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Onogbu Soup Recipe

Onugbu soup, also known as Bitterleaf soup, is a popular Nigerian soup made from the leaves of the bitterleaf plant. It is a delicious and nutritious soup that is enjoyed across Nigeria and West Africa. The soup is traditionally made with a combination of meats and fish, along with spices and palm oil. In this recipe, we will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to make Onugbu soup from scratch.

Originating from the Igbo tribe in Eastern Nigeria, Onugbu soup is a traditional food that has been enjoyed for generations. The soup is often served with fufu or eba, which are starchy Nigerian staples made from cassava flour. The recipe has been passed down from generation to generation, and the ingredients used have remained largely the same over the years.

Now, let's get started with the recipe!


  • 1 pound of beef or goat meat, cut into bite-sized pieces

  • 1 pound of smoked fish, cleaned and deboned

  • 1 cup of dried shrimp, cleaned and deveined

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 tablespoons of ground crayfish

  • 2 tablespoons of ground pepper

  • 2 tablespoons of palm oil

  • 2 cups of chopped bitterleaf leaves

  • Salt to taste

  • Water


  • Large pot with a lid

  • Wooden spoon or spatula

  • Blender

  • Chopping board and knife

  • Colander


  1. Rinse the beef or goat meat and place it in a large pot. Add enough water to cover the meat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let the meat simmer until it is tender, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

  2. While the meat is cooking, rinse the smoked fish and dried shrimp in a colander and set them aside.

  3. Heat the palm oil in a separate pan over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic and sauté until the onion is translucent.

  4. Add the smoked fish and dried shrimp to the pan with the onion and garlic. Stir well and let the mixture cook for 5-10 minutes.

  5. Add the ground crayfish and ground pepper to the pan with the smoked fish and shrimp. Stir well and let the mixture cook for an additional 5-10 minutes.

  6. Once the meat is tender, remove it from the pot and set it aside. Reserve the broth in the pot.

  7. Add the bitterleaf leaves to the pot with the meat broth. Let the leaves cook for 10-15 minutes until they are soft.

  8. While the bitterleaf leaves are cooking, blend the smoked fish and shrimp mixture with a little bit of water until it forms a smooth paste.

  9. Add the blended smoked fish and shrimp mixture to the pot with the bitterleaf leaves. Stir well to combine.

  10. Return the meat to the pot and let the soup simmer for an additional 15-20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

  11. Add salt to taste.

Allergy Concerns: This recipe contains meat, fish, and shellfish. If you have any allergies, please be sure to check the ingredients carefully before making this recipe.

Calories Intake: One serving of Onugbu soup (about 1 cup) contains approximately 300-400 calories, depending on the size of the meat and fish used.

Healthy Alternatives: To make this recipe even healthier, you can use leaner cuts of meat or substitute the meat with tofu or seitan for a vegetarian option. You can also use a healthier oil such as olive oil instead of palm oil.

Spicy Level: The ground pepper in this recipe adds a nice level of spiciness, but you can adjust the amount to your liking. If you prefer a milder soup, reduce the amount of ground pepper or omit it altogether.

Kitchen Equipment and Ingredients on Amazon:

We hope you find this recipe and information helpful! Enjoy making and eating your homemade Onugbu soup!

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