7 Traditional Igbo Foods & 9 Soups Recipes [Culture & History]

Igbo foods are the variety of foods from Igbo people. Igbo group from the southeastern region of Nigeria.

Igbo are known as Igbo people living in the southeastern region of Nigeria and are a fascinating group with various traditions and customs. With approximately 40 million across Nigeria, Ibo is among the largest and most influential tribes.

Igbo foods are a variety of food items that Nigerians are able to eat or prepare. Their meals are diverse and interesting.

The main ingredient of Igbo food is soups. The most popular soups include Oha, Onugbu Egwusi, and Nsala (White chili soup). Yam is a popular food item for the Igbos and is consumed either cooked or mashed in soups.

You May Also Like: 

Eat Move Make Food Fitness Travel Lifestyle

Best Foods That Help Boost Your Testosterone Levels

Top Alkaline Foods

7 Top Most Tasty Traditional Igbo Foods

In this guide, you will be able to browse through a collection of Nigerian recipes that are especially traditional Igbo recipes.

1. Achicha Ede

7 Traditional Igbo Foods & 9 Soups Recipes [Culture & History]

Achicha Ede, also known as cocoyam pottage, is an excellent healthy food that is widely consumed by eastern Nigerians.

Other ingredients that are used in making achicha ede are red palm oil as well as leafy green veggies, ukpaka (ugba) as well as akidi, pepper, onions and pigeon pea (fio fio).

The Igbos enjoy this particular dessert both during a normal meal and for special occasions.

Ingredients for Achicha Ede

  • 3 cups achicha ede (cocoyam flakes)
  • 600g green leafy vegetables. You can either use:
    • Green amaranth or
    • Nigerian pumpkin leaves (ugu) or
    • Spinach
  • Scent leaves (nchanwu, efirin)
  • ½ cup red palm oil
  • ½ cup ukpaka (ugba)
  • 2 red onions
  • 2 Habanero peppers
  • Salt 

 Cooking directions for Achicha Ede

  1. The next day, wash the achicha, then remove it from the water.
  2. Crush into pieces 
  3. Cover the crushed achicha eden with banana leaves, uma leaves or aluminum foil. Cook in an oven with water for between 20 and 30 minutes.
  4. If the Achicha Ede is very soft, take it away from the pot and put it aside.
  5. In a clean, dry pot, place in the red palm oil, and then heat it up. Once you are sure that the oil is hot, then fry the onions for 3 minutes.
  6. Add the ukpaka, pepper and cook for another 3 minutes.
  7. Incorporate the chopped leafy vegetables and stir them until it is heated. Be mindful that when using spinach, it is necessary to separate out and boil the extra water before combining it with vegetables to avoid an accumulation of moisture in the dish. This ensures there won’t be a large pool of liquid within it! 
  8. Once the contents of the pot are heated when it is hot, add the cooked achicha and add salt according to your preference.
  9. Stir well, and it’s done!

2. Ukwa (African breadfruit)

Ukwa is a popular food item in the eastern part of Nigeria. Ukwa is found in the legume section because both seeds appear to like each other, while the official name for the species is Treculia Africana.

Ukwa is among the most expensive and delicious of all Nigerian foods. It can be cooked, consumed in its pure white form, or roasted and served with palm kernels or coconut and served as porridge.

Ingredients for Ukwa

  • 700g African Breadfruit
  • 2 medium dry fish
  • 2 small stock cubes
  • 7g edible potash
  • Palm oil (enough to color)
  • 5-6 fresh bitter leaves
  • Pepper & Salt 

Cooking Directions for Ukwa

  1. Place the ukwa that has been thoroughly cleaned in the pot of your choice. 
  2. Fill the tank with enough water to completely cover the ukwa. The water level should be approximately 1 inch higher than the level of the ukwa.
  3. Include the edible potassium. Add the dried fish or stock fish, then cover the pot and cook until well cooked. The Ukwa is finished when the seeds begin to melt when they are squeezed. The cook may have to top the water as you are cooking, so keep an eye on it. If you are using a pressure cooker, top-ups will not be required.
  4. Pour enough palm oil into the ukwa that is well cooked and add some pepper and stock cubes, and salt according to your preference.
  5. Stir. Cover and cook over medium-high heat until the palm oil’s color changes to red and yellow. This should take around 5 minutes.
  6. Mix well and add the bitter leaves.
  7. Let simmer and cover for a few hours or till the leaves are brown, and the Ukwa is ready to serve.

