Uha Soup

Oha soup is definitely going to make the list of Nigerian popular soups.

You are probably here because you want to learn how to make oha soup the exact way an Igbo woman would prepare it.

We are still on foods eaten by different Nigerian ethnic groups.

Oha Soup

Ofe Ora (as the people of Igbo call it) is one of the most delicious soups that is popularly made and eaten by the people of Igbo.

The Igbos are one of the popular ethnic groups in Nigeria.

This soup is made with the leaves of a tree called oha. Ora soup is often prepared using cocoa-yam, egusi or ofor as the thickener.

I remember those days in the village, we pluck the fresh oha leaves directly from the tree, This way, you get them fresh and natural.

I love cooking in the village because almost every ingredient used was freshly harvested from the farm, a luxury we can’t afford here in our current state of residence or other countries of the world.

However, every ingredient used in making Nigerian foods can be bought in almost any Nigerian local or international market.

You may not be lucky enough to purchase the very fresh ones if you live outside Nigeria but you will most likely find a dried alternative.

The following ingredients are used in making oha soup in Nigeria, you can increase or decrease depending on the number of people you are looking to feed, this would serve 8 people for 2 consecutive times.

This soup could be refrigerated for up to two weeks (two weeks is the recommended duration for most Nigerian soups)

The Ingredients For Oha Soup

Serving (8)

Oha leaves (as required)
Cocoa yam (see the video below)(about 15 to 20 medium sizes)
2kg Goat meat
200 g Dry fish or mangala
3 seasoning cubes
1 cup ground crayfish
150 g Stockfish head
300 ml Palm oil
4 tablespoons of ofor or achi (as an alternative thickener)
Ogiri (local ingredients)
salt and pepper to taste

Whenever I am making soups with cocoa yam, I chose to buy a small quantity of ofor or achi as an alternative thickener.

How To Prepare Ofe Ora

Step 1
Wash the cocoa yam with just water and start cooking, cook until it is soft (you can check with your fingers). Then peel off the outer back and pound with a mortar and pestle, the normal traditional way.

Set Aside.
pounded cocoyam

Step 2
Grind crayfish and fresh pepper (I like to use fresh pepper for most Nigerian foods)

Pluck off the Uha leaves from the stem and slice with a kitchen knife.

Ogiri and Ora

I like to shred the leaves with my fingers the exact way I learned from my mother (You will find how this is done from the video below, this method will ensure that the leaves are not shredded to tiny bits).

In case you want to slice with a kitchen knife just to ease up the process be sure not to slice into very tiny bits. You might want to look at the plate of soup above, again. 😀

Step 3
Pour hot water over the dry fish and stockfish to soften then. Then wash to remove dirt and sand. Remove center bone from the fish and tear the stockfish to smaller bits.

Step 4
Parboil goat meat with the necessary ingredients (two seasoning cubes, a teaspoon of salt, allow cooking for 15-25 minutes until it becomes soft and easy to chew.

Step 5
Add more water, 6 cups.
Ora ofe
then add red oil (palm oil), fish and stockfish, the ground crayfish and 1 seasoning cube and salt and pepper to taste.

Stir and allow boiling. At this point, it should give a good soupy taste (even though it would be watery)

Step 6
Then add the pounded cocoa yam as you can find in the video below.

cooking ofe ora

Also, add the ogiri at this point.

Step 7
Stir; allow to dissolve before adding oha leaves.

making oha soup

Step 8
Stir, taste for salt and allow to simmer for another 3 to 5 minutes and you just made a very delicious oha soup (ofe ora).

Step 9
Serve with eba, fufu or pounded yam.

