Ogbono Soup is a Nigerian dish made from mango-like seeds. These seeds are dried, ground and the end result which is somewhat coarse is what is in used in making Ogbono Soup. You can either purchase the dried seeds or the ground version. If you opt for the seeds, you’d probably have to grate them to get it into a ground consistency.
Ogbono soup has a mucilaginous/draw-y consistency much like Okra soup, but is a tad thicker than Okra. It’s probably one of the easier Nigerian soups to make, even though it sounds so ‘heavy,’ and probably makes you go ‘huh? what? me cook Ogbono?! I don’t know how to cook it o!,’ I promise it’s quite simple ;) Ogbono is also known as Apon.
Without further ado, here’s what you need to make Ogbono Soup:
|Prep Time: 10 Mins||Cook Time: 2.5 Hrs||Difficulty: Easy||Serves: 2-4|
- 4-6 m pieces goat meat
- 4-6 m pieces shaki/tripe
- 1/2 cup ground ogbono OR 4-5 tbsps
- 2 knorr cubes OR 4 maggi cubes
- 2 tbsps ground red pepper
- 2 tbsps curry powder
- 1/2 cup palm oil
1. Rinse goat meat and shaki/tripe
2. Add to pot along with seasonings
3. Let sweat (don’t add water) for 15-20 minutes over medium heat
4. Once time is up, add enough water to cover all the meat
5. Boil over medium heat for 1.5 – 2 hours till soft (pierce meat with a knife to check softness, should give little resistance)
6. Once meat is soft, you should still have about 3-4 cups of stock
7. Reduce heat to low; add palm oil to stock, let dissolve if semi-solid, then stir palm oil into stock, let simmer for 5 minutes
8. Sprinkle ground ogbono into stock (still over low heat)
9. Stir ground ogbono into stock thoroughly
10. Turn heat up a tad & keep stirring (you’ve got to be fast with it!)
11. Reduce heat back to low, let simmer for 5 minutes
12. Turn off heat, let rest another 5 minutes
13. And, you’re done!
- Here’s what ground Ogbono from Nigeria looks like (look at the black ‘nylon,’ ‘lylom’ bag!! memories, lol)
- Here’s what that looks like up close (looks like dirt & little stones, huh?)
- Now, here’s that compared to Ogbono bought in the States…
- The one to your left, from Nigeria, is darker than that to your right, which was bought here in the States. I used the one from Nigeria (left) but I haven’t yet tried the one I bought (right). I don’t imagine there would be much of a difference, I think the one bought here will draw as much as the one from Nigeria; I just thought it was worth noting!
- This recipe is for plain, bare bones Ogbono Soup, you can totally get crazy creative with it and add stock fish/kpanla, spinach, ugwu (or other green leafy vegetable).
- You can also use fish, chicken or turkey in place of shaki/tripe and goat meat, or use all! If you decide to use/add fish to your Ogbono Soup, be sure to cook it first (fry/bake) before adding it to the mix.
- Instead of adding the palm oil and ground ogbono to the stock, you could add some palm oil to a pot over low heat and then add the ground ogbono, all the while stirring. This method is helpful if the ground ogbono is not so smooth/fine in consistency and stirring it in the palm oil before adding it to the stock helps make it smoother. The method in the recipe works either way and is especially helpful if you’d rather do it all in one pot or are pressed for time. Either way gives you Ogbono Soup!
- You can also cook some meat/chicken stew on the side and add that on top of the ogbono soup when you’re serving it.
- You can also add water to it, but I’ve noticed that doing this gives you more Ogbono soup (obviously!) and in no way makes it watery (odd!) Ogbono is a thickener, so that very well could be the reason.
- It is important to have a good amount of stock right from the get go, so you don’t have to keep adding water. If at any point, the water used for boiling the meat starts to dry out before the meat gets soft, add more. From the beginning, the water should cover most of the meat and by the time it’s done, it should have reduced to at least half of what it originally was.
- As soon as you add the Ogbono to the stock and start stirring/mixing, it should change color to a darker brown and start drawing almost immediately.
- Ground ogbono smells very similar to the actual soup, so if the ground ogbono you get doesn’t smell like that or even worse, has no smell, it might not do well in the pot.
- You can refrigerate in the pot or transfer to a bowl, add some water when reheating. If over the stove, reheat over low heat or microwave till hot and bubbling.
Serve with eba
- I wanted to eat this with Iyan (Pounded Yam), but of course, I forgot to check to see if I still had any! Boo me, lol!
- You could eat Ogbono Soup with Eba, Iyan, Amala, Semovita/Farina or even wheat flour. And yes, some eat it with rice… did you just think ‘ew!’ Well, so did I until I tried it, and I’m almost ashamed to admit, but um, it wasn’t all that bad! The moral of the story: Don’t knock it till you try it! :D
#Randomfunfact: I don’t (can’t & won’t!) eat eba/iyan/amala with my fingers/hands. That said, I always use a fork. Reason being, (at least my logic, lol) is that I grow nails and don’t like all that ‘stuff’ under it. Warped, I know, but whatevs, it works for me! I’ve heard it all too, ‘you’re missing out, that’s the best way to enjoy Naija food!’ I still can’t though, lol.