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Unveiling the Art of Oha Soup: A Gastronomic Journey of Flavors

Oha soup, a cherished delicacy from the Igbo culture in Nigeria, is a symphony of flavors that celebrates the richness of African cuisine. Known for its vibrant taste and the characteristic presence of oha leaves, this soup is a culinary masterpiece that tantalizes the taste buds. In this blog, we will embark on a journey through the step-by-step process of preparing oha soup, embracing tradition, and savoring the delightful essence of this iconic dish.

Preparation Time

The preparation time for oha soup generally ranges from 1.5 to 2 hours. This includes steps such as meat and fish preparation (40-50 minutes), sautéing aromatics and creating the soup base (20-25 minutes), seasoning and incorporating leaves (15-20 minutes), and simmering (20-30 minutes). Actual times may vary, so efficient organization and preparation before cooking are recommended for a smoother process.

Ingredients You’ll Need:

  • 2 cups of oha leaves, shredded (substitute with ora leaves if oha is unavailable)
  • 2 cups of assorted meats (beef, goat meat, tripe)
  • 1 cup of stockfish pieces (pre-soaked)
  • 1 cup of dried fish (pre-soaked and deboned)
  • 1 cup of ground crayfish
  • 2-3 scotch bonnet peppers (adjust to your spice preference)
  • 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons of palm oil
  • 1 tablespoon of ground ogiri or iru (fermented locust beans)
  • Seasoning cubes or powder (to taste)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Water (as needed)

Step-by-Step Guide:

  1. Prepare the Meats and Fish:

    • Clean and season the assorted meats with your preferred spices and seasonings.
    • Boil the meats until they are tender and packed with flavor. Add the pre-soaked stockfish and dried fish to the cooking pot. Reserve the meat and fish broth.
  2. Sauté the Aromatics:

    • Heat the palm oil in a separate pot until it becomes clear.
    • Add the chopped onions and sauté until they turn translucent.
    • Incorporate the blended or chopped scotch bonnet peppers. Cook until the mixture thickens and the oil begins to separate.
  3. Create the Soup Base:

    • Add the boiled meats and fish to the sautéed aromatics. Mix well to combine flavors.
    • Pour in the meat and fish broth, allowing the flavors to meld.
  4. Season and Flavor:

    • Incorporate the ground crayfish and the fermented locust beans (ogiri or iru).
    • Add your preferred seasoning cubes or powder and salt to taste. Stir the soup.
  5. Introduce Oha Leaves:

    • Gently fold in the shredded oha leaves into the soup mixture. The leaves will infuse the soup with their distinctive flavor.
  6. Simmer and Serve:

    • Allow the soup to simmer on low heat for about 10-15 minutes. This will allow all the flavors to harmonize beautifully.
  7. Taste and Adjust:

    • Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning if needed. Add more spices or salt to suit your preference.
  8. Delight in the Experience:

    • Your oha soup is now ready to be enjoyed! Serve it hot with your choice of fufu, pounded yam, or rice for a truly authentic and satisfying meal.


Oha soup is more than a dish; it’s a testament to the cultural heritage and culinary artistry of the Igbo people. By following this step-by-step guide, you’re not only cooking a delectable meal but also immersing yourself in the rich traditions that have been passed down through generations. So gather your ingredients, embrace the process, and relish the exquisite taste of oha soup—a journey of flavors that resonates with history and love.



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