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Ofe Onugbu (Bitter Leaf Soup)

October 9, 2011 | 78 Comments

ofe onugbu, bitter leaf soup

Ofe Onugbu is a dish from the Eastern part of Nigeria and is particularly popular among the Igbos. It is a dish that is native to Anambra state in Nigeria.

Ofe Onugbu can be literally translated to mean ‘Bitter Leaf Soup,’ as bitter leaves are the primary (and only) vegetable involved in the cooking of this dish. Another ingredient that makes Ofe Onugbu into the soup that it is, is Cocoyam.

I love bitter leaves and it’s probably one of my favorite native vegetables and so, by extension, I quite enjoy Ofe Onugbu. In addition, Ofe Onugbu is less time intensive when compared to Afang soup. Both are delicious, it’s just a matter of how much time you have and what you feel like eating.

{Sidenote: I actually made this the same day as I made the Afang, but forgot to take a photo of one of the steps, so re-did and had a photo shoot, lol. Also if you have a keen eye, you’ll notice some photos are repeated from the Afang recipe! I’m not saying which though ;) The steps are mildly similar up to a certain point, so don’t worry, you’re reading the right recipe :) }

To learn how to make Ofe Onugbu, here’s what you’ll need:

Recipe Cost: $65.88 Prep: 1 hour Cook: 1 hour Difficulty: Intermediate Serves: 3-5

ofe onugbu ingredients

1. Rinse goat meat and shaki/pomo. Transfer to separate pots

2. Slice 1/2 red onion & 3 garlic cloves into pot with goat meat. Add 2 Knorr cubes and water. Let boil over medium heat for 45 mins to an hour. Replenish water, don’t let it dry outgoat meat

3. Slice remainder onion and garlic, add to shaki and kpomo. Add water, let boil over medium heat for 45 mins to an hour. Replenish water when its drying outshaki and kpomo boiling

4. Lightly rinse stockfish, transfer to a bowl filled with warm/hot water. Set aside, let soak for 30 minutes to softenstockfish, kpanla, okporoko

5. Add smoked catfish to bowl filled with warm/hot water. Set aside, let soak for 30 minutes to softensmoked catfish soaking

6. While meats are boiling and fish, soaking, transfer dried crayfish to sieve and rinse lightlydried crayfish rinse

7. Transfer crayfish from sieve to blender using a spoon, add scotch bonnet peppersdried crayfish, scotch bonnet peppers

8. Add 1-1.5 cups water to blenderdried crayfish_scotch bonnet peppers_water

9. Blend mixture, set asidedried crayfish_peppers_blended

10. Return to soaking stockfish and drain waterstockfish drianed water

11. Using kitchen scissors or a knife, cut stockfish into smaller pieces *don’t discard stockfish bones*stockfish chopped up

12. Return to soaking smoked catfish, drain watersmoked catfish drained water

13. Using your fingers, kitchen scissors or a knife, tear/cut up smoked catfish into smaller pieces *don’t discard bones and skin*smoked catfish chopped up

14. Add some water to a pot, add smoked catfish & stockfish, let boil 10-15 minutes. Drain liquid once boiled, set asidestockfish_smoked catfish_boiling

15. Return to boiling meats. At this point, goat meat, shaki and kpomo should be soft and you should have enough meat stock!goat meat_boiled

shaki_kpomo boiled

16. Drain and discard stock from shaki/kpomo. Keep stock from goat meat. Transfer shaki/kpomo to pot with goat meatofe onugbu, goat meat, shaki, kpomo

17. Over low-medium heat, add the blended crayfish and scotch bonnet peppersofe onugbu_blended crayfish_pepper

18. Stir thoroughly. Add 1 Knorr cube OR 2 Maggi cubes. Stir thoroughlyofe onugbu_knorr cube

19.  Add smoked catfish and stockfish to mixtureofe onugbu_smoked catfish_kpanla

20. Stir in thoroughly. Let cook over low-medium heat for 15-20 minutesgoat meat_shaki_smoked fish boiling

21. While contents of pot are simmering, transfer bitter leaves to a bowl, (drain excess liquid from packaging) and add some water, leave to soak for 5-10 minutesofe onugbu_bitter leaves soaking

22. After soaking, rinse, cut of long stems and lightly chop vegetables, set asideofe onugbu_bitter leaves rinsed_chopped