3. Jollof rice with wild meat

7 Traditional Igbo Foods & 9 Soups Recipes [Culture & History]

Jollof rice is not a rare thing in Igbo people. However, it is a typical Nigerian custom. The majority of recipes are cooked in the same manner. However, the addition of ingredients such as fish or meat can alter food taste. The most delicious meat comes from the wild for most Igbo people, which is why they favor wild meat over any other animal.

There are numerous benefits of eating this particular type of food. The rice used to make the food is rich in B vitamins and folic acid, magnesium, and iron, in addition to other nutrients.

Vitamin B-12, protein zinc, vitamin E sodium, and potassium are all vital minerals and vitamins found in animals. These nutrients both play an important part in various bodily activities.

Ingredients for Jollof rice with chicken

The ingredients for Jollof rice with chicken are listed below.

  • Sliced medium tomatoes
  •  Red bell pepper stemmed, seeded and quartered. 
  • Small red onions diced. 
  • Scotch bonnet pepper or habanero 
  • Vegetable oil 
  • 1 lb boneless chicken thighs (450g) 
  • Teaspoons curry powder 
  • Teaspoon dried thyme 
  • 2 cups parboiled long-grain rice (400g) 

 Cooking directions for Jollof rice with chicken

  1. First, infuse 2 tablespoons of oil in the large deep fry pan on high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 5 minutes or so until it is all golden. Remove the meat from the pan and transfer to an oiled plate.
  1. Add the remaining oils to the skillet and continue to saute the onions until soft but not golden, approximately five minutes. While the onions are cooking, you can prepare the base of chili and ginger. 
  1. Combine tomatoes, garlic cloves and chili with ginger, chili flakes and garlic in a food processor or blender and process until everything is evenly mixed.
  1. Pour the puree of tomatoes over the onions, and cook for another 2 minutes. 
  1. Crumble in the cube of the stock mix, after which pour in 600ml of boiling water. Incorporate the chicken, heat it to the point of boiling, then let it simmer for 15 minutes.
  1. Then place the rice in a large bowl, cover it with cold water, and use your hands to give it a scrub. Then, tip the water out until the water is clean. 
  1. Reduce heat to simmer, cover tightly with foil and the cover (to prevent steam escapes) and cook for 20 minutes.
  1. Remove the lid and sprinkle the okra and peppers onto the rice. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes until both the vegetable and rice have become tender. 
  1. Before serving, stir the vegetables and sprinkle over the coriander.

4. Okpa

7 Traditional Igbo Foods & 9 Soups Recipes [Culture & History]

Okpa, sometimes called king’s dinner or lion’s feast, is a very popular Igbo dish from Eastern Nigeria originating from Enugu. Okpa is made from Bambara flour, derived from the Bambara nuts. Okpa is easy to make as only a few ingredients are required, and it only takes 45-50 times to make.

Okpa, which is covered in banana leaves or white nylon bags, can be purchased anyplace in Enugu since vendors sell them at all parks and joints within the state. 

Ingredients for Okpa

  • 3 cigar cups | 450g Okpa flour
  • 15 tablespoons red palm oil
  • 4 small stock/bouillon cubes (Maggi, Knorr etc)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Habanero pepper (to taste)
  • 1.2 liters lukewarm/tepid water

Cooking directions for Okpa

  1. Okpa Beans are commonly referred to as Bambara groundnuts or simply Bambara nuts. It is essential to have enough oil to make the okpa pop with yellow color and to enhance the flavor.
  2. Okpa doesn’t require any seasoning, so the ingredients mentioned above are all you require. Onions and crabs make a mess of the delicious natural flavor of Okpa.
  3. Okpa mix may appear watery. But 1.2 Litres of liquid is the amount of water that you require to achieve the ideal Okpa texture. If you use less water, you will get a rough Okpa.

5. Nkwobi

7 Traditional Igbo Foods & 9 Soups Recipes [Culture & History]

If you are a fan of wild meat, then Nkwobi could be a tasty food option for you. It’s a combination consisting of wild meat nuts, onions, and potash, which provide flavor. The wild meat used by Nkwobi is derived in any form from an animal. The most well-known selections are squirrels, rabbits, lawnmowers, deer, and squirrels.

