What Does Ogbono Taste Like?

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Ogbono soup, also known as Draw Soup is a unique Nigerian delicacy made from these wild mango seeds (ogbono seeds). The Igbos call it ogbono, and the Yorubas call it apon.

To make Ogbono soup powder, the seed is dried and then blended with crayfish. This is without a doubt one of the easiest and quickest Nigerian soups to make. You may use any protein you choose — beef, dried fish, and fresh fish all work well in this soup.

After Okra soup, this is one of the first soups offered to children when trying to expose them to Nigerian soups.

What Is Ogbono?

Irvingia gabonensis, often known as African mango, wild mango, bush mango, or dika, is a fruit that contains ogbono seeds. Parts of Central and West Africa, as well as Southeast Asia, are home to this species. While the entire fruit is edible, ogbono soup is solely made with seeds.

Origin of Ogbono Soup

Ogbono is a unique variety of Irvingia, which produce edible mango-like fruits and are quite prized for its fat and protein-rich nuts. They originated in Southern Nigeria and were initially planted there. There are still a lot of regional varieties with ogbono soup.

It is an indigenous forest tree connected with plants designated as “non-timber forest products,” according to Chris Chinaka and J.C. Obiefuna’s research. In Nigeria, it is known by a variety of indigenous names. It is known as ‘ogbono/ugiri’ in the Igbo-speaking region, as ‘pekpeara in Nupe,’ as ‘ogwi’, in Bini as ‘uyo,’ in Efik and as ‘oro’ in Yoruba.

Ogbono Soup’s Health Benefits

Ogbono soup is a nutrient-dense soup that is high in vitamins and minerals. The health advantages of African mango are well known, and it is a good source of calcium, magnesium, potassium, and iron. Bush mango seeds have been proven in studies to:

  • Assist in the stabilization of blood sugar levels.
  • Assist in weight loss
  • Lower your blood pressure.
  • Assist in lowering cholesterol levels.

How To Cook Ogbono Soup

There are so many varieties of Ogbono soup preparation and some of these are contingent on individual differences and preferences.

Some individuals prefer their Ogbono soup plain, without any added veggies, while others refuse to eat it unless it has some sort of vegetable. Ogbono Soup with Okra is a favorite of a third group. Some people even go so far as to include Egusi.

How To Cook Ogbono Soup With Okra

Some people add Okro, Ugu, or Bitter leaves to this soup. If using okra, prepare the okra separately and add it in just before the 3rd step below.

Can I Make Ogbono Soup Without Palm Oil?

If you live outside Nigeria, palm oil might not be very common where you are. You can always substitute palm oil in the recipe with olive oil, groundnut oil, or your choice of oil. The taste will be slightly different but the soup will still be very delicious!

What Can I Eat Ogbono Soup With?

It can be served with either fufu or pounded yam. In some markets that specialize in Western African dishes, the soup may be offered in an already prepared and packaged form in other countries. Like okra soup, ogbono soup has a slimy texture.

Tips To Make Ogbono Soup Perfect Every Time!

  • When you add the ogbono to the palm oil, make sure it’s on low heat and watch it carefully so it does not burn. If it burns, it will lose its texture.
  • If you buy pre-ground ogbono seeds and it loses their freshness, the texture of the soup might be off. Keep in an airtight container or better still, buy whole seeds and grind them when you need them.
  • To avoid having a bitter or bland-tasting ogbono soup, cook for at least 20 minutes on low heat after adding the ogbono. This is when the flavor begins to emerge and combine with the other elements. Another reason could be that the Ogbono seeds have become moldy, in which case the taste will be slightly bitter.
  • Then add the stock/water to the soup, add one cup and keep stirring until it gets thick and begins to get its mucilaginous texture. Then add more liquid very slowly, watching the texture carefully. The ogbono soup will start very thick but will begin to thin out. Stop when you reach your desired consistency. If you add too much liquid, the soup will be watery.

Substitutions When Making Ogbono Soup

Pumpkin leaves, collard greens, or bitter leaves can be used in place of spinach (which is a slightly bitter leafy vegetable commonly used in West African soups). If you like, you can completely exclude the vegetables.

Use the meat of your choosing. You don’t have to use what’s listed; whatever you have on hand will suffice. The beauty of this soup is that you can personalize it.

Check one out of the variety of Ogbono recipes below;

Ogbono Soup

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes


  • 1/2 cup dried and blended apon/ogbono
  • 1/3 cup palm oil
  • Your choice of meat and fish (precooked)
  • 2 cubes Knorr (bouillon cubes)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp dried pepper
  • 1/4 cup blended crayfish
  • 2 cups warm water


  • Set a medium sized pot on medium heat, add in the palm oil.
  • When the oil is hot, add in the dried ogbono.
  • With a cooking spoon continuously stir the mixture until you have a smooth paste
  • Incorporate the water into the paste bits at a time and continuously stir, the mixture will get thicker as you stir.
  • Continue until you have incorporated all the water
  • Add in the precooked meat, Knorr cubes, pepper, crayfish and salt.
  • Simmer for 4-6 minutes more
  • Your soup is ready to serve.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Your ogbono soup is ready to serve and enjoy!

Enjoy these other African soups and stews!

Egusi Soup

Efo Riro

Bitter Leaf Soup

Okra Soup

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