23. Return to pot with meats, reduce heat to low, using a serving spoon, scoop ede/cocoyam flour, add to pot *see #8 in notes*ofe-onugbu_ede_adding

24. Keep adding dried cocoyam flour in small amounts and stirring, till quantity recipe calls for is used up. *see #6 & #7 in notes*

25. Once done adding, increase heat to medium, let boil for 15 minutesofe onugbu_ede boiling

26. Add chopped bitter leaves to potofe onugbu_bitter leaves added

27. Stir in the leaves thoroughly till evenly distributedofe onugbu_bitter leaves mixed in

28. Add last Knorr cubeofe onugbu_knorr cube_02

29. Stir Knorr cube in thoroughly. Still over medium heat, let boil for 5-10 minutesofe onugbu_knorr cube mixed in

30. Add Palm Oilofe onugbu_palm oil added

31. Stir palm oil in thoroughly till evenly distributed. Let soup simmer 5 more minutesofe onugbu_simmering

32. People, announcement, you have Ofe Onugbu, gather round, time to eat!ofe onugbu_bitter leaf soup
(DO YOU SEE THAT MARROW IN THE TOP RIGHT?! Sweet baby Jesus, I love me some marrow!)

ofe onugbu_04

Ingredient Info:

  1. Bitter Leaf is known as ‘Onugbu’ in Igbo and ‘Ewuro’ in Yoruba. It does have a slightly bitter taste to it, but not so overpowering that you can’t enjoy your meal.
  2. Bitter leaves are also purported to have numerous health benefits, being that it is high in Zinc. I’m not aware of any studies done, so don’t quote me on that!
  3. Ede is the dried version of cocoyam. I get it from an African store owned by a Nigerian. I doubt African oriented stores run by Mexicans will have it. You’d have to really narrow down the stores in your area. In Nigeria, you might come across it much easier.


  1. Ede is dried cocoyam flour, so, when you go to the store looking for this, please and please, do not purchase just cocoyam flour (similar to pounded yam flour or plantain flour). That type of flour is eaten with soups, not in soups.
  2. This is what Ede/dried cocoyam flour looks like up close:ofe onugbu, ede, dried cocoyam flour
  3. Note the variegation in the flour, it is usually two shades of brown, a lighter and a darker brown, with the darker brown looking like large salt grains.
  4. Ede/dried cocoyam flour has no noticeable taste to it, quite bland, but it does have a slightly (only very slightly) rancid odor. This does not translate at all in the cooking process, so have no fear!
  5. If you are unable to find Ede/dried cocoyam flour, you can always use the actual cocoyam (yes, the cocoyam itself), boil it and mash it into a paste. Don’t go pounding it and make it into a solid ball, now, that’s not what we need to make it work in the soup.
  6. Ede/dried cocoyam flour serves as a thickener in the soup, much like Egusi/melon seeds act as a thickener. If you add too much at a time, it can quickly become lumpy and thick. To rectify that, just keep adding water in small increments to thin it out.
  7. When adding the water, always stir after each addition to make sure it’s not becoming too thin. The final result shouldn’t be too watery, neither should it be too thick, it should find a happy medium. (See final photo at the end of recipe for consistency).
  8. If you do get and use the dried cocoyam flour, when adding it, there is a trick to it. That trick is to add the flour to a serving spoon, while the spoon is still full with the powder, take that spoon with the contents down to the bottom of the pot. While the spoon and flour are at the bottom of the pot, stir it around, quickly dispersing the flour. Repeat till amount of flour specified is used up. This trick is to prevent the flour from getting lumpy.
  9. It’ll take a few tries to perfect and I don’t always get it right myself. You can always just sprinkle the flour over the mixture and immediately stir.
  10. The bitter leaves I used had already been washed and pre-packaged at the store. So, there was no need for excess cleaning to rid it of sand and dirt. If you purchase the ‘extra’ fresh version, that hasn’t been frozen, be sure to thoroughly rinse to clean, otherwise, you will be eating sand and dirt.
  11. You can always alter the amount of dried fish and pepper to suit your taste.
  12. Ofe Onugbu doesn’t need copious amounts of bitter leaves. You want enough to distribute through the soup, but not so much that it overwhelms the soup.

