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Ofe Nsala "Nsala soup"- White soup

Ofe Nsala "Nsala soup" served with Pounded yam
Nsala soup also known as "Ofe Nsala" by the igbos, "Afia efere" by the Calabar people and "White soup" in English is a very popular delicacy in the eastern and southern parts of Nigeria.  It's is known as white soup because this is one of the major Nigerian soups that doesn't require palm oil though some people add very little sometimes. It is also one of the easiest one pot soups I enjoy making.
Before making this soup, I'd prepared my mind that I was going all Traditional with the preparation starting from the mouth watering pounded yam swallow which is the perfect side dish for the Soup to the pounding of the local spices such as Ata rodo "scotch bonnet", Mpkuru uziza seeds, Uda seeds e.t.c. After making this soup, deep within me I knew I had done something right. This was because the whole pot of soup was Used up in one night...lol! The whole Fam kept thanking me even till the next day. This soup would definitely get everyone asking for more.


How to prepare white soup (Ofe Nsala recipe)

• 1 medium sized Cat Fish
• 500g Beef (Red meat)
• 1 medium sized Dry fish
• 1 small Stock fish (I used the head)
• 1 Red Onion
• 2 Scotch Bonnets "Atarodo"
• 1 tbsp. Peppersoup spice or 1 tbsp. Ground Uda seeds, Ehuru seeds & Mkpuruziza seeds
• 3 Stock cubes, Crushed
• Salt (To taste)
• 2 tbsp. Crayfish, Ground
• 2 cups Yam , pounded - Thickener
• 10 Uziza leaves "False cubeb"
• 5 Utazi leaves "Gongronema latifolium"- Optional
• 2 Small sized Ogiri Okpei
Ngoloo or Isam (Periwinkle) (As desired)

View the steps Below
Calories per serving: 0
Fat per serving: 0

Directions :::
Preparation of the catfish, dry fish & stock fish:
For this soup any type of meat or seafood can be used. For this, i made use of Red beef and sea foods like Stock fish, Dry Fish, White Periwinkles "Ngoloo(igbo)/ Ngongo (Crossriver) and Catfish ".

• To prepare the stock fish and dry fish, soak them both in hot water for about 5 mins till they regain moisture and soften. Remove the bones from the dry fish, Rinse the stock fish and dry fish - set aside.

• To prepare the periwinkles, Remove the eyes and gut of the periwinkles, Rinse - set aside. For this recipe, i made use of just Ngoloo which is the white periwinkles.

• To prepare the catfish, soak in Hot water till all the slime removes (View the full process Here). Rinse severally and set aside- set aside

Preparation of the pepper & onions
If you've got a blender, simply blend the onion and pepper together with a little water. But to do it traditionally as i did, you could simply pound the onion and pepper - set aside

Preparation of the leaves & Ogiri
For this soup, you can make use of any type of ogiri such as Ogiri egusi, Ogiri Okpei and Dawadawa. For the Igbos, Ogiri Egusi is mostly preferred because of it's very strong Aroma but if you don't have it, you could simply use Ogiri okpei(Igbo) or dawadawa(Hausa). For this, i used Ogiri Okpei which i Simply dissolved in a little amount in water & then set aside.

Preparation of the Utazi & Uziza leaves
The Use of  Utazi is optional and should be added sparingly. it's used to give the soup a slightly bitter taste while the Uziza which is Very Hot/ peppery adds an aromatic flavor & taste to the soup. Avoid adding too much since the scotch bonnet (Atarodo) is being used and also, Chop the utazi and uziza leaves - Set aside

Preparation of the pounded yam
Learn to make pounded yam from scratch
Learn to make pounded yam in a blender

To prepare the soup::::
Step 1: Place the Red beef in a medium sized pot and add a little water just enough to go half way through the beef in the pot. Add the pounded or blended onion and pepper, salt and stock cubes. cook for about 15 mins till a little bit tender.

Step 2: Once the meat is tender, Add some more water (The amount of water you add would be the quantity of soup you'd end up with), Pour in the dissolved ogiri and add the Cat fish, washed stock fish and dry fish, Peppersoup spice / ground uda & mkpuru uziza seeds, Cray fish. leave to boil for about 5 mins

Step 3: Once it starts to boil, Add the tablespoons of pounded yam, stir and cover the pot. The yam would dissolve and thicken the soup. Leave to cook for about 10 mins till it starts to boil and you are satisfied with the thickness. You could add more yam if you want it a little bit thicker.

Step 4: Add the Periwinkles, and chopped Uziza and utazi leaves. Reduce the heat and leave to simmer for for 3-5mins

Turn off your burner and serve with Pounded yam or you favorite Swallow

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  1. Chei! Dobby oooo! You have to come and do omugwo for me!

    1. No p nazor :D...Whenever you are ready ;)

  2. Ada oma osite ji si ike.

  3. Wow! This is lovely.
    Ofe Nsala and pounded yam is one of my best meal.
    I'll make it over the weekend.
    Weldone Dobby.

    1. Thanks Genny baby, do let us know how it goes k ;)

  4. Can I replace the yam with cocoyam as a thickner instead?

    1. Hi anon!
      i really wouldn't advice you to use cocoyam as a thickener because it "Draws" and therefore would make your soup draw a little so the answer would be No. Nsala soup is a thick version of pepper soup which shouldn't draw.

  5. Cocoyam is a good thickner for bitterleaf soup. Dobby, I'm salivating already. You are GOOD. More power to your elbow. My first time visiting this blog and I'm loving it already.

    1. Awww!!! Thanks Chnenye. Glad to have you here :)

  6. Where have I been? I just stumbled on this blog on wives connection. Dis is my goto blog henceforth. Ur blog is totally awesome. I'll try as much recipes as I can. Pls kindly visit n follow my blog. .. www.makeupcubicle.blogspot.com . Ur comments will b highly appreciated.

    1. Thank you cyndy. Glad to have you here.

  7. When boiling d beef is it necessary to put d pounded yam? Can one just boil the beef the normal way with the curry and thyme n then put the pounded yam later while addin oda ingredients?

    1. Yes you can boil the beef the normal way but with the stock fish and dry fish. The pounded yam can come later.

  8. Chai! This looks so good...Mehn! Your blog is my favourite food blog joor...

  9. Please can I cook Nsala soup with achi?

    1. yes achi can be used for thickening but yam is the major thickener mostly used.

  10. Girl you got me salivating!! I've never had this meal before but I'm certain it's delicious!!


  11. My first time visiting this blog and I'm loving it already.

  12. Am salivating already. Pls can I use any other fresh fish apart from cat fish. I don't really like cat fish. But needs to cook this soup urgently for my husband.

    1. Yes you can use any other fresh fish apart from catfish to cook this.

    2. Dobby u ddnt add oil bt why is the soup looking like there's oil in d picture

  13. Hi dobby! I just tried this recipe and it came out wonderfully. What better meal to prepare for my hubby on his bday today. Tnx for helping a sister out.

    1. you're welcome Margaret< Thanks for the feedback.

  14. Hello Dobby is ogiri okpei same as dawadawa and can I omit it and use peppersoup spice instead

  15. Pls do you have a food book where all recipes are written. Pls I need one. Thanks

    1. Hi Ifeoma, Currently i don't but i'm working on it.

  16. Pls do you have a food book where all recipes are written. Pls I need one. Thanks

  17. Pls do you have a food book where all recipes are written. Pls I need one. Thanks


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