Fufu and oha soup

Oha soup recipe

Oha Soup Recipe | How to Make Ofe Ora

Chef Chidi
Oha soup is unarguably the most popular soup in Igboland. This recipe is straight forward and I am sure, if you follow it to the end, you will be able to replicate the exact plate of soup above.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Nigerian Cuisine
Servings 16 People
Calories 879 kcal


  • Pots


  • Oha leaves as required
  • Cocoa yam see the video below(about 15 to 20 medium sizes)
  • 2 kg Goat meat
  • 200 g Dry fish or mangala
  • 3 seasoning cubes
  • 1 cup ground crayfish
  • 150 g Stockfish head
  • 300 ml Palm oil
  • 4 tbsp of ofor or achi as an alternative thickener
  • 1 tbsp Ogiri local ingredients
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • You want to start by cooking and pounding the coco yams (they will be used as thickener for this soup). Just wash with water and boil for 15-20 minutes.
  • Peel off the back and pound using a mortar and pestle.
  • Slice the oha leaves and pound or grind the peppers and crayfish. Set aside.
  • Wash the dried fish and stockfish with hot water and tear them into smaller bits.
  • Precook the goeat meat using a teaspoon of salt and 2 seasoning cubes.
  • Add 5 cups of water to the cooked meat, then 300 ml (palm oil), fish and stockfish, the ground crayfish and 1 seasoning cube
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Stir your soup and allow boiling for 10 minutes.
  • Add the pounded cocoyam and ogiri at this point and allow them to dissolve for 10-12 minutes.
  • Always stir, you don't want burned soup. 😀
  • Add the sliced oha leaves. Allow to simmer for 4 minutes.
  • Traditionally, oha soup is served with fufu in Igboland, you can also pair with eba or pounded yam


Keyword Igbo Foods, Ofe Ora, Oha soup

Video For Making Oha Soup In Nigeria

Above is a video demonstration of the steps outlined above, you can learn to make oha soup by watching this video.

I have found videos to be more helpful especially when it comes to making Nigerian soups. You will learn about every ingredient used and of course the step by step instruction.

Compare Other Nigerian Soups

See My List of popular Igbo Foods

How to make Ofe Onugbu

Back To All Nigerian Foods



5 stars
Viola!!! I made Oha soup for the 1st time today following ur method, and I can confidently say, it taste so delicious. I have been grinning like a peacock since morning. Thanks

March 7, 2020
Ugorji favour

Thank you so much, I really appreciate.

June 23, 2019

U are d best n dat is my husband best soup

May 28, 2019

Am a food lover who look forward to tease people with my cooking skill

May 18, 2019
Favour adaeze

Your site is good and educating, Tnx so much for your inspiration concerning cooking.
You made our ladies to be more inspired. Tnx

I will like to know how to prepare sauce

August 8, 2018

My cooking life has changed since I started using ur app.thank u thank u so so much

April 21, 2018

I am Nkeiru from Kano Nigeria, I cooked the Oha Soup for my husband guess what I was given a gift of a car after eating the delicious oha soup and he now really appreciates my cooking. I thanks u for the wonderful site.

December 29, 2017
Chidi Anegbu

Wow! Nice, you deserve it dearie!

January 2, 2018

please need your hep
am married to an igbo guy from imo state..he doesn’t like me cooking our own Yoruba food.
he will start mentioning all dis igbo foods which I don’t even have idea of how to prepare them and this has b causing lot of fight in our homes.
someone introduce this site to me to learn different igbo food especially his favourite afang n uha soup.
I pray to learn more from here.

September 6, 2017
Chidi Anegbu

Sure, I can relate. You will be great in no time. Welcome

September 6, 2017

Thanks dear, my fiance have been telling me to come and cook oha soup and have been dulging him,, as for today and going to surprise him,,, thank you so much

December 3, 2016
Dr James

you are appreciated ma thanks for the tip

October 8, 2016
victor onyeka

Hmmn…Quite impressive for my best soup . I have actually mastered the art of cooking this soup long ago. But I think you forgot to add some mistakes people make while cutting and washing the oha leaves which then causes it to become bitter. A lot of people will think it logical but end up having a bitter oha soup.