Serving Suggestion:

With Semolina (a favorite of mine for Eastern soups) and Vitamalt (another favorite and staple for soups)ofe onugbu_ss



The Recipe Cost of $65.88 is approximate for me in US dollars, but should be used an estimate only. Please keep price fluctuations & exchange rates in mind. If you’re based in the US, the grocery store(s) you frequent might have the same items cheaper or more expensive than what I purchased.

If you’re international, please keep in mind that exchange rates vary constantly. I recommend using this site to convert it from US dollars to your local currency. You might also have some of the ingredients at home already, thereby reducing the cost.

If you’d prefer to see an individual ingredient cost breakdown, let me know!


Enjoy :)

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Rating: 7.9/10 (14 votes cast)
Ofe Onugbu (Bitter Leaf Soup), 7.9 out of 10 based on 14 ratings

78 Responses to "Ofe Onugbu (Bitter Leaf Soup)"

  1. NikkiSho says:

    Looks so yummy!!! i like the step by step picture tutorial

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Nikki!

      It is! Glad you like :)

    • anonymous says:

      Sorry, am not trying to be scars-tic here, but in Nigeria, we dnt blend crayfish and pepper, we pound it, and also your bitter leave is not suppose to be as dark and dry as this, it is suppose to be fresh to bring out the real test of your soup. please am still learning also.

      • Yetunde says:


        Everyone cooks differently and has different methods to get the same or similar outcomes. I’m all about the outcome/final result, use whatever method you feel comfortable with to achieve the results you’re happy with. If you like it, I love it.

        The bitter leaves are as I purchased them, nothing I can do about that and I don’t have an issue with it. Again, whatever you’re comfortable with, I don’t claim to be a know all, but what I have learned, I share as I know it.

  2. Azuka says:

    My mouth’s watering. Now if I can find cocoyam somewhere…

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey you!

      Lol, the flour might be harder to come across, but I don’t think you should have too much of a problem finding the actual cocoyam

  3. dat1okrikababe says:

    Hi Yetunde the soup looks yummy; I’ve cooked bitter leaf soup only twice and the first time was a huge disaster, it was horrible…you pics like always are so inviting.

    • Yetunde says:

      Oh no! What went wrong?

      Thank you :) Maybe you can give it another go and see how it turns out this time, third time is always a charm ;)

      • dat1okrikababe says:

        sadly i think that is one soup i probably wont cook again, i had did it for an ex-bf that was his favorite soup..

  4. Katie says:

    What can you not cook?This looks absolutely fabulous- you just need to chow it down with some ,”akpu” and a chilled drink and you’re good to go. Awesome job girl.

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Katie!

      Lol, definitely not everything, but I try ;) Thank you! I’ve never had akpu before, but the chilled drink is an absolute must and a couch after, lol

  5. stephanie says:

    Yetunde,i appreciate all dat u do.especially the pictorials dat separates u asrm d rest.am 4rm anambra statenu 4got one very major ingredients ie OGIRI,without dis in igbo land,believe mother -inlaws-will drive us 4rm d kitchen.tenks nd keep up d gud work.

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Stephanie!

      Aww, thank you, I appreciate it so much! You know, I can’t wrap my head around Ogiri, it’s similar to Iru (if not the same, as I believe they are both african locust beans that are then fermented), which Yorubas use, and I don’t use either in cooking. I can’t get over the stench of it.

      To me, it smells like bacteria, I mean, if you think back to entry college level Biology classes with a laboratory component, the one lab where you have to cultivate bacteria, you walk in the class and the stench is overpowering. The way it smells is entirely too reminiscent of bacteria for me, just awful.

      However, I imagine, with the amount of people that use it, it must not translate when added to soups, but it’s very psychological for me, maybe even too much so. Obviously, because I don’t use it, doesn’t mean it cannot/shouldn’t be use, for anyone who can tolerate the smell, by all means add it to your soups, but it’s a definite no from me.

      Hope that explains that!

  6. stephen says:

    hey. so what if i dont find coco yam or dried cocoyam flour? what else do i use?
    and i sirta thought that for all soups u needed to use spinach or some other sort of watery vegetable ( if u know what i mean) .

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey you!

      That’s a tough one, because cocoyam is a key ingredient for the dish. You might have a harder time finding the cocoyam flour, but I think you should be able to find the actual cocoyam in African stores or perhaps, Hispanic or Caribbean stores. If that fails, online vendors might carry it.

