Ofe Nsala (Igbo White Soup) : Nsala Soup

nsala soup, ofe nsala , nigerian white soup

Ofe Nsala (Nsala Soup) is a delicious soup, popular in the eastern part of Nigeria. It is also known as ''white soup'' because of its light color , due to the absence of palm oil.
 The authentic Nsala soup recipe calls for fresh whole Cat Fish, which gives this soup its unique taste. But in the absence of whole catfish, catfish fillets or conger eel can be used.
 Ofe Nsala is also similar to Afia Efere, which is the Efik-style white soup, but the extra condiments added to Afia Efere is what differentiates it from Nsala.
 So here's a simply Ofe Nsala  recipe, using Fish only, I also included some tips on how to cook this delicious soup, with assorted meat and dried fish. Hope you enjoy!


Ingredients For Nsala Soup:
- 1 medium sized Cat Fish (use conger eel if you can't find Catfish in your area, they taste almost the same)
- 5 small sized raw Yam cubes OR Yam Powder (Potato Puree can also be used)
- 2  tablespoonful chopped Utazi Leaves or parsley(optional)
- 1 tablespoonful ground Crayfish
- 1 teaspoonful Ogiri or Iru (fermented locust beans)
- 1 tablespoonful chopped Onions(optional)
- Chili pepper/chopped Scotch bonnet peppers (to taste)
- 1-2 Stock/Seasoning cubes(maggi, knorr etc

- Salt (to taste
 
For a richer (orisirisi) soup, you can also add 
- dried fish (to taste

- Stock fish (to taste)  
- 5 pieces Chicken pieces or 10 pieces Beef pieces

 


 Preparation :
 

1. If you want to add beef, chicken or stock fish or dried fish to your Nsala soup; season and cook the meat or dried fish , with onions, seasoning cube and salt to taste. Cook until done and set aside

2. Peel the yam cubes and boil until soft, then pound to a smooth paste, using a mortar and pestle.
   In the absence of a mortar and pestle, you can place the cooked yam in a food processor/blender, add a little hot water and blend until smooth (you can use the hot water you cooked the yams in).
   If what you have is yam powder, boil some hot water,add the powder and stir continuously until you get a smooth paste (just like the texture of pounded yam) .
 Then, Set the yam paste aside for later use.

3. Next, place the catfish into a pot, pour enough water to cover it, add the chopped onions, seasoning cube and salt to taste. Cook for about 10-15 minutes or until the fish is almost done. 


** The large/medium sized catfish takes about 20 minutes to cook through, but a  small sized catfish, takes a shorter time, always check for doneness ** 
  
Tip: if you'll be adding the catfish head,add it first and leave to boil for about 1 minute before adding the other fish parts. This is because the head of the catfish is a bit tough and if added at the same time, the other fish parts will cook faster and even break to pieces before the fish head is done.

4. Now, add the pepper, crayfish and ogiri/iru.  


Tip: if you're cooking this soup with chicken/beef or dried fish,this is the time to add the cooked meat and dried fish(in step 1) to the pot
  
Also, add the yam paste bit by bit and leave the soup to cook until the paste is completely dissolved and the fish is well done. 

5. Finally, add the utazi leaves, taste for salt and simmer for 30 seconds. 
Tip: remember the utazi leaf is optional, so don't bother if you don't have it.

Now you have a delicious Nsala Soup .
Ofe Nsala ( Nsala Soup)  is usually served with Pounded Yam , Fufu, Amala,  Eba, Semolina OR Pounded Yam  

113 comments:

  1. Tinuke Omoike2:56:00 PM

    Nky, you are just too much. My hubby and I ate one nsala soup at the party and it had enough orisirisi in it. I have seen other recipes but, yours is the only one with tips on how to use dried fish and stock fish. I am new to cooking, so thanks sweetie, for this, I'll send my feedback, this is going to be my valentine soup for hubby .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Tinuke,I'm glad you like it :)

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  2. Anonymous2:57:00 PM

    Thanks , very easy recipe.

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    Replies
    1. You're welcome dear :)

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    2. Anonymous5:57:00 PM

      Nice & simple recipe. Pls how can i prepare sauce for rice?

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    3. Check our sauce recipes above.

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  3. New feed subscriber here, welldone &thanks for all your cool recipes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for subscribing dear :)

      Delete
  4. Anonymous3:09:00 PM

    Just saw this on your facebook page, thanks, I'll be trying it today.