It is made with beef, which is a great source of various nutrients. It is also extremely healthy. Since a healthy diet can be enhanced with the addition of supplements, you are likely to reap a few advantages from this diet. These are the traditional food items of the Igbo people. The preparation process for the food is generally straightforward, and their health is extremely good.

Ingredients for Nkwobi

  • 2kg cow foot (cut into sizeable pieces)
  • 20cl (200ml) Palm Oil
  • 1 tablespoon powdered edible potash (Akanwu/Kaun/Keun)
  • 1 teaspoon ground Ehu seeds (Calabash Nutmeg)
  • 2 tablespoons ground crayfish
  • 2 habanero peppers 
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 big stock cubes
  • Salt 

 Cooking directions for Nkwobi

  1. Clean and place the cow foot pieces in the pot.
  2. Add the cubes of stock (crushed) as well as the pieces of onion.
  3. Incorporate a small amount of water and begin cooking on moderate heat until cooked. Just enough water is needed to avoid burning while you cook. There should be no liquid (water) in the pot after the meat is cooked.
  4. As the food is cooking, then pour the palm oil into a dry, clean pot.
  5. Then pour in the potash mix (sieved) in the oil.
  6. Stir the mixture with a spatula when pouring the potash. The palm oil will start to curdle and then become yellow.
  7. Stir until all the oil is yellow.
  8. Add the crayfish that you ground, as well as the pepper and Ehu seeds. Mix well until they are all mixed.
  9. Once the meat is cooked, add salt. Stir and cook until all the liquid is dried.
  10. Add the well-cooked cow foot into your palm oil mixture and thoroughly stir it in using the spatula made of wood.
  11. Place it back on the stove/cooker, and heat until the Nkwobi is hot. Make sure it is piping hot while constantly stirring to ensure it doesn’t get burned.
  12. To make the garnish, cut the onion into rings, then cut the utazi into long, thin slices.
  13. Serve Nkwobi in an old mortar made of wood.

6. Ofe Owerri

7 Traditional Igbo Foods & 9 Soups Recipes [Culture & History]

Have you ever heard the expression “Better soup, not cash kill”? Then, Owerri is the soup, and the purpose of this is to inform you of how costly it is. One of the amazing aspects of This soup is the fact that it informs you a lot about its name.

Ofe Owerri Ofe Owerri, which signifies the Owerri soup is exclusive to the residents of Owerri, the capital of Imo state.

The main ingredient in this soup is the leaves that are used in Ugu and Okazie. However, there are some who include Uziza as well as Oha in their soups. Another main component is the thickening agent, with variations like Ede (cocoyam), Ofo, and Achi.

Ingredients for Ofe Owerri

  • Assorted meat
  • 1 big-sized dry fish
  • 1 huge-sized stockfish (okporoko)
  • Sliced ugu leaves
  • Thinly sliced okazie leaves
  • 3 tablespoons of palm oil
  • 5 medium-sized ede
  • 1 tablespoon of ogiri
  • 1 medium-sized onion
  • 3 tablespoons of ground crayfish
  • 3 teaspoons of pepper
  • 4 cubes of seasoning
  • Salt
  • Water

 Cooking directions for Ofe Owerri

  1. Begin by heating your water in the beginning.
  2. In a different pot, simmer your various types of meat, such as stockfish and dry fish, with three cubes of the seasoning onion and salt. Add just a bit of water first to let the meat soak up the other ingredients. After that, add a large amount of water afterward. 
  3. As the meat is heating while cooking, pull out your ede that should be soft and make sure to pound.
  4. When you return to the meat, examine them to see if the meats are tender. After that, add the Ede and palm oil in the same way that the palm oil lets the ede dissolve.
  5. Add the ogiri, crayfish pepper, crayfish and Okazie leaves, and let them heat to develop for a while. The Okazie leaf is being added right now since the leaf is tough and requires an extended period of time to soften, as opposed to the ugu.
  6. Check the taste to determine if an ingredient is not present in this food. Then you can add it to your Ugu.
  7. After a minute, let the water boil, then turn off the gas and your food is prepared.
  8. Serve with the drink you prefer.

7. Abacha

7 Traditional Igbo Foods & 9 Soups Recipes [Culture & History]

Abacha is, also known as African salad, is a typical Enugu Igbo food from the eastern part of Nigeria Abacha originated in Enugu is made of cassava. Abacha is eaten as an appetizer as well as the main meal and is usually served to welcome guests prior to serving guests with food items for the meal.