      No, not necessarily. Some soups are by nature, more watery or thicker than others and I don’t think it primarily boils down to the water content of the vegetable. Soups that have spinach added to them, might tend to lean watery, because spinach is a watery vegetable and releases more of its water content when wilted. Most native Nigerian vegetables don’t lean watery, except perhaps waterleaf (for which the primary substitute in the West is spinach). Other factors add to the water content of soups, stock and other blended vegetables being the main two.

      Hope that helps!

    • Judith Odili says:

      You can use Achi.. It’s a soup thickener… I never use cocoyam to make the soup…

      Nice job Yetunde….

      • Yetunde says:

        Hey Judith!

        Thank you! Thanks for the tip too!

  7. stephen says:

    k well its 12 40 am,. im bored and a bit depressed and im on avertsy cooking website, and making bitter leaf soup, tomato stew, fried plantain, scrabled eggs drenched in soy sauce, tomatoes and onions, as well as fried rice. and yeah, im a guy. other guys go to the gym and relieve their boredom and work through depressive moods and i step in the kitchen and cook. anyways. its rather too late now to find the coco yam or coco yam flour to thicken the soup, so im gonna call my mom, and find out if i can use melon, thus make it a melon bitter leaf mix soup, if thats possible. oh and i forgot to add, im also making some southern style biscuits. yeah i cook, and clean and im straight. Lord have mercy. neways wish me luck. and thanks for the website.

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Stephen!

      Aww, wish I could give you a bear hug right now! Life can be stressful, but no need to be depressed, it’s never worth the extra stress. Cooking is therapeutic! Don’t knock it’s abilities! I imagine you could use melon/egusi and make it similar to egusi soup. Ooh, I love Southern style biscuits, especially KFC’s and Red Lobster’s cheddar biscuits, yum!

      That sure is a combo you have going with the egusi, scrambled eggs (in soy!), fried rice and dodo, lawd have mercy! Hope you didn’t get a stomach upset with all that! Absolutely nothing wrong with a man that cooks and cleans. Do you know how many women are looking for that, especially one that cleans up after himself!! Don’t get me started on that, I could go on and on…

      Sending you an email…

    • Judith Odili says:

      I have made egusi using bitterleaf soup before… and it comes out really nice. I say you can use egusi to thicken.

      • Yetunde says:

        Egusi is, in a sense, a soup thickener, so I can see how/why it would work. To me, I’d be making Egusi soup if I used Egusi, lol

  8. kelly chukunyere says:

    good alternative method of cooking ofeonugbu and it looks fab!!

    as per the cocoyam flour, its not hard to come by. Ghanaians use cocoyam flour as an alternative to semovita. so most Ghanaian stalls stock it.(in london sha). Also, instead of adding the flour directly, i usually make mine into solid-form like garri and add them in small balls. That way, if it becomes too thick, i can remove d balls.

    And have you considered adding the oil before the coco-yam as it would blend better….. just a thot. Additionally, OGIRI is well rotten dawadawa.

    All d best

    • Yetunde says:

      Hi Kelly!

      Thanks for the info! I tend to add oil as one of the last steps for this soup and haven’t had any issues. Whatever works for you though! Yup, Ogiri (Igbo), Iru (Yoruba) and Dawadawa (Hausa) are one and the same thing.

  9. Chimdalu says:

    This soup is the ULTIMATE Nigerian soup hands down. None can compare not even okra soup, nope not at all. When my Mom first made this cha! I was terrified, I thought it looked and smelled disgusting lol. But men when I had my first taste I was hooked for life. She rarely ever made it because the ingredients are hard to come by in here in america. It is so hard to find a good Nigerian food grocery. My favorite ingredient is of course the bitter leaf, but secondly the thing that smells like poop lol. It really does, at least to me it does. But I have attempted to cook this, and when I did as soon as I put the ingredient that smells like poop in it, true bitter leaf was made. I was in heaven all though I had too bitter of a soup lol. It was truly delicious. Thank you once again for having a most wonderful recipe up. Haven’t read through it yet, but I just really wanted to comment.

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Chimdalu!

      Oooh weee! I can’t do ogiri, I just can’t, mind over matter wont’ even work on me for that. I don’t doubt it makes the soup taste better, but mba, no can do!

      You’re welcome! Read through, your thoughts are always welcome!