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  5. Anonymous2:10:00 PM

    will try dis out tomorrow.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Ekanem Orijis4:05:00 PM

    Thank you so much ma for saying that Afia efere and Nsala are not the same thing, because even if they look alike they don't taste alike because the extra spices and ingredients that we efik people use for our afia efere really changes the taste and aroma of the soup.
    This really shows that you are a great cook ma, I also saw your banga soup recipe and I am so WOWED by it, it's like you learned from real traditional cooks. God bless you, continue with what you do ma.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Ekanem, It feels good to get a confirmation from a real efik woman. God bless you too dear :)

      Delete
  7. Anonymous12:12:00 PM

    I'm inspired! I've been in a food slump lately and bored with the usual fare, when I found your website while looking for what to do with my over-ripe plantains. However, I am not a fan of cat fish... what other fish can I use?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi dear, thanks for sticking around. Hope you were able to do something with your over-ripe plantains.
      As for this recipe,you can make use of conger eel or carp, if you don't like catfish :)

      Delete
  8. Anonymous12:05:00 PM

    Hello, where am staying we don't have yam powder, but i have poundo yam

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Poundo yam will work fine dear :)

      Delete
  9. Anonymous12:25:00 AM

    I cooked mt nsala today and it taste so good thanks mama

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your feedback dear :)

      Delete
  10. Anonymous2:33:00 AM

    Thanks for this recipe. I tried the party jollof rice and it was awesome! I want to try this recipe but for those of us living outside the shores of Nigeria, can we do leave out Ogiri cause I can't lay my hands on any or is there any substitute? Also I planned using parsley in place of utazi.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi dear, you can leave out the ogiri if you can't find any and yes, you can use parsley in place of utazi :)

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  11. Anonymous8:25:00 PM

    I am new on this blog, I want to try this out but i am not sure about the leaves, i got both the utazi and the uziza leaf, which do i use and how do i differentiate both. Thanks so much

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous2:34:00 PM

    Gud day ma, pls i need ur website

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is my website dearie :)

      Delete
  13. Anonymous2:33:00 PM

    Nky Nwayioma can you do something on crab soup ie Ofe nshikor and Ofe umgborogu

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sure dear, I'll be shopping for crabs this weekend, you'll be seeing the recipe up soon :)

      Delete
    2. Anonymous2:03:00 PM

      Hmmm yummy

      Delete
  14. Anonymous10:52:00 PM

    Exciting dear. we don't like fresh fish in the house. Can we just use beef or snail? Chioma

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Chioma, Fresh catfish is actually what makes the soup stand out, but you can also use dried catfish, assorted meat, stock fish and snails.

      Delete
  15. Anonymous8:08:00 AM

    Hi nky what if you don't eat cat fish love your blog. Ada

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks dear, you can make use of dried fish and stockfish.

      Delete
  16. Please can't we use those pepper soup spices? Like uziza, ehuru and uda? Will it taste nice?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes it will taste nice. That's how the Efik people cook theirs :)

      Delete
  17. Anonymous11:17:00 AM

    Hello. I am new here and I am loving this. But how can I get daily msgs?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welcome dearie, you can subscribe above the page to receive recipes in your inbox.

      Delete
  18. Hello ma'am pls can I still use ice fish since I can't get fresh catfish around here and what is conger eel

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In the absence of both fresh catfish and dried ones, you can use the frozen(iced) ones if you can get it.
      Conger eel fish is that fish that looks somehow like a snake, popularly known as ''snakefish'' in Nigeria.

      Delete
  19. Anonymous2:24:00 AM

    Can I add fresh tomato in it

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi dearie, you don't have to add fresh tomatoes, the soup is delicious, just as it is, but feel free to experiment if you want to.

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  20. Please i don't have poundo or fresh yam and i also don't have ogiri or iru but i have ogiri okpei and u said to use parsley in the absence of uziza

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can use potato in the absence of yam, and you can make use of ogiri okpei,but just use a little. And yes, make use of parsley if you don't have uziza.

      Delete
  21. Anonymous7:37:00 PM

    Can quaker oat be used as tickner

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have never used it as a soup thickener.

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  22. Hello,im cooking nsala soup tomorrow tnks alot

    ReplyDelete
  23. Making my nsala soup tomorrow can't wait.yippee.tnks nky u are d best

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks sweetie, I'm so glad to be of help, you also make all the effort worth it.
      Hoping to see the pics :)

      Delete
  24. Anonymous8:25:00 PM

    I jus try dis soup nw,so easy nd delicious nd also a fast one,my husband really enjoyed it.thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome dearie, I'm glad you all enjoyed the recipe :)

      Delete
  25. Anonymous1:16:00 PM

    Must it b cat fish, wat if I want to use goat meat and others

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can make use of other types of meat, that's how the Efiks cook theirs.

      Delete
  26. Anonymous4:15:00 PM

    hii. can it be eaten with starch?

    ReplyDelete
  27. Anonymous7:09:00 PM

    hii nky..i have not tasted nsala soup for once cos of its appearance but hope i will enjoy it cos i want to try it out....tanks for the recipe..

    ReplyDelete
  28. Anonymous5:54:00 PM

    Good day ma,
    Concerning the yam powder, is it cocoyam powder or one have to boil a tuber of yam and blend it?
    Thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's the powder used in place of yam to make pounded yam. But if you have yam, then boil a little, pound it and use for this recipe.

      Delete
  29. I like the work u are doing here, keep it up

    ReplyDelete
  30. Anonymous12:39:00 PM

    Can't I use cocoyam?

