How to Prepare Ogbono Soup the Right Way

The Art of Making Slimy and Satisfying Ogbono Soup If you’re looking for an easy-to-eat Fufu recipe, look no further than Ogbono Soup. Its slippery texture makes it a hit with kids who may not be fans of the chunkier Okra Soup. For those who prefer a lighter version, try making a light Ogbono Soup for them.

Everyone has their own preferred twist on Ogbono Soup. Some like it simple and unadorned, while others insist on having a variety of vegetables mixed in. Some even love adding Okra to the mix. For those looking for an extra twist, try adding Egusi to your Ogbono Soup for a unique and flavorful combination.

Ingredients for Ogbono Soup

  • Assorted Meat and Fish: Beef, Shaki (cow tripe), Dry Fish, Stockfish
  • 2 handfuls Ogbono Seeds
  • 3 cooking spoons red palm oil
  • Vegetable: Frozen Spinach (you can also use Pumpkin leaves or even Bitterleaf)
  • 2 tablespoons ground crayfish
  • Pepper and Salt (To taste)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 stock/seasoning/boullion cubes

For grinding the ogbono seeds, you will need:

  • A spice/coffer grinder

Before you start cooking your Ogbono Soup

  • Grind the Ogbono through a dry mill.
  • When the frozen spinach is still partially frozen, cut it. That makes things simpler. After fully defrosting, squeeze out the extra water.
  • Cook the assorted meat with the stock cubes and onion. If you will use Shaki, remember to start cooking that first, then add beef when almost done.
  • Grind the Pepper and crayfish.
  • Set aside some boiled water.

How to Prepare Ogbono soup

  1. In a clean, dry container made of stainless steel or aluminium, pour the palm oil.
  2. Put the oil on the stove and heat it gently. Keep in mind to simply melt the oil; do not let it get hot.
  3. Add the ground Ogbono once the butter has melted and turn the heat off.
  4. The Ogbono should be dissolved in the oil using your frying spoon.
  5. Add the meat/fish stock when the Ogbono powder has completely dissolved in the oil (water from cooking the assorted meat and fish).
  6. Turn your cooker’s heat to low and begin stirring. The Ogbono will start to thicken and draw as you watch.
  7. Stir continuously until all of the meat stock has been absorbed by the ogbono.
  8. Once the Ogbono has absorbed all the hot water, add a small amount more and stir. Until you achieve uniformity.
  9. Making sure that your heat is set to low, cover the pot and start cooking. Once it starts to simmer, stir every 2-3 minutes for 20 minutes.
    So what you’ll do is: every 3 minutes or so, open the pot, stir every well, scraping the Ogbono that sticks to the base of the pot, cover the pot and cook for another 3 minutes.
  10. Making sure that your heat is set to low, cover the pot and start cooking. Once it starts to simmer, stir every 2-3 minutes for 20 minutes.
    So what you’ll do is: every 3 minutes or so, open the pot, stir every well, scraping the Ogbono that sticks to the base of the pot, cover the pot and cook for another 3 minutes.

Frequently Asked Questions

My Ogbono Soup does not draw. Why?

These are the main reasons why your Ogbono Soup does not draw.

  1. You bought the wrong ogbono seed. There is another seed that closely resembles ogbono and is offered for sale in Nigerian markets as ogbono seeds. If the seeds are too cheap to be true, that is your first clue that you are buying the wrong kind. If the broken sides of the seed produce a sap that draws, the seeds are authentic Ogbono seeds. To check this, break the seed and rub the broken sides together. Every open market vendor in Nigeria ought to allow you to take this “drawing test”; if not, kindly leave and find another vendor.
    For those who reside outside of Nigeria, I suppose all they can do is hope that the Ogbono seeds they purchase are the genuine article.
  2. The fact that you used packaged ground Ogbono—the operative word here being “ground”—could be another factor in your Ogbono Soup’s failure to draw attention. This is particularly true for those who reside outside of Nigeria and are forced to purchase the ground, packaged ogbono that is sold in African stores.
    When Ogbono is ground, it begins to lose its ability to draw, and eventually it stops drawing altogether. How dry the Ogbono was prior to grinding and how well it is packaged are two factors that will determine when it completely loses its ability to draw.
  3. Your Ogbono Soup may not draw for a third reason—it was fried before the meat or stock fish was added. Only dissolve the ground ogbono in the palm oil, NOT fry it. It loses its ability to draw until it is completely devoid of potency the more you fry it. Even if it is the genuine Ogbono seed, this still occurs.
  4. For how much ogbono you are cooking, you added too much water. The Ogbono Soup is therefore thin. The “soup” won’t draw if you add a small amount of ground ogbono to a large pot of water because, of course, you didn’t use enough ogbono for the amount of liquid in the pot.
  5. You used ogbono seeds that are too stale and dusty. When ground, ogbono that has been harvested over a long period of time and stored in a dusty environment will lose some of its potency. It is best to first brush off the dust from the ogbono seeds before grinding if you notice that they are very dusty. Again, if you purchase ogbono that has already been ground, you will never know the state of the ogbono seeds inside the pack. That’s why I purchase my own ogbono, filter out the inferior ones, and brush the ones that require brushing before grinding them. Even though I intend to grind them using the powerful grinders sold in Nigerian markets, I clean the ingredients first.

How can I cook Ogbono Soup so that it does not burn?

Initially, lower the heat. Reduce the heat on whatever you’re cooking to avoid burning. This is especially true of the extremely sticky Ogbono Soup. Always use a very low heat when making ogbono soup. Set the heat to 4 if your cooker has a heating range of 1 to 9.

Second, when first preparing the Ogbono, avoid adding crayfish or any other ingredients. Particularly crayfish speed up the burning. In Nigerian markets, people will advise you to grind your ogbono with crayfish to ensure that all of the ogbono comes out of the mill. If you choose to do that, make sure they place the remaining Ogbono and the crayfish in separate plastic bags for you and add the crayfish portion when you add the remaining ingredients.

Additionally, when making your ogbono soup, cook it in aluminium or stainless steel pots. Even though it says “non-stick,” Ogbono Soup is not best cooked in non-stick pots.

My Ogbono Soup tastes bland in spite of all the ingredients I usually add to it. Why is this?

Ogbono Soup will taste bland even after you add enough ingredients because you did not cook it for a sufficient amount of time. Many people I’ve observed cook ogbono for only five minutes. That is insufficient. Once ogbono has been added, it should be cooked on low heat for at least 20 minutes. At this point, the taste starts to emerge and mingle with the ingredients.

Another explanation is that the Ogbono seeds may have become mouldy, in which case it will also taste a little bit bitter.

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