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To My Woven Words!  You are on your path to discovering how to prepare,
a mouth-licking, palatable recipe… You can and will prepare a
sensational Bitter leaf soup also known as ofe onugbu, just by following simple steps.
The name is quite misleading in that a well prepared
Bitterleaf Soup should not have even the slightest bitterness. This is achieved
by washing and squeezing the bitter leaves (and changing the water at
intervals) till all traces of bitterness has been washed off.
One will be deemed a bad cook if his/her Bitterleaf soup
tastes bitter!


  • Washed and
    squeezed bitterleaf – A handful
  • 10 small
    corms Cocoyam
  • 3 cooking
    spoons Red Palm Oil
  • Assorted
    Beef: Includes best cut, shaki (cow tripe)
  • Assorted
    Fish: Dry Fish and Stock Fish
  • Pepper, salt
    and ground crayfish (to
  • 3 stock cubes
  • 1 teaspoon
    Ogiri Igbo (traditional seasoning) 

Notes on the

  1. If you are
    outside Nigeria, you can use dried, washed and squeezed bitter leaves but
    you need to first of all make the bitter leaves
    soft and fresh again before adding them to the soup.
  2. If you cannot
    buy cocoyam corms where you live, you can use cocoyam flour. An alternative
    to cocoyam flour is potato flour. See how to prepare the cocoyam flour or
    potato flour before adding it to your soup at: How to Cook Nigerian Soups
    with Flour as Thickener.
  3. Ogiri Igbo is
    optional; it gives Bitterleaf Soup a traditional taste.

Before you cook Bitterleaf Soup

  1. Make sure
    that the bitter leaves are well washed, such that there is no trace of
    bitterness left. If not, wash and squeeze it more. If the bitterness
    cannot be completely washed off (which is usually the case with most
    washed bitter leaves sold in the market), boil it for about 15 minutes and
    wash in cold water.
  2. Wash and cook
    the cocoyam till soft. Remove the peels and use a mortar and pestle to
    pound the corms to a smooth paste.

Cooking Directions

  1. Boil the
    shaki (cow tripe), stock fish and dry fish in 1 litre of water till they
    are well done. First sign of a done shaki is that the cuts will start
    curling on itself.
  2. Wash the beef
    and add to the pot of shaki etc. and continue cooking. When the meat is
    done, add 3 cubes of Maggi/Knorr and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Add pepper,
    ground crayfish, bitter leaves (if they have not been parboiled) and cook
    for 10 minutes. Then add the cocoyam paste (in small lumps) and the palm
    oil then go to step 5.
    Note: If the bitter leaves were parboiled to remove the
    bitterness, then for step 3; add pepper, ground crayfish, the cocoyam
    paste (in small lumps), the bitter leaves and the palm oil. In other
    words, add all the ingredients at this stage.
  4. Cover the pot
    and leave to cook on high heat till all the cocoyam lumps have dissolved.
    You can add more water if you feel that the soup is too thick.
  5. Add salt to
    taste and the soup is ready
Serve with Garri (Eba), Semolina Fufu, Amala, Cassava Fufu or Pounded Yam.

Source: All Nigerian Recipes

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