  10. Hannah says:

    and i like iru or ogiri as u call it and i thought Yourubas couldn’t live without it as i think it’s more common in youruba communities, not like i can’t do without it but soups like egusi and efo, i love some iru in it as it gives it a should i say nicer taste to it, i feel you on the smell though but i tend to grind it with crayfish and not an awful amount of it and put it in soup and i quite like it, anyways i guess different tastes/smells for different people. come to think of it, can we not process iru without the smell so people appreciate it better
    as for this soup, it looks scintillating, i didnt grow up eating a lot of bitter leaf in soups, am sure my mum or a relative must have prepared it at some point but i didn’t have much of it. i remember you had to wash the life out of the fresh bitter leaf to rid it of the bitter taste and i’m not sure i fancied it much but will be using it now as hubby is akwa ibom and likes it a lot. hopefully i won’t cook anything bitter for him.
    then i love oha and okazi soups, they are ibo soups i guess, do u have any recipies in store?



    • Yetunde says:

      Hey you!

      That would be amazing if they could process iru to get rid of that smell. Grinding it with crayfish sounds like a good idea, but that smell is so overpowering for me, it just makes me weak, lol. Oha/ora soup and bitterleaf soup are similar, the main difference would be in the leaves used. Recipes for those will be up by year end.

      Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

  11. Chy says:

    I live in Nigeria and it’s a common recipe among the Igbos. I’ve cooked it before and I intend to cook it again. Maybe we should add some snails or periwinkles….
    Nice one, Yetunde

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Chy!

      You should most definitely cook it again! The larger snails I think might work better than periwinkles, just my preference though.

      Thanks :)

  12. laraah! says:

    is my husband not in trouble? glad i stumbled on dis site. my husband is delta while m yoruba. now i can spoil him silly with differnt varieties he wont hav 2 gist me abt his mama’s cookings again. honey lets go there….

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Laraah!

      Yes o, he surely is, lol! Say it again!!!!

  13. Adiya says:

    Your site is amazing!! I’ll definitely be coming back for directions.

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Adiya!

      Thank you!! Let me know if you have any questions once you start trying out the recipes!

      And, um, your site, I love! Will be taking the time to read through!

  14. Kizzy Broaden says:

    Hello Thanks for this site. I am trying the Bitter Leaf soup and MoinMoin for the very first time tonight. I am cooking for a Nigerian Doctor at my hospital for her suprise birthday party tomorrow and sure dont want to mess this up! I see that you do not recommend fufu as you would use ede. however the guy at the store told me fufu was to be use in the soup. I didnot know any better since again this is all new to me. Do you think the soup will be ok with fufu? See I live in Louisiana and finding these ingredients was a bit challenging. Well it 1250am and there is no store open now so I must use what I have and hope for the best. I will keep you posted.

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Kizzy!

      Thanks! You’re most welcome! Aww, that’s so nice of you. I’m sure she’ll be pleasantly surprised! If you can’t find ede, you can use the cocoyam flour. However, I would have preferred if you tried it once before making the final dish to know what results to expect. It might turn out okay after all, but be sure to keep me posted, I’m curious!

      Good luck!

  15. Kizzy Broaden says:

    Sorry for leaving duplicates. I thought the first comment was deleted. lol

    • Yetunde says:

      No worries, I deleted the other one ;)

  16. Nna men. says:

    Chei. Without this blog a guy would be starving in NYC. Most babes can’t cook the authentic stuff anymore. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Yetunde says:

      Lol @ your name AND email! A mess!

      You’re more than welcome! Glad you’re finding the blog helpful! I’d love to see some of the dishes you’ve made!

  17. adline says:

    Beautiful pics dere how com u didn’t add ogiri

    • Yetunde says:

      Hi Adline,

      Thank you! :) I mentioned to another reader on this post that I don’t like the way ogiri smells and I simply can’t bring myself to cook with it.

  18. Salove says:

    I love this am going to try it n feed u back.

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Salove!

      Go right ahead! Let me know how it goes and take pics too, for more detailed feedback!

  19. adesola says:

    This site of yours has been of tremendous help to me,just recently got tired of our usual yoruba soups so decided to try something new and this recipe struck me,just finished cooking it and I think I did a pretty good job(even if I say so myself,lol).already sent some off to my mum who’s my personal food critic(guinea pig,lol).thanks again dear

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Adesola!

