How to Cook Nigerian Okra Soup (Ila Alasepo)

how to cook okra soup

I can’t believe I have never written about the Nigerian okra soup; this soup is one of the best soups ever, in all aspects. Taste, versatility, medical advantages, and the mere fact that it is as local as it is international cuisine.

The big deal about okra is that, apart from the fact that it has been helping kids swallow African food morsels since the 1900’s, it’s great for weight loss, diabetic control, and intestinal health. The positives of okra soup are endless.

How to Make Okra Soup

Ingredients of Okra Soup

  • 400 grams chopped/grated okra.
  • 5 habanero/scotch bonnet peppers or to your taste of spiciness.
  • 200 grams stock fish.
  • 200 grams Smoked fish.
  • 100 grams fresh shrimp or crayfish.
  • Beef/chicken or mackerel, as you so desire.
  • 3 tablespoon vegetable oil [palm oil is often used but this is not a must].
  • 100 grams scrubbed and chopped bitter-leaf, or chopped ugwu/spinach.
  • Salt and stock cubes to taste.
  • 1 tbsp chilli or Cameroon pepper.
  • Chopped ginger/garlic [optional].
  • 1 tbsp locust beans/iru/ogiri [optional]
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Preparation of Okra Soup

  • Boil beef/chicken/mackerel seasoned with salt, garlic, ginger and stock cubes to your taste.
  • Boil or steam stock fish after cleaning thoroughly.
  • Wash and debone smoked fish and split into small pieces.
  • Blend or chop habanero peppers.
  • Clean your shrimps or cray fish, and you can shell them if you so wish.
  • Mix chopped okra with a bit of water until it gets a creamy, less grainy consistency.
  • When your meat or fish is adequately soft, pour in the stock fish, dry fish, and shrimps into the mix, and simmer for about 5minutes.
  • Add the peppers and oil and spice to taste which may or may not include the locust beans. Let it boil for a few more minutes till the pepper is cooked.
  • Add bitter-leaf or other vegetable and let simmer for a minute.
  • Mix in your okra to the boiling broth and do not cover up the pot or saucepan. Continue to mix until it’s cooked to your taste.
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how to cook okra soup

For fresher, crunchier okra soup, do not cook okra for more than 2 minutes on medium heat. You might add some hot water to reduce the thickness or for a lighter soup.

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