The ultimate guide to making the perfect Ofe Nsala soup [VIDEO]

Ofe Nsala is the quickest and easiest Igbo Soup to prepare, and that makes it the choice soup for special guests.

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Ofe Nsala (Nsala Soup) Ingredients

  • 1 big Catfish
  • 8 small pieces white yam
  • 5 Utazi leaves
  • 2 small seasoning cubes
  • Small piece of ogiri okpei
  • A handful crayfish
  • Habanero pepper (to taste)
  • Salt (if necessary)

Notes on the Ofe Nsala

  1. Catfish is the fish for Ofe Nsala.
  2. You need just enough yam to give you an Ofe Nsala that has a medium consistency.
  3. Utazi leaf is your best choice
  4. Ogiri Okpei is a traditional Igbo seasoning.

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Before you prepare Ofe Nsala (Nsala Soup)

  1. Usually, when you buy catfish in Nigerian markets, the sellers will kill and cut it up for you.
  2. When you get home, boil hot water and pour on the pieces of fish to remove the slime on the fish as well as toughen them. You want to toughen the catfish so it does not disintegrate in the soup.
  3. Quickly rinse off the slime with cool water and place the fish in the cooking pot.
  4. Peel the yam and cut into medium pieces.
  5. Chop the utazi and pound in a mortar with the pepper, ogiri okpei and crayfish. Just give them a rough pound. Same with if you are using a blender.

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Directions for making the Ofe Nsala (Nsala Soup)

  1. Add the seasoning cubes (crushed) to the pot of fish.
  2. Add the pieces of yam.
  3. Pour water to cover everything and start cooking.
  4. When the yam is soft and moist, bring them out and place in a mortar.
  5. Add the pounded crayfish, pepper, ogiri okpei and utazi into the pot of fish and continue cooking.
  6. Pound the cooked yam in a mortar till smooth and stretchy.
  7. Add the yam into the pot of Ofe Nsala in small lumps, cover and continue cooking.
  8. Once the yam dissolves and thickens the soup, it is done. If you achieve medium consistency before all the yam is dissolved, take out the undissolved yam because you do not want the Ofe Nsala to be too thick.
  9. Add salt if necessary, stir very well and that’s it!

Watch the video below to see how Ofe Nsala is prepared


Ofe Nsala is always served with Pounded Yam but if you do not have Pounded Yam, serve with Semolina Fufu.