Abacha may be cooked in many ways, based on the locality you go to or the home you have visited. It is impossible to have a celebration at Enugu without Abacha on the menu. Abacha is prepared in many different ways and is served best by drinking fresh palm wines.

Ingredients for Abacha

  • 600g Abacha
  • 2 cups ugba or ukpaka
  • 1 cup palm oil
  • 2 tbsps powdered potash
  • Fish, spiced and cooked
  • Ponmo, cooked and sliced.
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 6 garden eggs, diced
  • Garden egg leaves, chopped
  • Salt and dry pepper (to taste)
  • 4 tbsps ground crayfish
  • 2 seasoning cubes
  • 1 tsp ground Ehu seeds (Calabash nutmeg)
  • 1 tsp ogiri or iru
  • Fresh utazi leaves
  • Boiling water

 Cooking directions for Abacha

  1. Soak the Abacha in chilled water for 10 minutes until it becomes soft, then add boiling water to it, and then drain.
  2. Rinse the Ugba thoroughly with warm water.
  3. The potash should be dissolved in water, then strain out all the liquid. Mix the water from the potash along with coconut oil in the vessel until it is a yellowish-colored paste.
  4. Put on the stove and add the ground ehu, pepper crab and seasoning.
  5. Mix well, after which add the crushed cubes of stock, chopped onions and Ugba. Remove the pan from heat.
  6. Add the ogiri to the mix and mix, and finally, add fish and meat.
  7. Mix in the Abacha, then add the other ingredients and allow the ingredients to mix.
  8. Sprinkle salt and utazi slices to the desired taste.
  9. Garnish with garden egg leaves and slices of onions.

9 Igbo soups with nutrition

Igbo residents have the most popular soups with nutritional and health benefits across the country.

Here is a list of popular Igbo soups

1. Ofe Ogbono

7 Traditional Igbo Foods & 9 Soups Recipes [Culture & History]

This is the seed of the African wild mango tree which is known botanically as Irvingia gabonensis.

Ogbono soup, also known as Ogbono according to what it’s referred to by people who are Igbos from Nigeria, is a tasty soup that is like Okro soup due to its viscosity.

The soup is made from either ugu, spinach, or bitter leaves.

The benefits of being healthy include controlling blood sugar and lowering body cholesterol.

Ingredients for Ogbono Soup

  • Assorted Meat and Fish: Beef
  • 2 handfuls Ogbono Seeds
  • 3 cooking spoons of red palm oil
  • Vegetable: Frozen Spinach 
  • 2 tablespoons ground crayfish
  • Pepper and Salt 
  • 1 onion
  • 2 stock/seasoning/bullion cubes

 Cooking directions for Ogbono Soup

  1. Put the palm oil in a dry, clean aluminum or stainless steel pot. Place the pot on the stove to melt the oil using a low temperature. Make sure you melt the oil and do not let it become hot.
  2. When the melting is done, turn off the flame and add to the mixed ground Ogbono.
  3. Make use of your cooking spoon to dissolve the Ogbono in the oil.
  4. After the Ogbono Powder is completely blended with it, you can add fish or meat stock. Adjust the heat in the cooker down to low, and then start stirring. Then you will be able to see the Ogbono beginning to get thicker and draw.
  5. Continue stirring until the Ogbono is completely taken in all the stock from the meat.
  6. Add a small amount from the hot water, and stir until the Ogbono is completely soaked in water. Repeat this process until you have the consistency that is illustrated in this video.
  7. Make sure the heating is at a minimum, then cover the pot to begin cooking. When it begins to simmer, Stir it every 2-3 minutes for about 20 minutes.
  8. What you’ll have to do is every three minutes, open the pot, then stir it thoroughly, then scrape off the Ogbono that is stuck to the bottom of the pot. Cook for an additional three minutes with a cover on the pot.
  9. After about 20 minutes, the Ogbono should be cooked well, and you will begin to taste its delicious aroma and flavor.
  10. Include the meat, assorted fish, and crayfish that have been ground, as well as salt and pepper, according to your preference. The Ogbono may be more spongy from cooking. If this is the case, you can add more water and stir it thoroughly. Cover the pot and cook until the entire pot is sufficiently heated.
  11. If you like the soup without vegetables, take it off the stove and serve. 