      Thank you! I’m always pleased to know that the site is of help to someone out there. Glad the soup turned out well and it sure is a change from regular soups, so I totally hear you there! Let me know your mum’s feedback, curious to know what she thinks/says!

      You’re most welcome :)

  20. Judith O says:

    How do you get the bitterleaf to not be so bitter? The last time I tried.. I washed until my hands got tired… it was still bitter in the soup… any tips?

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Judith!

      Bitterleaves are naturally bitter, so it’s difficult to entirely succeed in removing the bitter taste. I can recommend though, that you can soak the leaves in room temperature water and leave to sit for some hours so it pulls out the bitterness into the water. Discard the water and use the leaves.

      Conversely, you can always use a mix of vegetables, so more of the other vegetable and less of the bitterleaves.

      Hope that helps! Keep me posted.

      • Ranachuna says:

        Most people will question this but I boil/steam the bitter leaf for 5minutes then drain the water . Wash in cold water and you are ready to use .

        Also your method of putting the Palm oil last is the way I make mine , it’s gives it a finer look and the oil / redness is not lost in the bitter leaf which is very green/black.
        Keep up the good work . Love your site.

        • Yetunde says:

          Hey Ranachuna!

          That actually works too, boiling the bitter leaf, it’s always about making a recipe work for you. Thanks love, hope to read more comments from you!

  21. Maureen says:

    This is my first time here and gosh! I must say the pictures look fab. Fab enough for me to want to try this out sometime BUT I got stopped at the one with the garlic in it…. Seriously garlic in true Ofe-onugbu is very brave – must be an acquired taste or an evolution but the pics are so good I will try it out…. Also to all adventurous cooks out there : Dadawa and Iru and Ogiri are NOT one and the same,they don’t taste or smell like each other either.The only thing they have in common is their strong smells but even these are different. I’m with those who side with the Ogiri-magic…its unmatched in satisfaction terms…. I know it smells “strongly” (:-)) but thats before it goes into the pot and it unfailingly makes the pot hands down delicious; if you get good quality and know how to use it albeit delicately.. Great site, all the same…and like I said, will try this with garlic for sure… Forgive me…just a Naija-chick with a thing for our soups. Kudos!!

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Maureen!

      Thank you! I typically use garlic cloves to boil meat as it helps get them soft faster and by the time the meat is soft, the garlic cloves are either really soft enough to mash or dissolved into the stock and the taste is barely noticeable.

      I always thought Dawadawa/Iru/Ogiri are one and the same, just different names based on regions, but I don’t use either, so I really couldn’t argue even if I wanted to, lol! I keep saying I want to try it, because it’s supposed to be so, so wonderful in soups, but that smell though…

      Garlic is totally optional, but it’s really up to you to add it or leave it out!

      Thanks again! Hope to see more comments from you :)

  22. Maureen says:

    Making bitterleaf a little less bitter…? Try adding a bit of palm oil and salt when washing about the 3rd time (when all the foam is gone) – I dont know how it works but it does. Good luck!

    • Yetunde says:

      Wow! Would’ve never guessed that! Thanks for sharing!

  23. Nwunye says:

    My mother used to boil onugbu if she didn’t wash it herself. That is if she got washed leaves from tge market as opposed to fresh leaves from my grandmother’s farm. Not too long that it’s cooked, just enough that foam rises on top as it boils. Takes the bitterness right out!

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Nwunye!

      Didn’t even think of that! Thanks for sharing!

  24. Harriet says:

    i must commend u on ur effort in trying to teach pple how to prepare dishes but i must not also fail to make a correction. Firstly, you do not seasoned the meats that are meant for bitter leaf soup wither either onion or garlic because it will change its natural taste you can only do that in vegetable soup or stew etc. Secondly, oil do not come last, it comes after seasoning the meats so it will cook or boil well to avoid being sticky to the mouth. finally, ur onugbu(bitter leaf) is very scanty. you need more but not too much. no offence meant cos we are all learning. thank you

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Harriet,

      Thanks. Cooking is always personal and this recipe, as with others, is based off how I like to cook and how I first learned to make Ofe Onugbu. You and anyone else are always welcome to cook this dish and any others on the site as you prefer.

