River state native soup is one of my favorite Nigerian soup, it happens to be my favorite native soup.
You can follow either my written instruction or the embedded video at the bottom of the page, I make videos for the majority of my recipes on this site.

I grew up in River state Nigeria, did both my primary and secondary education in a very popular part of the state. During this time, I tasted almost every indigenous food and also learned to make quite a number of them. The good thing is that they share similar recipes with the Igbos.

So if you are dating an Ikwerre guy or married to a man/woman from River State Nigeria you can go ahead and serve him/her some of our Igbo foods on this page.

Let’s get back to the topic of the day, River state native soup… here goes… Gbam!!!

River state Native soup

Frankly, I can’t give a detailed account of the origin of this soup but what I do know is that it is very popular in River state and it is served in major restaurants and eateries. Although, they avoid some of the expensive ingredients like stock fish, ngolo and shrimps.

For some reason I just like to try new recipes once they appealed to me, I like to ask questions and try them out in my own kitchen, that is perhaps the reason I have learned to make virtually all the Foods Eaten In Nigeria.

How To Make River State Native Soup

Below are the ingredients for making the popular native soup in River state Nigeria, like I always assert; the ingredients would serve about 6×2 people, you can increase or decrease the quantity of each ingredient depending on the number people would be eating your food.

You can make this soup as simple as possible, if you can’t find the ngolo and prowns where you live, you can leave them out. I can’t find the english name for Ngolo, is it clams?

  • 1KG of meat
  • 10 pieces of stock fish ear (nti okporoko)
  • 2 cups of sliced uziza leaves
  • 2 medium size dry fish
  • Cocoa yam as thickener (see image)
  • 15-20cl of palm oil
  • 2-3 cubes of maggi or knorr
  • 1-2 cups of periwinkles
  • 1-2 cups of ngolo
  • 1 cup of ground crayfish
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • two handful of fresh prowns
  • 2 spoons of ofor (alternative thickener)
What you find above is a plate containing Ngolo, Periwinkles (isam) and prowns, the exact way they are sold in Nigerian markets. You can purchase them from every major Nigerian markets, especially in the states sorrounded by water.

The cocoayam should be about 1KG, the ofor serves as alternative thickener (incase the cocoayam didn’t thicken the soup), in most cases, you wouldn’t use it (the ofor)

How to Prepare Nigerian Native soup

You might wanna start by parboiling the shrimps, wash and parboil with a small pot, add half cup of water, a cube of maggi and a pinch of salt, allow to boil for up to 5 minutes, remove the head and set aside in a clean plate.
making native soup
I like to start by parboiling the meat with all the necessary ingredients, most cooks forget that parboiling the meat and obtaining the stock (water left after parboiling) is an important part of Nigerian cooking process.

I like to parboil the meat with just 2 cubes of maggi, 1 bulb of onions, salt and maybe a sachet of onga classic (a very popular Nigerian spice for soup). My choice of meat is hard to cook, takes about 50-60 minutes before you commence with the rest of the cooking.

Step 2
Use this time to prepare the other ingredients; wash and slice the uziza leaves.

Soak the stock fish and dry fish with boiled water and wash thoroughly to remove sand and center bone. Grind the crayfish and fresh pepper also, you can grind together or grind separately.

Step 3
Add the washed dry fish/stock fish in the boiling meat on fire, after about 30-50 minutes of cooking just the meat. Once they are soft and the water is almost dried (about 1 cup left) add about 5-7 cups of water, palm oil and the ground crayfish. This step was visually demonstrated in the video below, so if you like watching better than reading you can scroll down to see the video.

Allow the soup to cook for another ten minutes before adding salt to taste, a cube of maggi. Maggi is a natural food sweetener, used in making almost all the {foods eaten in Nigeria} you can refer to our ingredients catalogue for an in-depth understanding of all the ingredients used in making Nigerian foods.

Step 4
Add the washed/cleaned ngolo, stir, add the cocoayam, allow to dissolve in 8-10 minutes, if it is still very watery you can add a spoon of ofor, cook for three minutes before adding the periwinkles, prown and sliced uziza leaves which is likely the last ingredient while making River state native soup.

Allow to simmer for another five minutes and you just made Nigerian’s most popular native soup.
The video is that of an earlier version of this soup, it should give you a clue as to how to make river state native soup, I used ofor as the thickener instead of cocoayam; I also ommited the ngolo.

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Continue Reading

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compare River State Native Soup & other Nigerian soups

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Here is how to Make Nigerian Onugbu Soup

Nigerian Ogbono (draw) Soup


  1. Mercy K  June 9, 2015

    Keep it up my lovely sister,heaven will reward you with more wisdom.

  2. Vivian Robert  July 21, 2015

    Pls is it possible to use jst d uziza seed in place of d leaf,thanx n well done to u

    • Chy Anegbu  July 21, 2015

      Sure, you can do that but I just like to add some leaves, you can even use some fluted pumpkin leaves.