2. Ofe Oha

7 Traditional Igbo Foods & 9 Soups Recipes [Culture & History]

Oha Soup which is often known as Ofe Oha to those from the southeast people is an extremely delicious and cheapest Nigerian soup.

It’s not exactly a must-have type of soup due to the fact that the primary component, the Oha leaf, is a seasonally available one.

Traditionally, leaves are cut by hand, never with a knife or other sharp objects, because if the leaves are chopped using a knife, the soup may end up becoming bitter.

Oha soup aids digestion, and the fiber content in it assists in enhancing digestion.

Ingredients for Oha Soup

  • Vegetable: Ora leaves
  • 8 small corms cocoyam
  • 3 cooking spoons of Red Palm Oil
  • Assorted Beef
  • Assorted Fish: Dry Fish and Stock Fish
  • Chilli pepper, salt and crayfish
  • 2 Stock cubes
  • 1 teaspoon Ogiri Igbo

Cooking Directions for Oha Soup

  1. Cook the shaki (cow tripe) as well as dry fish and stock fish in 1 liter of water until they are perfectly cooked. The first sign of a well-cooked shaki is that the cut will begin curling up on itself.
  2. Rinse the beef and add to the dish of shaki etc. and cook for a while. Once the meat is cooked and cooked, add 2 cubes of stock to cook for 5 mins.
  3. Add the pepper and ogiri Igbo, ground crayfish, and cook for about 10 minutes. Then add the cocoyam paste in small chunks, and then add the palm oil.
  1. Cover the pot and allow it to cook over high temperatures until all cocoyam lumps are dissolved. Then, you can add additional water if you think your soup is too dense.
  2. Include Ora (oha) leaves and allow to cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Add salt according to your preference Mix until the soup is now ready!

3. Ofe Onugbu

7 Traditional Igbo Foods & 9 Soups Recipes [Culture & History]

Ofe Onugbu, sometimes referred to by the name bitter leaf soup. It is a well-loved Nigerian soup that is unique to the Igbo tribe.

A few non-Igbos avoid bitter leaf soup due to the notion that the soup is true to its name. It’s a bitter soup.

Some of the health benefits of this Igbo soup include a reduction in blood pressure, as well as a powerful antioxidant, and improved fertility.

Ingredients for Ofe Onugbu

  • Washed and squeezed bitter leaf 
  • 10 small corms Cocoyam
  • 3 cooking spoons of Red Palm Oil
  • Assorted Beef: Includes the best cut, shaki 
  • Assorted Fish: Dry Fish and Stock Fish
  • Pepper, salt and ground crayfish (to taste)
  • 3 stock cubes
  • 1 teaspoon Ogiri Igbo (traditional seasoning)

Cooking Directions for Ofe Onugbu

  1. The shaki (cow tripe), along with dry fish and stock fish, in 1 liter of water until they are properly cooked. The first sign of a well-cooked shaki is that the cut will begin curling up on itself.
  2. Clean the beef and add it to the shaki pot etc., and cook for another 5 minutes. Once the meat is cooked, then add 3 cubes of Maggi or Knorr, and boil for about 5 mins.
  3. Add crayfish, pepper, and ground bitter leaves (if they haven’t been boiling) to cook for 10 mins. Then add the cocoyam powder (in small chunks) as well as the palm oil, and proceed to step 5.
  4. Note that if you have the bitter leaves boiled to get rid of the bitterness, you can proceed to step 3: include a pinch of pepper, crayfish ground and cacao paste as well as bitter leaves and palm oil. In other words, you should add all the ingredients in this step.
  5. Cover the pot and allow it to cook over high temperatures until all cocoyam lumps have disintegrated. Then, you can add additional water if you think it is too dense.
  6. Add salt as desired then the soup is done.

4. Ofe Nsala

7 Traditional Igbo Foods & 9 Soups Recipes [Culture & History]

Also called white soup, it is a mouth-watering delight specific to the Igbo tribe from Nigeria and especially the people who hail from Anambra State.

It’s a delicious fresh fish soup that is typically made from catfish.

Ofe Nsala is called white soup since palm oil is not used for its preparation, as opposed to other soups that are traditional.

It is believed that the presence of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fats in the soup can aid in battling anxiety and depression. It also enhances the brain’s function, and vision improves heart function and also nourishes the skin.

Nsala soup is abundant in protein, carbohydrate, fiber, iron, calcium, vital minerals, and vitamins.

