July 14, 2024

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#Cookingguilde: Ofe Nsala or Nigerian White Soup

#Cookingguilde: Ofe Nsala or Nigerian White Soup

Nigerian White Soup, also known as Ofe Nsala, is a delicious and aromatic soup traditionally prepared by the Igbo people of Nigeria. It is made with a combination of fish or meat, assorted spices, and a unique flavoring called “Uda” or “Ehu” seeds. Here’s a simplified recipe to make Nigerian White Soup:


500g assorted meat or fish (such as goat meat, beef, chicken, or catfish)
1 tablespoon ground crayfish
2 Uda seeds (Ehu seeds)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons of chopped onions
1 tablespoon of pepper (adjust to your spice preference)
2 tablespoons of palm oil
2 Utazi leaves, thinly sliced (optional)
Salt to taste
Stock cubes (optional) for added flavor
Water for cooking

  1. Prepare the Meat or Fish: Wash and season the meat or fish with salt, onions, and any desired seasoning cubes. If using fish, clean and cut into desired portions.
  2. Prepare the Uda Seeds: Lightly roast the Uda seeds in a pan until they become aromatic. Allow them to cool, then peel off the outer shell and grind the inner seeds into a fine powder. Set aside.
  3. Cook the Meat or Fish: Place the seasoned meat or fish in a pot, add water, and cook until tender. If using tougher meats like goat meat or beef, you may need to use a pressure cooker to hasten the cooking process. Remove any scum that forms on the surface of the pot during cooking.
  4. Add Flavors: Once the meat or fish is cooked, add the ground crayfish, minced garlic, chopped onions, pepper, and palm oil. Stir well to combine the flavors.
  5. Add Uda Seeds: Add the ground Uda seeds to the pot, ensuring they are evenly distributed in the soup. This will provide a distinct flavor to the white soup.
  6. Adjust Seasoning: Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning with salt and stock cubes if desired. Remember to consider the existing saltiness of the meat or fish before adding more salt.
  7. Simmer: Allow the soup to simmer on low heat for about 5-10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
  8. Optional: If using Utazi leaves, add them to the soup a few minutes before turning off the heat. The leaves will provide a slightly bitter taste that complements the overall flavor.
  9. Serve: Nigerian White Soup is typically enjoyed with pounded yam, fufu, or other starchy accompaniments. Serve hot and enjoy the flavorful and aromatic soup!

Note: This recipe can be customized by adding additional vegetables such as uziza leaves, scent leaves, or bitter leaves for added nutritional value and flavor. Feel free to adjust the ingredients and measurements according to your taste preferences.

Duru Eunice Adaku

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