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Cooking Tips

Steps to Prepare Oha Soup

Oha soup is a traditional soup similar to the bitter leaf soup but cooked with oha leaves. Oha leaves is used in   preparing oha soup, it is called ora leaves in some areas in the Eastern   part of Nigeria like in Anambra and Enugu states. While the rest of the Eastern parts of Nigeria call  it oha.

Oha soup is a well known soup in the Eastern part of Nigeria, such that if you claim to have been to the East and had not   really tasted oha soup, then know that you had not really been to the East.

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Oha   leaves is not always available all year round but, are mostly enjoyed during harmattan   period. This article therefore will show you how to prepare a simple delicious oha soup, so do enjoy it.

INGREDIENTS to Cook Oha Soup


Oha soup is an indigenous soup of the Igbo man, in the Eastern part of Nigeria, this reflects in the different methods and ingredients they use to prepare the oha soup which no other part of Nigeria can handle.

Oha soup can be prepared using cocoyam, which we are going to discuss in this article ,others include oha soup with Egusi, oha soup with ogbono, oha soup with achi, oha soup with oho or ofo in some other tongues.

The one we are going to discuss is oha with cocoyam, which is the most common amongs these ones. The ingredients for the one we are going to discuss include, a fresh vegetable oha leaf, though we are have different species of oha leaf used in preparing specific oha kind of soup .

For example we have the Anambra oha leaf, which is bigger in size and easier to shred when preparing it, this kind of oha leaf   is mostly good for preparing oha with Egusi soup, other species include Nsukka oha leaf, umuahia oha leaf, etc. These are different species of oha leaves that grow in different locations in the Eastern part of Nigeria.



In igbo land cocoyam is called Ede, it is used to cook soups like oha soup. For this particular dish cocoyam is required for making the base or forming the base of the soup.

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About 8 corms of cocoyam is required to prepare a standard oha soup. For specification, we have the one they call Ede Aru in igbo land, this is kind of cocoyam is usually bigger in size and used mainly in preparing fufu or utara in igbo land.

The other specie is Ede Ofe, as called   in igbo land. Ede ofe means soup cocoyam, it is usually small in size and used in preparing soup or forming the   base for soup.

When using this kind of cocoyam care should be taken as it more poisonous than the former cocoyam but makes a better base than the former. It is cooked for a longer time than the former.



Another ingredient required is red palm oil, which gives the soup that reddish colour.



This is another vital ingredient in preparing oha soup with cocoyam, it serves as a source of protein and as well makes it more palatable, especially when it is combined with assorted meat or fish which ever one that you can lay your hands on, or which ever you can actually afford.

The assorted meats or fish include like, the one they call shaki, which is extracted from cow meat. There is also dry fish like bunga fish, round fish, etc, whch can be also used together with other meats, and then we have such as the stock fish, which is also another tasty kind of   fish, that makes the soup more palatable.



Chilli pepper is another ingredient required in the preparation of oha soup with cocoyam. It used to prepare oha soup because amongst all   other species of pepper chilli pepper happens to be the best suited for this kind of dish. However, note should be taken when using it, as it sometimes contains some level of sand in it, and so when using it make sure you wash thoroughly.



Salt and crayfish, are also added in the list of the ingredients to be used in the preparation of oha soup with cocoyam, just in any other dish, salt and crayfish are needed to cook. The outline of the ingredients required include;

  • Fresh oha vegetable
  • Cocoyam (8 corms)
  • Red palm oil (3 cooking spoons),
  • Assorted meats including, (shaki, dry fish, and stock fish),
  • Chilli pepper,
  • Salt and crayfish to taste,
  • 3   Seasonings, (maggi or knorr cubes).


METHOD of Cooking Oha Soup

  • Grind the crayfish and pepper and set aside,
  • Pound cocoyam,
  • Wash and boil the cocoyam   till soft
  • Remove the peels and use a mortar and pestle to pound the corms to a smooth paste,
  • Using your fingers, cut the oha leaves into tiny pieces. This technique is to prevent the vegetable from becoming darker in colour, this happens when you cut the oha leaves with a knife.
  • Boil the shaki (cow tripe), stock fish and dry fish in one   litre of water till   they are done.
  • First sign of a done shaki is that the cuts will start curling on itself.
  • Wash the beef and add to the pot of shaki, etc, and continue cooking. When the meat is   done, add 3 cubes of maggi or knorr and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add the pepper and ground crayfish and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Add the cocoyam paste in small lumps and then the palm oil.
  • Cover the pot and leave to cook on high heat till the cocoyam lumps have dissolved. You can add more water if you feel that the soup is too thick.
  • Add the oha or ora leaves and   leave to cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Add   salt to taste and the soup is ready to be   served with Akpu, or foofoo   or amala.

Now serve it with chilled soft drinks.

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Onwuk Tobby

Onwuk Tobby is a Cook and Content Developer at InfoGuideNIgeria.com. 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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