Bitterleaf (onugbu) soup

Serves 4-6

This is a traditional Nigerian recipe for a classic dish of meat, fish, stock fish and bitter leaves cooked in a palm nut juice base or palm oil.

This is a traditional soup of the eastern part of Nigeria.


200ml palm oil

600ml palm nut juice (palm soup base) (optional)
600g fresh meat (dry fish, chicken, beef, goat meat or a mix)

100g cocoyam

3 tablespoon ground achi or ukpo (soup thickener)
1 bunch bitterleaf, stripped off the branches, wash off the bitter taste
ground pepper, to taste
2 seasoning cubes
salt, to taste
4 tablespoon ground, dried, crayfish (prawns)
300g stock fish, (dried fish), soaked in water and parboiled for 30 minutes to soften
300g smoked fish, washed and flaked

2tsp locust bean (ogili) (optional)

(Onugbu Soup) Preparation:


  • Wash and rinse your pot with clean water
  • Season the meat with Maggi, and salt. Place in a pot and cook until the meat release its juices. Add the palm soup base or palm oil.
  • Add the ground cocoyam or achi then bring to boil and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Add the stock fish, dried fish, locust bean, ground pepper, seasoning cubes and cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Add crayfish and season to taste with salt, then add the bitter leaves and cook for 10 minutes.

Serve with pounded yam, fufu, garri etc.

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