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How To Prepare Ugba

Ugba is a fermented oil bean seed. It passes through fermentation before it is considered fit for human consumption. It is a cheap source of protein. Ugba is a native to the eastern part of Nigeria (Igbos).

It is called Ukana by the Efiks. It is prepared as Abacha (Africa Salad) but Ugba is considered the main ingredient instead of the side ingredient.

It is a respected dish in the Igbo land. It is a traditional dish mostly served in restaurants and ceremonial occasions. You can now bring Ugba to your house as i will be  sharing the recipe with you. You just have to try out this dish and thank me later.

How to Prepare Ugba
Ugba; African Delicacy – Photo Source:

Ingredient for Prepare of Ugba

Here are the following ingredients for preparing Ugba ndi Igbo

a. 3 handfuls of ugba (ukpaka)

b. ½ cup of red palm oil

c. 1 habanero pepper (atarodo, ose oyibo)

d. 1 teaspoon powdered of edible potash (alternative: baking soda)

e. 1 big stock cube

f. 1 handful of crayfish or 2 tablespoons of grinded crayfish

g. ½ teaspoon of ogiri Igbo

h. 2 big pieces of kpomo (cow skin)

i. 1 big cut of stockfish

j. 10 medium crayfish

k. Salt (to taste)

For garnishingof Ugba

a. Red onion

b. nStockfish or dry fish (optional)

c. Garden egg leaves

Note on the ingredients

a. Ugba also known as Ukpaka , is an oil bean seed. Ugba is served as a side ingredient to Isi Ewu and Abacha. Ugba is cooked for a some hours and shredded before used

b. Potash also known as Akanwu. This is what makes the palm oil curdle. An alternative to potash is baking soda

c. Ogiri is another ingredient for making Ugba. It is a traditional Igbo seasoning, it has a loud smell  and it is prepared from castor seed

d. The medium sized crayfish being referred to in the list of ingredients is not oporo (large dried prawns). The ones usually seen in crayfish and are picked out. They are big in size but not as big as Oporo.

e. Kpomo is a raw cowskin.   It is usually roasted to remove the skin hair before use. Shaki (cow tripe) can be an alternative to kpomo

f. Stockfish is dried cod fish. If you do not have it, smoked mackerel (smoked fish) is the next best thing for this Ugba recipe.

Directions for Preparing of Ubga

Rinse the Ugba with warm water and drain the water with a sieve

a. Cook the stockfish and kpomo with stock cubes. Allow to boil until the water used is almost dried. If your using the  smoked fish, don’t cook them

b.  Then cut the stockfish and Kpomo into pieces.

c. Dissolve the potash or baking soda in water. The  potash mix should be stir and passed through a sieve into a bowl and the liquid should be set aside

d. Grind the crayfish and set aside

e. The onion should be sliced into ring and set aside

f. Rinse and chop the gardener egg leaves into tiny pieces

g. Break up the medium sized crayfish using your hand

h. Cut the habanero peppers into tiny pieces.

i. We are done with preparing the ingredients, now let’s go ahead and prepare the Ugba. Just as African salad is prepared, Ugba is prepared off heat.

j. Pour palm oil in a pot. If the palm oil needs to be melted, you can heat just that and take it off heat

k. Get the liquid sieved from the potash mixture and pour into the palm oil , stirring at the same time. Then the palm oil becomes yellow and curdle

l. Add the Ogiri Igbo and dissolve it

m. Add the grinded crayfish, the medium sized crayfish, the kpomo and the stockfish. If using smoked fish, Go ahead and add it

n. Stir till ingredients all properly blended

o. Place the pot on heat then add the Ugba, the chopped habanero pepper and the stock from the stockfish and kpomo

p. Keep stirring until everything is properly mixed. Once it has heat up, add salt to taste, stir and take off from heat

The ugba can now be served with the sliced onion and garden egg leaves  which goes with a chilled palm wine or beer

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Lilian Umeoke

Lilian is a content writer at InfoGuide Nigeria is a team of Resource Persons and Consultants led by Ifiokobong Ibanga. Page maintained by Ifiokobong Ibanga. If you need a personal assistance on this topic, kindly contact us.

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