Authentic Ofe ugba, Ugba soup

Ofe ugba, Ugba soup

Ofe ugba is a speciality of the people of Owerri and Mbaise of Imo state, south-east Nigeria. Called Ofe ugba, Ugba soup, Ofe Ukpaka, Okwuru 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.

I had gone to the market to pick up a few things and as I was gisting with a trader who I patronise often, an ugba seller passed. I had the craving for ugba wraps ( ugba wrapped in Anala leaves etc). So the trader commented that the ugba I wanted to buy will be good for the wraps but if it were for soup it wasn’t ready yet.

Authentic Ofe ugba, Ugba soup

I informed her that my Renaissance man has been asking for Ugba soup. The trader who is Owerriwerri got really excited and gave me an extensive tutorial on how to cook Ofe Ugba. This now sent me on my usual journey of consultations and research both for authenticity, taste and ease. This recipe is the delicious product.

The ugba must be well fermented, practically sticking together but not rotten, this is what gives the soup a lot of its flavour. If it isn’t well fermented the soup will taste bland or at best taste just like ordinary okro soup.

okro soup

Be careful with salting your ugba soup because there might be salt already added to the ugba and the fermentation adds an umami flavour 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.

To prepare Ofe Ugba, Ugba Soup

Beef 
Stockfish 
Dry fish
1/3 cup ground crayfish
Snail, cleaned
2 teaspoons Cameroun pepper
2 seasoning cubes
1 medium onion (1 cup chopped)
250g okro small bunch Ugu leaves
Isam (Periwinkle)
1/2 cup palm oil 
1 small akanwu (Potash)
1 1/2 cups Ugba
4 scotch bonnet, chopped
salt 

Wash meat and stockfish, put them in a pot and add some onion slices, water, salt and seasoning cube. Cook until tender.

Meanwhile, process Okro: Cut and pound okro, grate or finely chop them, set aside.

finely chopped okro and sliced okro

Rinse periwinkle and set aside. (I also remove the tiny disc on the head, don’t know the name but can’t stand it).

Wash dry fish.

Add dry fish, cleaned snail, Cameroun pepper, crayfish, seasoning cubes, and the rest of your onions to the boiling meat with some water.

meat, stockfish and dry fish cooking in a pot

Mix 1 tablespoon akanwu powder (or small piece) to 4 tablespoons water, set aside to settle a little.

Pour palm oil into a large bowl, add some of the akanwu water and using a wooden spoon, stir until the colour changes and becomes thick and uniform. You can add a little more of the akanwu water if it is cracking. This is called Ncha.

Mix ugba with the Ncha.

ugba in ncha for Ofe ugba, Ugba soup

Add okro, shredded ugu, periwinkles and scotch bonnet, stir and cook for 3-5 minutes until tender.

Scoop in your ugba with the ncha and stir. Tastes for salt.

Cover and cook 1 minute, take off the heat.

Ofe ugba, Ugba soup in a pot

Serve with any swallow of your choice. I like eating Ugba Soup on its own.

Note

  • If your ugba isn’t well fermented, leave it tightly wrapped in its original wrap at room temperature for a few days. Keep checking it. Once ugba is placed in the fridge, it won’t ferment further.
  • When you grate or pound your okro, leave some in rounds just for aesthetics.
    Authentic Ofe ugba, Ugba soup

    Ofe Ugba, Ugba Soup

    62f5cba169471b5f0e79280938c50251?s=30&d=mm&r=g Ofe ugba, Ugba soupgaga
    It is basically okro soup with ugba (Ukpaka, processed oil bean seed).
    20 minutes
    Total Time 25 minutes
    Course Dinner, lunch, Main Course, Soup
    Cuisine Igbo, Nigerian
    Servings 4

    Ingredients
      

    • Beef
    • Stockfish
    • Dry fish
    • cup ground crayfish
    • Snail (cleaned)
    • 2 teaspoons Cameroun pepper
    • 2 seasoning cubes
    • 1 medium onion (1 cup chopped)
    • 250 g okro small bunch Ugu leaves
    • Isam (Periwinkle)
    • ½ cup palm oil
    • 1 small akanwu (Potash)
    • 1 ½ cups Ugba
    • 4 scotch bonnet (chopped)
    • salt

    Instructions
     

    • Wash meat and stockfish, put them in a pot and add some onion slices, water, salt and seasoning cube. Cook until tender.
    • Cut and pound okro, grate or finely chop them, set aside.
    • Rinse periwinkle and set aside.
    • Wash dry fish.
    • Add dry fish, cleaned snail, Cameroun pepper, crayfish, seasoning cubes, and the rest of your onions to the boiling meat with some water.
    • Mix 1 tablespoon akanwu powder (or small piece) to 4 tablespoons water, set aside to settle a little.
    • Pour palm oil into a large bowl, add some of the akanwu water and using a wooden spoon, stir until the colour changes and becomes thick and uniform. You can add a little more of the akanwu water if it is cracking. This is called Ncha.
    • Mix ugba with the Ncha.
    • Add okro, shredded ugu, periwinkles and scotch bonnet, stir and cook for 3-5 minutes until tender.
    • Scoop in your ugba with the ncha and stir. Tastes for salt.
    • Cover and cook 1 minute, take off the heat.
    • Serve with any swallow of your choice.

    Notes

    • If your ugba isn't well fermented, leave it tightly wrapped in its original wrap at room temperature for a few days. Keep checking it. Once ugba is placed in the fridge, it won't ferment further.
    • When you grate or pound your okro, leave some in rounds just for aesthetics.
    • If you don't have potash, substitute with baking soda.
    Keyword nigerian soup, okro

If you enjoyed my Ofe ugba, Ugba soup, you will also enjoy my, Fresh Okro soup, Ila (Plain Okro soup), Miyan Kuka (Baobab leaf Soup, Luru Soup) and Ogbono Soup.

 

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2 Comments

  1. Pingback: 13 Easy Igbo Soups - The Pretend Chef

  2. This is a real discovery! Never heard of this type of okro. My mom has a huge stash of ugba in the freezer. I will really LOVE to try this recipe.

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