  3. Adaco  July 23, 2015

    Well done ma for ur good job for en-lighting lady’s ideas for cook God bless u richly, TO HELEN (NGOLO IS SEAFOOD U CAN CALL IT OYSTER). THANKS TO U ALL

    • Promise Hanson  January 25, 2017

      Ngolo is a periwinkle specie, bigger and white in color. Ngolo is the native name for white periwinkle, while Isam is the native name for the blue periwinkle in black long shell. They are all Periwinkles.
      Imgbe is the native name for Oysters.

  4. furo  August 12, 2015

    You are really doing good job,and God bless u for that.
    Am Canadian, married to river state man. over here we don’t have
    much african shop.but i try to look for one.well i need ur book
    how do i get it.ialso would like to mail u too.

    • Chy Anegbu  August 14, 2015

      Thanks dearie, you can always order the cookbook from the Sales Page.

  5. Anna  September 4, 2015

    Please, I am yet to see ngolo in Abuja market..Do you konw a possible seller?

    Thanks for your updates….Really the best.

    • Chy Anegbu  September 5, 2015

      If you can’t find them, use just periwinkles and fresh prawn.

  6. Pastor Chris  September 13, 2015

    Hi, I am pastor Chris froZambia, my wife is south African and we love the Nigerian food and we eat more often. Would you mind to email me the recepes please. The only soups we can make so far is egusi and ogbono(our favorite dishes). You really have great stuff in Nigeria. May God bless you and bless Nigeria. Remain blessed!

  7. da tubo  October 8, 2015

    pl the soup you describe as rivers native soup may be for ikwerre people but not kalabari people.we do not use achi or ofor to thicken our native soup.and we donot combine dry fish with fresh prawn.we only use cocoyam to thicken our native soup.pl take note.we also donot use uziza leave in native soup.tk

    • Chy Anegbu  October 13, 2015

      Ok dear, noted. This recipe is for the most popular native soup that is made in rivers state, the one you find in most restaurants, thanks for your comment.

    • Gold  December 20, 2016

      Pls, if you don’t use uziza what then do u use

      • Tina  January 26, 2018

        I’m also from Rivers, I use little portion of Well cleaned bitter leave in absence of uziza it gives another swt taste.. Mostly with cocoayam as thickner, also other sea food I luv to use, not so dried catfish and snail in addition.
        Thanks Chy.. ur the best I’ve seen so far, please I’d like to get mails from you on other Northern food and more south/Eastern.. God bless you

  8. mz aborex  November 10, 2015

    I reallyl love all this your rec
    ipe ,and I wish to learn more so dat I can be d best in my husband eyes

  9. Joy oladimeji  November 18, 2015

    Great work keep it up

  10. Veronica  December 30, 2015

    Thanks for your good work. Got your book online. It’s really been helpful. The rivers native soup seems to have become a favourite with my family. Everybody loves it. Keep up the good work.

  11. Joyce  January 7, 2016

    I love all the yummy delicacies cooked by you,keep it up.i just watched the video of the rivers native soup you cooked and you added the ground uziza seed,is it still the same as ground pepper? because watching the video, you didn’t add any pepper.Thanks

  12. Teniola  January 18, 2016

    I tried this recipe, its really whaooo,,my hubby loves it. it was really really Fascinating

  13. Josephine  February 14, 2016

    How about the Nigerian northern soup?

  14. Boma  February 17, 2016

    oh my God i love dis site and will always love it tanks for all the info pls i need ice cream tips too cuz i love ice cream, then for the rivers native soup the ingredient u mention are learning ooo der are other sea foods used too but too expensive i always go to greek road market in town wen ever i want to prepare the soup cuz datz wer u get all the sea foodz like shell fish, oyster, water snail plus those once u mentioned, in fact u are too much i love u

  15. Bridget Nwoke  February 24, 2016

    pls how can i buy 50 ingredients recipe booklet, i need it madly, thanks

  16. sandra  February 26, 2016

    Hello Chy,thanks alot.i have awz loved cooking and now bc of you,i can now confidently experiment wt food & ingredients.its so fascinating.Mmmuahh
    Please does all your cookbook teach same thing? I saw three different kinds of book.Which one comprises of everything assuming I want to go for one?

  17. Winifred  February 26, 2016

    You make my pot rock!!! Hubby had to praise me each time he finish eating and ask for more!! That thank God he married me…I’m Soooo happy Chy…you are God sent. I just Love you. May God increase you in wisdom, strength and creativity. God has used/ is using you to bring happiness in soo many homes. Not just about what you teach but the ‘way’ you teach them…sounds fun and challenging…easy to follow!!! #Bighug#

  18. Silverline  March 11, 2016

    this is great and God bless you for assisting Nigeria women to have knowledge about their national dishes.

  19. Temitayo  March 25, 2016

    I’m a Yoruba woman living in uyo so your recipes come in handy. Thanks a lot but this particular uziza soup that’s what I use to call it for I don’t know its from PH. I’ve been cooking it for almost five years now little did I know they use ground uziza seed. I think the seed will serve as pepper for the soup since there’s no pepper added to one in the video and I prefer using ofor for its taste and aroma. Thanks a million and pls where can I get the seed? Thanks.

  20. mysteryb  April 13, 2016

    its almost the same thing with ofe owerri and oha/ora soup nahh, the only difference are the leaves and periwinkle … all the same, nice one.


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