    ReplyDelete
  31. Nky how are u pls just wanted to ask u if u can create a blackberry channel bcus das the in thing now and u will have plenty followers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm on it dearie ., thanks for the insight :)

      Delete
  32. Hi Nky. I am a yoruba lady getting married to an Igbo man. I have been searching sites with great recipes for my man's kind of food. I am glad to have seen your site. Keep up the good job. I will try this Ofe Nsala recipe cos it is his best food n I can't go wrong with it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Congrats dearie.
      Trust me, you can never go wrong with this recipe
      You'll win him over and over again :)

      Delete
  33. Anonymous11:47:00 PM

    You are just too much abeg. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  34. Anonymous11:04:00 PM

    Nice one ma! But in my house, I've always known nsala soup to be cooked with uziza leaf, that's the only leaf mum uses to make her nsala soup. We're from Anambra and the utazi leaf is kind of alien to us. What do you say?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi dearie, anyone of the two can be used, but utazi is commonly used.

      Delete
  35. Anonymous10:03:00 AM

    Hello, tnx for ur recipes....I made shawarma using ur recipe and it was nice. I tried out ofe nsala and my catfish was all mashed up. Maybe I should have removed it before adding the pounded yam.
    Also if I add very very little oil will it still be white soup? I prefer soup with that bright color.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the shawarma feedback.
      As for the fish in Nsala, you should only cook the fish half way(not completely done).
      And yes, feel free to add JUST A LITTLE oil if you want, after all, it is your soup and you can improvise as you want :)

      Delete
  36. Hello madam.
    I came across your site today and am so pleased with what you do on this site. Do you have a book that covers all the food recipes that you have on this site. If yes where can i buy it
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for asking dearie. The book is in progress and will be out soon, pls subcribe to the website so that you will be one of the first to get updates when the book is ready :)

      Delete
  37. Anonymous5:13:00 PM

    Hello madam
    I am pleased to visit your site today, and am glad with the good work that you do. Please do you have a book that covers all you have taught on your site and where can i buy it
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for asking, the book is in progress and will be ready soon, I'll keep you updated on the website.

      Delete
  38. thank you so much,enjoyed every bit of it

    ReplyDelete
  39. Hello Nky, I'm new. Tried the nsala recipe. Altho I used semo as my thicker omo it didn't dissolve o.. not entirely at least. There was still balls of semo I the soup. Tasted great but the look wasn't so nice. Apart from yam and yam flour what else can I use?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chai Stephanie, why did you use semo naa ?
      In the absense of yam or yam flour, you can make use of sweet potato flour.
      Let me know how it turns out :)

      Delete
  40. Anonymous9:45:00 AM

    Please how can I subscribe?

    ReplyDelete
  41. Anonymous9:46:00 AM

    Please how do I subscribe

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi dear,there is a subcribe button at the top right corner of this page:)

      Delete
  42. Nky, tnx for d recipe. Just tried the nsala soup and it taste great. Keep d good work. God bless u. Ng

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ngo dear, Thanks for your lovely feedback :)

      Delete
  43. Wow Nky this is beautiful. Am a guy but cookin is my hobby. With this i knw i wld be a better cook. Tankz alot.

    ReplyDelete
  44. I must say am woowed 😃, av been looking for a way to prepare this particular soup which has been my favorite soup trust me, but i finally got it en am so goin to give it a try ASAP, tnk darlene, uve won a constant visitor to this site.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Chioma, I'm so happy to have you here :)

      Delete
  45. Anonymous2:23:00 PM

    Lovely recipe. it tasted like my granny's own. Pls do you know how to make Ofe achara? My late mum made it once and I loved it and I'm craving that soup. I'll be glad if you can help. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks.
      Ofe achara is one of my favorite soups too. As soon as I get the ingredients here in Spain, I will post the recipe :)

      Delete
  46. How do I subscribe pls.kike

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kike,there is a subcribe button at the top right corner of this page:)

      Delete
  47. Anonymous7:09:00 PM

    Thanks for teaching us all this foods.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Anonymous12:49:00 PM

    U too much jooooooor

    ReplyDelete
  49. Im new to your page. Thanks for inspiring me. You have made cooking a fun affair. I find myself reading up new ingredients to add to my cooking.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Anonymous6:06:00 PM

    pls i need a proceed on how 2 cook chicken curry sauce

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Find it here http://www.nigerianfoodtv.com/2012/08/nigerian-soup-stew-recipes.html

      Delete
  51. Nice job,I am igbo and nsala is not completely igbo nsala without uziza seed,then uda,ehuru, okpei,ginger are optional but a must for post natal stage mothers

    ReplyDelete
  52. Anonymous1:36:00 PM

    Hi. I'm a little bit confused. What is yam cube?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fresh yam that has been cut into cube shape or small squares :)

      Delete
  53. princess12:37:00 AM

    Fantastic

    ReplyDelete
  54. princess12:39:00 AM

    Hi, yur nsala is awesome

    ReplyDelete

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