Ingredients for NSALA

  • Chicken
  • Small-sized raw Yam Powder
  • 1 handful chopped Utazi Leaves/uziza
  • 3 tablespoonful ground Crayfish
  • 1 medium chopped onion
  • 20 g smoked/dry fish
  • 3 medium yellow pepper (habanero)
  • 2 Stock/Seasoning cubes (Maggi, knorr etc.)
  • Salt

 Cooking directions  for NSALA

  • Wash the chicken properly, dry, smoke, and dry fish and put aside. Cook the chicken in the dry fish, onions, a seasoning cube and salt as desired. Cook until done.
  • Peel the yam cubes, and boil until soft. After that, grind to create a smooth paste making use of a pestle and mortar.
  • If you don’t have an appropriate mortar and pestle, the user can place your cooked yam in a blender or food processor. Add a bit of hot water, and blend until the mixture is smooth.
  • Add the yam paste little by little and allow the soup to simmer till the yam paste is completely dissolving, then the chicken is cooked to perfection. Then, add the crayfish and pepper and smoke fish.
  • Add the utazi/uziza leaf, taste for salt, then simmer for 30 seconds.
  • The soup nsala is ready.

5. Ofe Akwu

7 Traditional Igbo Foods & 9 Soups Recipes [Culture & History]

Ofe Akwu is one of the most well-known soups in the South East. It is a very nutritious soup that is made of the juice of palm nuts.

Akwu is one of two varieties. The one that is located in the South East is usually served with boiled rice, and South-South is served with boiled rice. The Southern variant is typically served with other types of swallows or starch.

The soup is beneficial for strengthening bones and preventing heart disease. Vitamin K, an antioxidant found in the juice of the palm kernel, can prevent cancer.

Ingredients for Ofe Akwu

  • 800g palm fruits (5 cups)
  • 1kg (2.2lbs) beef
  • 1 dry fish
  • 2 smoked mackerel (titus fish)
  • 1-2 bulbs of red onion
  • 2 tablespoons ground crayfish
  • 2 small seasoning cubes
  • 1 small lump of ogiri okpei
  • Habanero pepper
  • Scent leaves

Cooking directions for Ofe Akwu

  1. Boil the beef in the seasoning cubes as well as half of the chopped onions until cooked. To get the best results, I like to grill the beef in the oven.
  2. Slowly pour the concentrated palm fruit into the pot where you will prepare the Ofe Akwu. Make sure that undesirable sediments don’t go into the pot.
  3. Include the beef stock and the meat that you grilled, dry fish and the rest of the onions, ogiri Okpei, the pepper and crayfish.
  4. Cover and cook. When the water is boiling, continue cooking until you notice a little red fat floating over the top.
  5. Include the mackerel that has been smoked and the leaves of scent.
  6. Once it’s covered and boils, it’s finished!.

6. Okazi Soup

7 Traditional Igbo Foods & 9 Soups Recipes [Culture & History]

Okazi soup is one of the most well-known Igbo food items that is prepared using an oblong green vegetable called Okazi or uziza.

Okazi is high in minerals and vitamins, which include Vitamin A and vitamin C and calcium.

The soup is prepared with many ingredients, including fish, meats as well as vegetables. It is typically served with pounded yams or fufu.

Ingredients for okazi soup  

  • 2 handfuls of ground Achi Or Ukpo
  • 500 gr beef or assorted meat
  • 100 gr Smoked fish
  • Stockfish 
  • Shelled Periwinkle
  • 2 tablespoonful ground crayfish
  • ground dried pepper or Fresh pepper 
  • Water leaves
  • Afang Leaves(okazi/ukazi leaves)
  • 500 ml Palm oil
  • 1 Stock/seasoning cube
  • salt to taste

 Cooking directions for okazi soup  

1. Then cook the stock and meat fish. Clean the dried fish and put it aside.

– Crush the achi or the egusi seeds (melon seeds). Add some warmer liquid to the mixture, stir thoroughly and put aside. 

Take off water leaves and Okazi leaves and set the leaves aside. If the leaves are making use of dried Okazi leaves, then you can grind or mix them.

2. Warm up the palm oil and add the chopped onion. Cook for a while, and then add the egusi mix. Mix the ingredients constantly until the egusi starts to bubble up a little.

3. Add some stock from the meat and mix well, then cover and let boil for 5 minutes.

After five minutes, add the stock cube along with ground crayfish, pepper and. 

