the recipe

  12. fellykimara  January 27, 2017

    Wow I just made it now…it was superb

  13. habby  June 30, 2017

    Thanks so much for the recipe. Pls is the pepper a blended dry pepper

  14. MarvQ  August 18, 2017

    It’s nice but in this very video, there was no where pepper was added to the soup. Or do they not cook Ogbono-soup with Pepper?

    • Chy Anegbu  August 23, 2017

      Lol, pls check the recipe again.

  15. Becky  March 13, 2018

    Thank u for the video I love the Nigeria because am a Yoruba girl but what I see is inside this ogbono soup there is no pepper

  16. Ajayi Anabel  April 10, 2018

    Thanks I must say u’r a good cook…I will try it but will add okro to it thanks a million.

  17. Folashade  June 11, 2018

    Thank so much for this recipe, but pls you have not answer my question on bitter leaf soup.
    Thanks a bunch.

    • Chef Chidi  June 11, 2018

      Whats the question about, thanks for your comment.

  18. Obute Juliet Chinenye  October 16, 2018

    Thank you so much ma, i really appreciate.

  19. Emperor  October 29, 2018

    You made mention of ingredients like ogiri but in the process of preparation i never knew when you added it

    • Chy Anegbu  October 31, 2018

      just before you add the ground ogbono seeds.

  20. Matty  February 23, 2019

    You just helped me make the best ogbonno soup ever.


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