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Ofe Owerri


Recipe for Ofe Owerri

Ofe Owerri is the traditional soup of Owerri people of Imo State. It is a culinary delight, a soup prepared with love. I call it the royal cuisine of the Owerri because the soup plays host to a wide variety of meat and fish and is highly nutritious too. Ofe Owerri is also not budget-friendly; so if you’re looking to cut cost, this soup is not for you.

The ingredients for making Ofe Owerri can be easily procured from most local markets within Nigeria. So, if you want to make this signature soup of the Owerri people but don’t know how to go about it, let me share my recipe with you.


Assorted meat (beef, kpomo, shaki, cowleg, snail)


Smoked fish

Dry fish

Ugu leaves

Okazi leaves


Fresh pepper

Cocoyam paste

Palm oil

1 wrap of locust beans

Stock cubes


How to Cook

The first step in making this soup is to boil the cocoyam. Please note that cocoyam is boiled with its skin.

Next, rinse the meat very well to get rid of sand. Make sure every trace of sliminess is eliminated from the snail. Also, rinse the stockfish, smoked fish and dry fish with warm water then set it aside in a bowl. Season the meat with stock cubes and salt and cook on medium heat till it is tender. It is important to mention here that when boiling different kinds of meat, it’s advisable to start by boiling the tougher ones like cow leg, shaki, and kpomo first. When they’re slightly tender, add beef or other softer meats like stockfish and snail.

When the cocoyam is tender, turn off the heat and peel the back. You can either blend the cocoyam with a food processor or pound with pestle and mortar till it’s smooth. Then blend crayfish and pepper. Rinse and slice the ugu and okazi leaves. Once the meat is tender, add more water to the meat stock; it should be enough to prepare the quantity of soup you desire.

Add palm oil, locust bean and the blended ingredients to the pot. Allow the soup to come to a boil. Taste for salt and seasoning and adjust if necessary. Add the dry fish to the pot as well as the cocoyam yam paste. This paste is the thickener used in cooking this soup. I usually add the cocoyam in lumps for easy dissolution. Also, note that your preferred consistency for this soup determines the quantity of cocoyam you put. If you want your soup thick, add more cocoyam. If you want it watery, add less cocoyam.

Once the cocoyam paste is dissolved, add the smoked fish. Stir in the okazi leaves. Leave it to simmer for about three minutes. Add the ugu leaves, stir again and turn off the heat.

Food is ready. You can enjoy this soup with pounded yam, semovita, garri or fufu.

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Obiamaka Angela Udevi

Udevi, Obiamaka Angela holds a Master of Arts degree in History & International Studies. She's a freelance writer with a passion for food and healthy living. She can be contacted through her email address,



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