Ofe Ugba

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Ofe Ugba, is a native to Imo and Abia states of Nigeria. This recipe is simply Okra Soup cooked with shredded oil beans. You can call it Ofe Ukpaka or Shredded Oil Bean Soup.

What Is Ofe Ugba?

It is basically okro soup with ugba (Ukpaka, processed oil bean seed), but you don’t just throw ugba into your Okro soup and call it Ugba soup.

Where Does Ofe Ugba Come From?

Ofe Ugba, also known as African oil bean soup, is a delectable Eastern Nigerian delicacy. It’s a unique soup specialty of the people of Owerri and Mbaise of Imo state. Because African Oil Bean Seed is known as Ugba or Ukpaka depending on where you are from in the Igbo nation, this soup can also be named ofe ukpaka.

How To Prepare Ofe Ugba Soup

The recipe is very easy but be very careful not to just toss ugba into your Okro soup and call it Ugba soup, there‘s a process;

  1. The ugba must be well fermented, almost sticking together but not rotten, this is what gives the soup its local flavor. If not the soup will taste bland or taste just like an ordinary okro soup
  2. If your ugba is not well fermented, leave it tightly wrapped in its wrap at room temperature for more days. Check constantly.
  3. Remember, once you put ugba in the fridge, it won’t ferment further.
  4. Be careful with how you put salt in your ugba soup because there might be salt already added to the ugba and the fermentation also add a local flavor to the food which reduces the need for salt.

Notes On The Ingredients

  1. With most Nigerian recipes, especially Nigerian soups recipes, we go freestyle when it comes to the quantities of ingredients. The quantities of all the ingredients listed above can be adjusted to your taste. In everything you do, let the ugba shine through.
  2. I used only fish in preparing this soup, feel free to add meat if you wish. Do not use chicken too.
  3. Add palm oil to your liking.
  4. For the leafy vegetables, add the quantity you like. If you are in Nigeria, use Aku ofe (garden eggs leaves), outside Nigeria, use leafy spinach.
  5. You can use cayenne pepper (fresh or dry) if you wish.

Ofe Ugba is a thick soup, and it tastes even better the next day.

Best Serve for Ofe Ugba

Serve Ofe Ugba with your favorite Nigerian swallow: Eba (Garri), Cassava Fufu, Semolina, Amala, Tuwo Shinkafa, or Pounded Yam. For me I like eating Ugba Soup on its own.

Other Delicious Soups and Stews You Will Love:

  • Ogbono soup: A viscous and hearty soup made with Ogbono seeds (wild mango seeds) that is laden with meats and fish and cooked in a light, delectable broth.
  • Okra SoupA well-loved soup!
  • Chicken Pepper soup: This easy to put together chicken pepper soup is loaded with spicy, bold, and hearty flavors. It’s so easy to make and you can hardly go wrong putting this together.
  • The best Egusi soup recipeTrust me on this. It’s the best!


This Ofe Ugba is worth your effort and time. Hope you get to give it a try and if or when you do I would love to hear all about it so kindly drop a line or two in the comments below.

Ofe Ugba

Ofe Ugba, is a native to Imo and Abia states of Nigeria. This recipe is simply Okra Soup cooked with shredded oil beans. You can call it Ofe Ukpaka or Shredded Oil Bean Soup.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine African, Nigerian



  • 20 okra fingers
  • 1 cup of ugba (milk cup is ok)
  • 2 pieces of dry fish (dry catfish or Mangala fish)
  • 2 pieces stockfish (dry codfish)
  • 1 smoked mackerel (smoked Titus fish)
  • 2 cooking spoons palm oil
  • Habanero pepper
  • 1 handful crayfish
  • 1 piece of ogiri okpei
  • 1 onion
  • Garden egg leaves
  • Salt


Before Cooking

  • Rinse all the vegetables and fish thoroughly. In Nigerian markets, dry fish and stockfish are displayed in the open hence contain dust and sometimes fine sand. So wash these very well and rinse in plenty of water.
  • Soak the stockfish for a few minutes and clean with a food brush.
  • Soak the dry fish in cool or lukewarm water till soft. Clean, debone and break into pieces.
  • Break the smoked fish into small pieces, debone and rinse.
  • Grind the crayfish and the ogiri okpei with a dry mill.
  • Cut the okra fingers into pieces. For the best Ofe Ugba, please do not blend the okra. You can grate it but hand cut is the best.
  • Slice the onion into small pieces.
  • Cut up the pepper into small pieces. You can grind it if you wish.
  • Cut the garden egg leaves into small pieces.


  • Place the stockfish in a pot, add some water and start cooking. Add water in small amounts and top up when necessary because you want as little water as possible in the pot when done. I use a pressure pot to cook stockfish, softens in no time.
  • When the stockfish is soft, use the cooking spoon to break it into small pieces.
  • Add the dry fish, ugba, crayfish and ogiri okpei, pepper, onions, smoked fish, salt and palm oil. Cover the pot and continue cooking on high heat. Stir often so it does not burn.
  • After about 5 minutes, add the leafy vegetable and okra, stir and add salt if necessary. You want an as a small quantity of water as possible in the soup before adding the vegetable. I used leafy spinach, watch the video below to see how I pre-prepared the leafy spinach before adding it to the soup.
  • Take the pot off the stove and transfer to another container immediately so that the green vegetables stay green.


  • Be careful with salting your ugba soup because there might be salt already added to the ugba and the fermentation adds an umami flavor to food which reduces the need for salt.
  • Ofe Ugba is a thick soup, not watery at all and it tastes even better the next day.
Keyword Soup
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ofe ugba

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