  25. Daniella Adura says:

    Thank God, can finally learn myself witout payin **winks**

  26. Lara says:

    Look here, take your time. I read this at 10.30am , it’s 3.38 pm . My kitchen is clean and my home “smells native “. My four year old declared this his “best taste!” lol.
    Thanks. I was in Naija in 2010 and my sister’s housekeeper taught me how to cook Onugbu soup but your recipe motivated me. I put my oil earlier with meat , used fresh eddoe , washed dried bitter leaves and did not have smoked catfish, so I picked up some smoked, salted herring from the neighborhood Asian store just for the smoked smell and taste.

    Bomb.com. I tell you.

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Lara!

      Lol, nice! I love that you made and modified it, even though it obviously took a while! Awesome! I’m sure it was bomb.com

  27. oregbesan says:

    I was tired of Yoruba soup and a friend taught me, I cooked it for my family on Friday. It was delicious.

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Oregbesan!

      Lol, I get the same way too sometimes. Glad you enjoyed it!

  28. Chukwunonso says:

    You should start trying to use ‘ogiri’ for bitterleaf soup cos there’s nothing like it.You will definitely see the magic when you use it.To me,bitterleaf soup without ogiri is incomplete.Thanks for what you’re doing on this site.

    • Yetunde says:


      I typically use it in Egusi or efo riro, but didn’t think to use it for this one. However, yes iru/ogiri does add it’s own unique flavor to it.

      You’re welcome, hope to read more comments from you! :)

  29. Ifeezie says:

    Okay, I’ll score you 80%on this. Its my fave soup and also THE special delicacy my people are known for. Served with Akpu/Santana, its pure heaven. Would’ve scored you a hundred but for the lack of Ogili,dried fish and stockfish and also your inclusion of garlic and onions! (What)! That would definitely mess up the taste. Guess that’s the oyibo way lol. All good job all the same.

    • Yetunde says:

      Lol, love you for that! Thanks though…

  30. Ifeezie says:

    I agree with you Yeti but you know every recipe has the very original version. Though everyone is welcome to modify it to their preference. I’m not just Igbo but also from the parts that own the soup.Harriet is right. You lose the “native taste of Onugbu or Ora when you add onions and garlic or exclude ogili. But i still love your site die. Please I want to learn how to make Gbegiri soup oo. Any tips? Would really appreciate your help thanks.

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Ifeezie!

      I’ve been roasted on this and the Edikangikong one, I posted how I learned it, so no offense taken ;) we’re all learning. I don’t like Gbegiri, hence, it not yet being on the site, it’ll be posted, one day :D

  31. shirley says:

    Nice one dear…. Love your site, i just came across it yesterday. Can’t wait to start cooking with Your recipe. Winks.. :)

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Shirley!

      Thanks love! Let me know how the recipes turn out :)

  32. Gking says:

    Wow!!! Just one question…. Are you married?

  33. Alexa B says:

    WOW! I was looking around for a good, easy to follow recipe for bitterleaf soup and I found this on your site. My memories of the soup and the preparation were foggy as it’s been more than 10 years since I cooked it. Complicating it all was the fact that my husband is Anambra so he likes his with ogili which I didn’t have (that stuff smells, oh my gosh!). Anyhuu, I decided to give it a try with the worst case scenario being that hubby would hate it and I’ll eat the pot of soup myself, lol. Fast forward to when soup was ready, my husband ate (licked) some and a smile broke over his handsome face and he went for a second helping. After licking his fingers dry, he declared that it reminded him of his grandmother’s cooking. Whaaaat!!! He didn’t think it would be this tasty without ogili and asked what I put in the soup to make it this good. Now, he’s contemplating not even bringing ogili back when he visits home in a few weeks. I did good, hehehe…

    FYI: I love marrow too and added some to this soup, mmmm yum. Sorry for the my long gist.

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Alexa!

      In total love with your comment! Glad he loved it and you found the recipe too. Not a long list at all, I love all the details :)

  34. Ekes Chima says:

    Thats a good one there. Bitter leaf soup is the da bomb.I want to advise everyone reading this to eat natural foods especially leafy vegetables which have beneficial effects to human health.

    • Yetunde says:

      Thanks love.

  35. Dele says:

    I have seen people use corn starch instead of cocoyam here in the US and it tasted delicious. Not sure how it should taste with cocoyam anyways as I am not Ibo…lol

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