Nsala Soup (White Soup)

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Nsala soup or White Soup or Ofe Nsala is a tasty, fast, and easy soup recipe that has its origins in the riverine areas of Nigeria.
This soup is perfect for a cold rainy day due to its spicy taste and because it is so easy to prepare, you can count on it to save the day when you run out on soup a few days before the big soup day. However, in this recipe, we would be discussing how to cook Nsala soup with goat meat and catfish.


What is Nsala Soup?

Ofe Nsala (Nsala Soup) is a delicious soup, popular in the eastern part of Nigeria. It is known as white soup because palm oil is not used for the preparation, unlike other traditional soups. It is a very rich fresh fish soup, traditionally made with Catfish.

Where Does Nsala Soup Come From?

Ofe Nsala is a delicacy peculiar to the Igbo tribe of Nigeria, especially the people of Anambra state.

Is Nsala Soup Medicinal?

The spices of this soup have many health benefits and can improve the absorption of other nutrient foods. White soup is shown to increase circulation and reduce the risk of heart problems

Is Nsala Soup Good For Pregnant Woman?

According to the NIGERIAN HEALTH BLOG, nsala soup is safe in pregnancy. There is no research-based study that has shown that ofe nsala is harmful to pregnant women and their unborn babies. Pregnant women can therefore enjoy the delicacy of white soup without fear of any side effects

Nsala Vs Afia Efere

Ofe Nsala is also similar to Afia Efere, which is the Efik-style white soup, but the extra condiments added to Afia Efere are what differentiates it from Nsala.

What Thickener Do I Use For My Nsala Soup?

The proper thickener used for Ofe Nsala is pounded yam but if you can’t source fresh yam, you can use Achi, yam flour, or Cocoyam. If you’re thinking of using Cocoyam, do remember Cocoyam has a slimy consistency and this will affect the consistency of your soup.

Variations and Substitute

  1. Catfish and other types of fish are traditionally used for Ofe Nsala, I find it tastier with hard/ old Chicken, Goat meat and even Smoked Turkey added so feel free to add other proteins of your choosing, especially if you’re not big on fresh fish.
  2. In the absence of habanero pepper, you can use dry chili pepper.
  3. Utazi leaves do not have any good alternative. If you don’t have it, no worries because it only adds a slightly bitter flavor to the soup. If you can’t get the fresh leaves, you can also settle for dried ones. I’ve made Ofe Nsala in the past without vegetables and they turned out just as yum although frankly, Uziza does add a very pleasant aroma and hotness to the soup.

Best Swallow for Nsala (White) Soup

  1. Eba (Garri)
  2. Semovita
  3. Pounded yam
  4. Fufu
  5. Wheat
  6.  Amala

So here’s a simple Ofe Nsala  recipe, using goat only, I also included some tips on how to cook this delicious soup with catfish. Hope you enjoy it! Let’s know how you get on with this Nsala – White Soup recipe and do remember to “share the recipe with friends and family. See you in the next recipe!

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Nsala Soup (White Soup)

Nsala Soup or White Soup as commonly called by Nigerians is a meal famous to the eastern tribe and riverine area of Nigeria.
Cook Time 1 hour 47 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 47 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Nigerian



  • 1 Cup Ground Crayfish
  • 2 Cubes Seasoning
  • 2 TBSP Ground Uziza Seeds
  • 1 Cup Uziza Leaves
  • 2 Mid-size Dried Fishes
  • 2.5 Kg Goat Meat
  • 2 TBSP Ground Pepper
  • 1 TBSP Salt
  • 1 Small Bulb Onion
  • 5-7 Mid-size Yam Cubes
  • Utazi Leaves
  • Pepper



  • The first step, peel the yam cubes, wash and boil. After 10 minutes, drain the yam slices then pound till it is a smooth paste with a mortar and pestle. If you do not have a mortar and a pestle, you can put the boiled yam cubes in blender or food processors, add a little water, until it is a smooth paste. (You can use the water used to cook the yam).
  • The pounded yam serves as a thickener for the soup, once this is done, put it aside. Next thing to do is to wash the goat meat, and spice it onions, a seasoning cube, and salt. Leave to parboil for at least thirty minutes. While the beef is parboiling, wash the dried fish in a bowl. While washing, remove the entrails to avoid eating the bile, which is bitter and unpleasant. After cleaning the fish, add it to the meat that is being parboiled.
  • After the proteins in the soup have been softened, the next thing to do is to add the quantity of water needed to make the soup. The amount of water you add depends on the number of ingredients you have, plus the number of people who would be eating.
  • While the stock (a combination of fish and meat and water) is boiling, add pepper and the thickener (Pounded yam). Ensure that the thickener melts into the stock water. This is to avoid lumps while eating the soup with swallow. After 10 minutes, add the ground Uziza seeds and leave to boil.
  • Wash the Utazi leaves; they should be in small quantity because they are bitter. Chop the Utazi leaves.
  • Add the ground crayfish and Utazi leaves, leave to boil for 2 minutes, then turn off the light.
  • Your Nsala soup is ready to be eaten. You can either eat it with semolina or fufu.

Moving on, this is the procedure for cooking Nsala soup with catfish. Though similar, there are a few differences. To cook Nsala soup with catfish, you would need the following ingredients.

  • 1. One medium-sized catfish.
    2. 5-7 medium yam cubes.
    3. A handful of Utazi leaves.
    4. A cup of ground crayfish.
    5. One teaspoon of Ogiri.
    6. One teaspoon of Uziza seeds.
    7. Quarter teaspoon of Ehuru.
    8. 1 Small-sized bulb of onion.
    9. Two teaspoons of ground pepper.
    10. Three seasoning cubes.
    11. Salt
    12. Two medium dried fishes.


  • The first step, peel the yam cubes, wash and boil. After 10 minutes, drain the yam slices then pound till it is a smooth paste with a mortar and pestle. If you do not have a mortar and a pestle, you can put the boiled yam cubes in blender or food processors, add a little water, until it is a smooth paste. (You can use the water used to cook the yam). Set the pounded yam aside for later.
  • Remove the entrails of the dried fish, wash with hot water, season with salt, a spice cube and half part of the small onion bulb (diced). Cook it until it is soft, then set aside.
  • For the catfish, it is advisable to get it de-enthralled at the shop if you do not know how to do it properly. Place the cleaned-out catfish in a pot, pour enough water to cover the fish, add the remaining chopped onions, seasoning cube, and salt. Cook for 10-15 minutes. Add the pepper, crayfish, Uziza, and Ogiri. Also, this is an excellent time to add the dried fish you have already cooked. Leave to simmer for another 5 minutes.
  • Add the yam paste bit by bit so that they can dissolve without turning into lumps. Leave to simmer for a short while. Wash the Utazi leaves and chop into small bits. Finally, sprinkle the chopped leaves, add salt and the last seasoning cube. Allow the soup to simmer for another 25 minutes, then turn off the heat.
  • You can eat it with fufu, semolina, Eba or pounded yam.
Keyword Nsala Soup, Ofe Nsala Soup, Soup, White Soup
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