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Okra Soup – By Uchenna Amobi-Okoli (Chef Enna)

Okra Soup – By Uchenna Amobi-Okoli (Chef Enna)


In my childhood days, we used to eat to swallow every time we came back from school in the afternoon. My mom always cooked two or three soups and kept in the freezer so we could rotate them. When going to school in the morning, we bring out the soup so it will be defrosted by the time we come back in the afternoon. When we come back, we make this swallow that was called ‘aligbo’. I still don’t know what it was made from up till now, but I’m sure that it is from cassava. How we hated it because when we got older we had to make it ourselves. Argggggghhhhh! It was stressful to make.

Okay, enough about the swallow. One of the soups I loved was okra soup. My mum always made it amongst other soups. Also, when we had to buy soup from a restaurant, it was either okra or egusi soup. I love okra soup so much. It tastes great with goat meat (I mean goat meat is the goat innit?), tastes good with very soft chicken or beef and has the best taste with smoked fish (Amazinggg). My mum didn’t always make it with fresh fish to avoid us swallowing bones (The pain), so she usually cooked it with beef and it always had the okporoko and dried fish. My mum never cooks soup without okporoko and dried fish. The flavor it adds to the soup is phenomenal.


Most people cook okra and add ogbono (African mango seed) to it. I prefer to eat okra alone or to eat ogbono soup alone. Okra soup can also be referred to as ‘draw soup’. They call it this because of the way the soup ‘draws’ when you take it to eat. Some people might not like the soup because of the way it ‘draws’ and if not eaten properly can become very messy and embarrassing too in the public.

Alright! Enough of the gushing about okra soup. Let’s go on and cook some okra. You’ll need;

  • Goat meat (or beef or any other protein of choice)
  • Palm oil
  • Ground crayfish
  • Ground pepper (or fresh pepper)
  • Onions
  • Okporoko and dried fish
  • Smoked fish (optional)
  • Ugu leaves
  • Uziza seeds or Okpei(for extra flavor)
  • And the main ingredient- okra.

First, you have to prep all the ingredients for cooking. I believe this makes cooking easier and faster when all the ingredients are all prepped and when you start cooking, before you know it you’re done. 


Wash and cut okra neatly and put in a plate, wash your meat and put in a pot, rinse onions and cut, pick ugu leaves, wash and cut the leaves and put in a plate. Debone the smoked fish, pound uziza seeds and keep in a plate. Alternatively, dissolve the okpei in little water to form a paste. Wash okporoko and dried fish in warm water with salt and keep in a plate.

Time to coooooooook! 

Put the washed meat in a pot, add thyme, seasoning cubes, pepper and onions. Add very little water and parboil on low heat. Once it boils, add some water and increase the heat. When the meat is almost done, add okporoko, dried fish, crayfish, more pepper and seasoning cubes to taste. Leave to boil for 5 minutes and bring down from the fire.

In another pot, on medium heat, put in some palm oil and onions and stir fry for a while. Add okra and stir. You have to keep stirring it with the onions and palm oil for a while till it cooks a little. While stirring occasionally, you begin to add the meat broth little by little, still on medium heat. Adding the broth little by little while stirring makes the okra to start ‘drawing’.  You keep adding the broth till it’s finished or your soup is as thick or runny as you want it to be.


Lastly, you add the cooked meat, opkoroko, dried fish, smoked fish, uziza seeds or okpei, more crayfish, pepper and seasoning cubes (if needed) and ugu leaves. Leave to boil for a couple of minutes, stir one last time and your soup is ready.

This soup can be served with any swallow of your choice or even eaten alone. My go to swallow is either very soft garri or pounded yam. I can eat either of these any day with any soup. Enjoy!

If you like okra or will be trying this, I would love to hear from you. You can send an email to [email protected] or a DM on instagram


With Love,

Chef Enna.


Contents provided and/or opinions expressed here do not reflect the opinions of The Pacesetter Frontier Magazine or any employee thereof.

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