Mix well before adding the meat that has been cooked along with the stockfish and dried fish. You can add periwinkles at the time, should you have any. Cook for two minutes with the cover on.

4. Then, add the Okazi leaves. Allow to boil for about 5 mins. After that, you can add water leaves. Add salt according to your preference, cook for 2 minutes, and your Okazi soup is ready. Enjoy!!!

7. Ugu vegetable soup 

7 Traditional Igbo Foods & 9 Soups Recipes [Culture & History]

The Igbo soup contains vegetables, seafood, diverse portions of meat and leafy pumpkins that have been fluted. The soup is healthy and delicious because of the inclusion and use of Ugu leaves in the preparation. 

The leaves of pumpkin are high in nutrients and vitamins. They are also abundant in vitamins and minerals. You can prepare this dish by adding meat or not. 

If you’d like to include meat in the soup, you can use cow feet or beef, goat meat, chicken or even dried cowhide.

Ingredients for Ugu soup.

  • Ugu (pumpkin) leaves 
  • Palm oil 
  • Dried Fish 
  • Waterleaf 
  • Okporoko (stockfish) 
  • Crayfish 
  • Pepper 
  • Okpeyin 
  • Soup seasonings

8. Egusi soup

7 Traditional Igbo Foods & 9 Soups Recipes [Culture & History]

Egusi soup is probably the most well-loved soup for the Igbo people.

It is composed of melon (egusi seeds) which are high in fat, protein, and minerals.

The seeds of melon that are ground are blended with meat, vegetables or fish and are usually served with fufu, pounded yam or rice.

The soup is popular for its rich, creamy texture and delicious taste. It is produced by the seeds of egusi.

Egusi soup is also simple to make and economical. It can also be prepared using leafy vegetables, such as bitter leaf or spinach.

Ingredients for Egusi soup  

  • 675 g of meat, chicken or fish,
  • ½ cup of dried shrimp or crayfish,
  • 1 ½ cup of tomato paste,
  • 2 cups of leafy spinach, bitter leaf 
  • 2-3 chili peppers,
  • 1 cup of palm oil,
  • ½ cup of sliced onions,
  • 1 cup of egusi seeds 
  • Salt to taste.

 Cooking directions for Egusi soup  

  1. After cutting up the meat into bite-size pieces, we add 1 cup of water, 1 teaspoon of salt and half a cup of onions to it. Cook for around 10 minutes. 
  1. In the meantime, fry the finely chopped onions along with the peppers and tomato paste over palm oil for 5 minutes.
  1. Crush or grind the seeds of egusi. Then mix them in enough liquid to create an emulsifying paste. Add it to the sauce above, along with the crayfish or shrimp. 
  1. Immediately add any meat that starts to turn golden brown into the sauce and cook until it becomes soft and mushy. Add the bitter leaf clumps 10 minutes before the time to cook is over.

9. Okro Soup

7 Traditional Igbo Foods & 9 Soups Recipes [Culture & History]

Another well-known Igbo meal (soup) is Okra soup.

The soup is, in fact, one of the easiest and cheap Nigerian soups.

I recall making a small pot of soup made from okra with only about 200 Nigerians.

More like a one-dollar soup.

I love making this soup using fresh fish. It is very tasty.

Ingredients for Okro Soup

Okro Soup:

  • 5 pods of okro,
  • Meat or fish,
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 peppers
  • ½ cup crayfish
  • 1 dessert spoonful of palm oil
  • 1 stock cube and salt

 Cooking directions for Okro Soup

Cut, trim and wash meat or fish into smaller pieces. Cook until the meat is cooked. Blend the peppers, onion and crayfish. Add the stock, okro, palm oil and salt to this soup, and simmer for an additional 3 minutes.

Igbo Food Culture 

  • The Igbo culture is based on the production of food and its consumption.
  • Igbo cooking is a way to provide nutritional needs and display the respect of the people.
  • The food is one of the first items that are presented in a formal greeting to family, guests and relatives.
  • Food, drinks and even meat are not as significant as the offerings of the Kola-nut.
  • It is an act of disrespect when a guest refuses food, as the perception is that they haven’t eaten food in an extended period of time. But the guests are not expected to eat all the food they have eaten and to leave food pieces behind.
  • The Eldest man is the first to eat when food is shared in a workplace or at home. The man with the youngest age usually will serve the drink to the oldest man or the most entitled.
  • In the Igbo tradition, soups and meats are excellent nutritional food.
  • They are typically served with the yams, or the pound or joloff.
  • They are made from palm oil.
  • The primary ingredients of stews and soups are a cow, chicken, turkey, dry goatfish as well, and stockfish.