June 28, 2016
Nombuso Adaeze Okeke-Igbojinna

Cooking my husband’s favourite tonight for the first time #HappyDance….thank you for the bitterleaf recipe, I just hope I’ll be able to find all the ingredients here in south Africa.

May 31, 2016

I thank you my dear…
I’m a South African and my hubby is suprised why I dish him deferent meals that he never taught me I told him it’s my kitchen secrets.. thanks for the oha soup.

May 22, 2016
Miss. B

So I cooked oha soup today following this procedure, unlike the first oha soup I cooked, it was watery.. this time it was perfect! Except that it’s a little bit peppery, well not for me though, but my brother doesn’t like pepper. I used black pepper and it was too peppery. Will be more careful next time. Thank you!

April 14, 2016

Waw.. Wawer… Wawest.. Lol
This is awesome, new on this site but followed your procedures and I made a nice pot of ora soup… and guess what? mom’s so happy.. Thanks so much for this ma.. More Grace!

April 3, 2016

Lovely looking soup, very delicious!
My sweetheart really loves it. Its a must eat for everyone.

March 15, 2016

my wife to-be fell in love with me because I made good use of your site. you are just wonderful, exceptional and unique. thanks for making my love grow stronger. I love you.

February 18, 2016

This is a wonderful site as u are also a wonderful woman ur site has added a joy to marriage i can wait to cook it i will get back to u ma oo my husband will enjoy me today thanx a lot remain bless .

January 6, 2016

Thank God for a site like yours. I am a lover of home made African dishes. You have made my day.

December 30, 2015

Thanks, l just stumbled to this site..and it is really, resourceful and mind blowing. It make me remember mama’s kitchen. Keep the good work on sister.

November 11, 2015

I followed your steps on how to make oha soup and it was superb. My husband loved it. It was awesome. Thanks

August 27, 2015

I want to try it tomorrow.

August 21, 2015


July 16, 2015
Stephani Nnadi

Madam, u no go kill person ooooo
U are just so wonderful thank u so much for the NKWOBI part of it, With this talent u can never loose ur husband to any woman i swear. I LOVE WOMEN THAT CAN COOK.
Well done Nigerian WELLNESS MAMA

June 11, 2015

Nice website, i think i’ll learn alot here. Keep up the good work.
My learning begins now!!!!!!!!

April 1, 2015

Thanks so much for this great job you are doing. Please I would like to be receiving weekly recipe on my mail. How do I go about it?

February 15, 2015
Chidi Anegbu

Just look for the form and subscribe, it is everywhere on my site, thanks.

February 23, 2015


January 17, 2015

hmm gonna try dis this saturday. am not igbo though, but am in love with the soup.tanx 4 ur teachings on how to prepare delicious Nigerian Dishes.GOD BLESS UR HAND WORK

September 26, 2014
Chalubia OWhonda-Wopara

Thanks for the guide, u re really a blessing, more power to you. Am from d north married to an lkwerre man. This site is a good tutor for me. Thanks alot.

September 23, 2014

Wao….soooooo good. u really a gud cook

September 6, 2014

Thanks for your recipes. I observed that ogiri is on the list as an ingredient but it was not mentioned at what point it should be added in the soup.

August 4, 2014
Chidi Anegbu

Annette, thanks for you observation, I have now edited the page to add that.

August 6, 2014

nice job thanks, Ur site has actually improve me in my cooking, am a better cook nw

July 28, 2014

Am frm d middle belt i just love trying somthing new. I think am going to give it a trial thnks, u’re doing a gud job keep it up.

July 27, 2014
Kitchen member

Coming across this site has been a great experience. Being a person that loves to cook, a website like this that offers a wide range of Nigerian recipes is totally mind blowing. The oha soup I made turned out so well. Thanks for the great work you are doing. God bless you

July 27, 2014

Its awsome its really giving me more ideas and different apporach to different dish, ma’am u re a true african woman keep it up, am very much proud of u!

