How to prepare nsala soup with goat meat/Chicken meat

Nsala-soup-500x372 nsala6



Nsala soup is one of the most delicious of all Nigerian soups, this year alone I have made and eaten more of it than any other soup in Nigeria.

I enjoy lots of the foods in Nigeria but there are quite some of them that kinda tastes better and more delicious to me than the rest.

Melon soup (ofe egusi) for instance is like the best for me.

The reason is because… sometimes we like to eat a combination of two or more different soups in our home and egusi blends perfectly with most of the soups in Nigeria, sometimes I even blend with nsala soup (also called white soup).

The image below is a combination of both white soup and egusi soup.

It is the only soup in Nigeria that is made without palm oil… just like pepper soup and ewedu soup, the use of palm oil is not very necessary.

It is very popular in the south and eastern part of Nigeria, the efiks and igbos are the top makers and consumers of this delicious soup. So if you are dating or married to a man from the south or eastern part of Nigeria, you can try giving him a meal of pounded yam and ofe nsala (as the Igbos call it) tonight.

Below are the ingredients for making this delicious Nigerian soup, the ingredients below would serve about five persons for three consecutive times. Soups in Nigeria can be refrigerated for up to two weeks, most times it is better to make lots of soups and then refrigerate the remainder.


Ingredients For White Soup

Yam (six to eight slices… fist size)
Ground crayfish (1 cup)
knorr cubes (3 cubes)
Ground uziza seeds (3 Teaspoon full)
Uziza Leaves
Dried fish (two medium sizes)
Snails (Optional)
Meat of choice {I prefer Goat Meat} (2KG)
Utazi leaves (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste.

It would take about sixty to eighty minutes to prepare a delicious pot of nsala soup; although, sometimes it goes a little above that… depending on your speed and proficiency.

You might wanna start by peeling and boiling the yam, this should be pounded with a mortar and pestle. Pounded yam serve as the thickener but can also be eaten with other Nigerian soups.

Grind the crayfish, uziza seeds, wash and slice the uziza seeds. You should also go ahead and wash the snail in case you are using them.

Parboil the goat meat with all the necessary ingredients, I would use two cubes of knorr, salt, a bulb of onions and maybe half sachet of kitchen glory (beef seasoning).

Parboil the meat for about twenty to forty minutes… until it is soft enough for consumption then you can go ahead and add the hot-water-washed dry fish. This could be added earlier if you are using a strong dry fish like mangala. Add about ninety to hundred centiliters of cold or boiled water.

The amount of water for nsala soup depends on the ingredients/thickener available and the number of people that you are trying to feed.

Boil the combination for another ten to twenty minutes until they are both soft for consumption then go ahead and add the ground crayfish, uziza seed and ground pepper. It is better if you use red pepper; the color makes a little nice difference.

Taste your soup at this time and add the remaining half of kitchen glory or a cube of knorr/salt to improve the taste if it doesn’t taste nice yet.

You can go ahead and add the pounded yam, you can add half and watch the soup for the next five minutes, if it is not thick enough you can add a little more; I just don’t like the soup to be very thick. I like a very light nsala soup, it tastes better that way.

You can now go ahead and add the sliced uziza and utazi leaves. The utazi should be used sparingly for white soup; the reason is just to add a faint bitter taste.

Allow for the next few minutes and you can go ahead and serve your delicious ofe nsala with pounded yam, fufu or eba.



Ofe Nsala (Nsala Soup) is a delicious soup, popular in the eastern part of NIGERIA. It is also known as ‘‘white soup” because of its light color , due to the absence of palm oil.
The authentic Nsala soup recipe calls for fresh whole Cat Fish, which gives this soup its unique taste. But in the absence of whole catfish, catfish fillets or conger eel can be used.
Ofe Nsala is also similar to Afia Efere, which is the Efik-style white soup, but the extra condiments added to Afia Efere is what differentiates it from Nsala.
So HERE’S a simply Ofe Nsala  recipe, using Fish only, I also included some tips on how to cook this delicious soup, with assorted meat and dried fish. Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients For Nsala Soup:
– 1 medium sized Cat Fish (use conger eel if you can’t find Catfish in YOUR area, they taste almost the same)
– 5 small sized raw Yam cubes OR Yam Powder (Potato Puree can also be used)
– 2  tablespoonful chopped Utazi Leaves or parsley(optional)
– 1 tablespoonful ground Crayfish
– 1 teaspoonful Ogiri or Iru (fermented locust beans)
– 1 tablespoonful chopped Onions(optional)
– Chili pepper/chopped Scotch bonnet peppers (to taste)
– 1-2 Stock/Seasoning cubes(maggi, knorr etc)
– Salt (to taste)

For a richer (orisirisi) soup, you can also add
– dried fish (to taste)
– Stock fish (to taste)
– 5 pieces Chicken pieces or 10 pieces Beef pieces

Preparation :

1. If you want to add beef, chicken or stock fish or dried fish to YOUR Nsala soup; season and cook the meat or dried fish , with onions, seasoning cube and salt to taste. Cook until done and set aside

2. Peel the yam cubes and boil until soft, then pound to a smooth paste, using a mortar and pestle.
In the absence of a mortar and pestle, you can place the cooked yam in a food processor/blender, add a little hot water and blend until smooth (you can use the hot water you cooked the yams in).
If what you have is yam powder, boil some hot water,add the powder and stir continuously until you GET a smooth paste (just like the texture of pounded yam) .
Then, Set the yam paste aside for later use.

3. NEXT, place the catfish into a pot, pour enough water to cover it, add the chopped onions, seasoning cube and salt to taste. Cook for about 10-15 minutes or until the fish is almost done.

** The large/medium sized catfish takes about 20 minutes to cook through, but a  small sized catfish, takes a shorter time, always check for doneness ** 
Tip: if you’ll be adding the catfish head,add it first and leave to boil for about 1 minute before adding the other fish parts. This is because the head of the catfish is a bit tough and if added at the same time, the other fish parts will cook faster and even break to pieces before the fish head is done.

4. Now, add the pepper, crayfish and ogiri/iru.

Tip: if you’re cooking this soup with chicken/beef or dried fish,this is the time to add the cooked meat and dried fish(in step 1) to the pot.

Also, add the yam paste bit by bit and leave the soup to cook until the paste is completely dissolved and the fish is well done.

5. Finally, add the utazi leaves, taste for salt and simmer for 30 seconds.
Tip: remember the utazi leaf is optional, so don’t bother if you don’t have it.

Now you have a delicious Nsala Soup .
Ofe Nsala ( Nsala Soup)  is usually served with Pounded Yam , Fufu, Amala,  Eba, Semolina OR Pounded Yam

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