Production and consumption of foods have a significant place in Igbo tradition. Igbo people love to gather together in a shared appreciation of food, regardless of the odds that may unify or divide them.

Jollof rice and fried rice are some of the frequently consumed Nigerian food items. They are recognized by the majority of Nigerians in the home as well as in the Diaspora. 

The process of creating recipes may seem complex at first, but with experience comes simplicity.

History of Igbo foods

The Igbo people are descendants of Eri, the god of God who is believed to have, according to Igbo folklore, come down from heaven to start the process of establishing civilization.

Another version of the story posits Eri being one of Gad’s descendants of Gad (as mentioned in the chapter from Genesis from the Bible) who traveled to the bottom of the earth to create Igboland.

Then, in Nigeria, Igbos reside in an area known as Igboland, which is split into two sections by the bottom of River Niger. They reside in the majority of the States: Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, and Imo, and smaller parts in Delta, Rivers, and Benue states. Small Igbo communities also exist in areas of Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea.

In the wake of the slave trade across the Atlantic, Igbos have been displaced to various nations, including Jamaica, Cuba, Barbados, Belize, the United States, and other countries.

A few elements of Igbo culture can be found in Jamaican patois; for instance, Igbo words like the Igbo expression ‘ unit which means ‘you’ is still in use, while ‘ red Ibo or Red above is a reference to the black people with fair skin (a lighter complexion is prevalent for Igbos).

A region part of Belize City has been named Eboe Town after its Igbo-descended residents. Since the end of the 20th century, many Nigerian immigrants have migrated to America. It’s one of the United States, and many of these include Igbos. According to estimates, over 2000,000 Igbos reside across America. The United States.

Indigenous culture and traditions of Igbos


Igbos have a unique political system. Igbo’s political system is different from its West African neighbors. Apart from a few significant Igbo communities that are ruled by an Obi (king) status, Igbos have a traditional republican form of government.

This is a consultative body of the people, which ensures equality for citizens. This is a change from the typical model of government, with the king in charge of the people. Although some title holders are admired for their accomplishments, they are not revered as kings.

The historical findings

Several Igbo artifacts were discovered by Thurstan Shaw between 1959 and 1964 in archaeological sites in Igbo-Ukwu. They include more than 700 fine artifacts made of copper, bronze, iron, and glass, stone beads, and ivory.

Igbo bronze artifacts are among the oldest in West Africa. Five bronze artifacts from the dig are currently being displayed in the British Museum.


In the past, Igbos were mostly farmers, traders, craftsmen, and farmers. Evidence of crafts and metalwork was discovered in archeological finds. Some of the materials used by artisans were believed to have originated from Egypt, which provides evidence for trade in the Sahara far before Europeans arrived in Africa.

Igbo cuisine

The Igbo people’s most significant crop is the yam, and this is the main basis for this New Yam Festival (Iri Ji) to celebrate the new yams’ harvest. It is an important element of traditional food and is prepared using crushed yams, served alongside various soups, or consumed immediately after having been boiled.

Igbos are famous for their various soups made with locally grown fruits, vegetables, and seeds. The most well-known Igbo soups are oha Nsala, akwu, Okazi, and Owerri.


What do Igbo call food?

The Igbo word for food is “nri”.

What are the types of Igbo soup?

There are several types of Igbo soups mentioned in the web page context, including Oha, Onugbu, Egwusi, Nsala (White chili soup), Ofe Ogbono, Ofe Owerri, Ofe Akwu, Okazi Soup and Okro Soup. These soups are made with locally grown vegetables, fruits and seeds and are often served with pounded yam or fufu.

Final thought

Igbo food culture isn’t limited to these dishes; however, they are the dishes that have made Igbo food well-known. Igbos know how to master cooking and dressing.

Therefore If you’re looking to discover new and exciting flavors, visit Igboland. Traditional dishes that are healthy and indigenous cultures can create the perfect setting for eating.

What are your favorite Igbo food items? Please leave an email to let us know your thoughts on Igbo food. 

Leave a Comment