July 24, 2014

Thanks for the recipe. but the names of the vegetables needs to be translated in English.
for me to look for them in the market

July 24, 2014
Chidi Anegbu

Thanks Diana for your comment, usually, you should be able to find these ingredients in any African shop, and they would understand the names.

July 27, 2014

Thank you so much. The post is very helpful.

My husband will enjoy my soups more, from now on.


June 27, 2014

Oh my! My sister in South Africa referred me to your site. I decided to surprise my Igbo husband with an Igbo meal today and you should have seen the look of shock & pleasure on his face when he tasted the oha that I made. Thanks so much!

May 31, 2014
Chidi Anegbu

Lol!!! my dear Sola, I am happy to read your comment. keep surprising him

June 1, 2014
Anowai Kingsley

Ejim ohere a na ekele ndi tinyere ihe ndia na intaneti. Jidenu ke unu ji. Unu agbaliala. Unu mere ka m mata usoro eji esi ofe ala anyi. Ofe ora nadi m nma n’ahu nke ukwu. Imeela

May 4, 2014
Chidi Anegbu

😀 kingsley, you are the son of your father

May 5, 2014

Ndewo Nwanne

August 21, 2018

This site is so wonderful. I just finished the last of ora soup that i cooked and i decided to google the Ora soup and am here. You are an inspiration to ladies of today. God bless you. The only thing my hubby like about me most is cooking, wooooo, i thank God for my Mum

March 9, 2014

Courtney, thanks for your comment and welcome to the kitchen. If you want to learn about Nigerian foods, you don’t need to look elsewhere, that Is why I am here.

March 2, 2014

I’m half nigerian. My father is from the igbo tribe so I guess I’m igbo as we’ll .lol I’m trying so hArd to learn how to prepare all the foods and soups. But I’m not really familiar with the igbo recipes I thought Yoruba and igbo ate the same soups. lol I only no how to make okra , egusi and stew or jollof rice. My father is all the way in Nigeria so it’s hard for me to learn.

February 20, 2014

Guess wat, I just made my first ora soup. Followed it just the way u wrote it, nd my oh my! I made it like a pro it tasted delicious. I will give the bitterleave nd nsala a try soon. U are doing a great job, keep it up.

February 19, 2014

Its been so wonderful learning on how to prepare oha soup and bitter leave soup I really enjoy with my husband when I prepare it. I really appreciate ur effort on how to teach women accross on how to prepare delicious meal, I pray that the LORD will continue to strenghten u more. In JESUS name.

February 12, 2014

Am new on this site. I can say I stumbled on it when I got frustrated on how to cook a particular meal but am grateful I did. tnk u and more inspiration. Thanks for the ofe ora

January 27, 2014

Ma you are wonderful, I am very greatful for all.

January 2, 2014

I am very happy to know of this site.i missed my mother’s oha soup,its just my best soup.i will cook the oha soup as soon as possible.but the problem i have is where to locate oha leaves because it is very scarce at the part of nigeria i am residing,but i will try.nwaanyi oma,i meela.

December 11, 2013

I will try this oha soup tomorrow. thanks ma. I really apprecite.you are really turning ladies to wifes – loving mothers

November 22, 2013

thanks your site have added colour to my marriage

November 3, 2013

You are good ma! Your site is so resourceful. Please I would like to learn how to prepare nkwobi and some other Nigerian evening recipes. I would very much appreciate your feedback. Thank for the ora soup, I am from Anambra, Nigeria

August 13, 2013

Thanks for the ora soup, it is very delicious.

August 13, 2013

Oha soup (ofe ora) is actually my best soup. I am a Nigerian that is also married to a Nigerian. Actually my husband introduced me to your site and I must say that I am really impressed with your method of making Nigerian soups and other foods, you are just a very good cook

August 6, 2013

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