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How to Make Okoho Soup

Okoho soup is made from the Okoho stem and is eaten predominantly by the Idoma people of Benue state. The stick is also known as Ajara or Orogbolo by the Yoruba tribe, and Dafara by the Hausas. It is prepared with bush meat and is known for its slimy and ‘draw’ nature. The Okoho stem is highly medicinal and also aids digestion such that anyone who suffers constipation can eat it and get relief thereafter.


  • -1 medium-sized stick or stem of Okoho plant (pick an Okoho stick that is fresh and does not break when folded)
    – Dried fish (medium size) preferably dried catfish
    – 6 seeds of fresh pepper
    – Locust beans
    – Egusi (one cup)
    – Onions (one medium size)
    – Crayfish
    – 2 maggi cubes for seasoning (optional)
    – ¼ kilo of beef or dried bush meat.
    – Salt


  • Wash and peel the white layer of the Okoho stem by scraping the body gently with a knife, peel the Okoho into very thin strands and remove the rope like layer and discard the hard stick in the middle. Then wrap the bunch together, put it into a medium-sized bowl filled with hot water and let it soak for about 15 minutes. Wait for the water to simmer down a bit, so it doesn’t scald your hands, then start squeezing and pressing the sap from the strand until you obtain a very thick and slimy liquid from the strand. Remove the strands from the thick liquid and set aside.
  • Parboil the bush meat or beef with onions, ground pepper, Maggi (optional) and salt. Allow to boil.
  • When the dried meat is halfway boiled, pound your locust beans to become smooth and then add to the pot. Add dry fish as well and allow to cook for an extra 20 minutes.
  • Grind your egusi together with crayfish until very smooth. Put inside a bowl, add hot water just enough to make a very thick paste and start kneading till the egusi oil starts coming out. Cut and mold the kneaded egusi into balls. After molding the egusi balls, carefully drop them into the pot on fire and allow it cook for a few minutes or till they are firm to touch.
  • Carefully remove the egusi balls and meat from the pot with a cooking spoon and set aside. Then add your thick Okoho liquid into the boiling broth and set the heat on low for about 10 minutes.
  • Use your spoon or cooking broom to turn your soup, stir for about 5 minutes.
  • Add your meat and molded egusi balls, stir together for few minutes before turning off the heat.

Serve with pounded yam or any swallow of choice. Due to its extremely drawing nature, you must take care while eating to avoid shirt stains.


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Amara Adanna Ogbonna

Amara Adanna Ogbonna is a Christian, foodie, and lover of arts. She spends most of her time on Facebook.

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