Ofe Nsala: Igbo White Soup | How to Cook Nigerian Nsala Soup
Ofe Nsala is the quickest and easiest Igbo soup to make, making it the soup of choice for special guests who come to see us on the spur of the moment.
It’s a hearty fresh fish soup made traditionally using Catfish. Nsala soup is a simple dish to make.
It has the same components as pepper soup, and both are spicy soups that are ideal for the winter months.
The thicker appearance of ofe nsala, on the other hand, distinguishes it from pepper soup.
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A ceremonial food is ofe nsala and nni Ji (pounded yam). It’s worth noting at this point that various Nigerian riverine communities make different versions of the soup.
The flavoring, seasoning, and spicing of the soups, on the other hand, are what distinguishes them.
Nsala soup, also called “Ofe Nsala” by Igbos, “Afia efere” by Calabars, and “White soup” in English, is a popular dish in Nigeria’s eastern and southern regions.
It’s called white soup because it’s one of the few Nigerian soups that doesn’t call for palm oil, but some people do add a bit. Ofe nsala and Pregnancy are two of the easiest one-pot soups I enjoy making.
Ofe Nsala and Pregnancy
Nsala soup is completely healthy during pregnancy, according to the NIGERIAN HEALTH BLOG.
There is no scientific evidence that ofe nsala is detrimental to pregnant women or their unborn babies.
As a result, pregnant women can enjoy the deliciousness of white soup without worrying about negative consequences.
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Ofe Nsala Origin: Nigerian Foods
The soup is native to Nigeria’s eastern region. Fresh entire Cat Fish is used in the genuine Nsala soup recipe, which gives the soup its distinct flavor.
Although catfish and other types of fish are typically used in Ofe Nsala, I like it with hard/old chicken, goat meat, or even smoked turkey, so feel free to experiment with other proteins if you’re not a fan of fresh fish.
Ofe Nsala Soup Recipe
This soup’s main ingredients are yam and catfish.
However, you can cook with any other protein of your choice, albeit catfish is a must.
Pounded yam is the best thickening for Ofe Nsala, but if you can’t find fresh yam, you can use Achi, yam flour, or Cocoyam instead.
If you’re going to use Cocoyam, keep in mind that it has a slimy texture that will impact the consistency of your soup. If you can’t get fresh Utazi or Uziza leaves, you can substitute dry leaves or simply do without.
How to Prepare Nsala Soup
Below is a simple recipe, using Fish and small pieces of yam as thickener together with utazi leaves.
However, one may choose not to use all of the components in this recipe; it is entirely up to the individual.
Ofe Nsala Soup Ingredients
- Cat Fish or any other fish of your choice
- Fresh or dry Utazi Leaves/parsley leaves/bitter leaf (optional)
- Thickener: 6 small sized raw yam cubes / Yam Powder / Potato Puree/ Achi
- Chili pepper/chopped Scotch bonnet peppers (to taste)
- chopped onions
- Salt (to taste)
- 2 tablespoons of ground crayfish
- 1 teaspoon of fresh Nigerian traditional seasoning- fresh ogiri or open or Iru (locust beans)
Preparation: How to Make Ofe Nsala Soup
- Firstly, peel the yam and cut it into cubes. Wash and boil until tender, then using a mortar and pestle pound to a smooth paste.
- Then, shape into teaspoon ball sizes and put them aside. You can also use a food processor/blender to achieve the same result.
- After that, wash the utazi leaves, the peppers, and the crayfish and set them aside. Utazi is bitter in taste hence, one or two fresh leaves are good for flavoring.
- Firstly, put the catfish into a medium-sized pot, pour water enough to cover it, and then add the chopped onions, seasoning cubes, and salt to taste. Cook until the fish is tender
- Secondly, add the peppers, salt, crayfish, and traditional seasoning of choice-ogiri/iru/Okpei.
- Then, put the yam paste bit by bit and leave the soup to boil completely and the fish is soft.
- Finally, add 1 or 2 utazi leaves for flavoring, taste for salt, and simmer for 30 seconds.
Now you have a rich and delicious Soup. Serve hot. This Nigerian Soup is usually served with Eba (Garri), Semolina, Amala, Pounded Yam, and others.