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.  

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  



  1. Nay Precious
    April 5, 2018 / 2:27 pm

    Hi namesake can I add uziza leaf and utazi to my nsala soup? Not Precious

  2. Anonymous
    September 9, 2017 / 9:52 am

    Enter your comment…plsss what are dose greenish spices dat is in dis nsala pix? is is ugwu leave is wot?

  3. Anonymous
    December 24, 2016 / 3:04 pm

    Enter your comment…what of making nsala soup with intestine.

  4. princess
    September 24, 2016 / 10:39 pm

    Hi, yur nsala is awesome

    • Nky Lily Lete
      November 27, 2016 / 7:19 pm

      Thanks princess 🙂

  5. princess
    September 24, 2016 / 10:37 pm


    • Nky Lily Lete
      November 27, 2016 / 7:19 pm


  6. Anonymous
    September 22, 2016 / 11:36 am

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

    • Nky Lily Lete
      November 27, 2016 / 7:17 pm

      Fresh yam that has been cut into cube shape or small squares 🙂

  7. Joy E-N
    July 27, 2016 / 11:53 pm

    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

    • Nky Lily Lete
      November 27, 2016 / 7:11 pm

      Thanks for the info Joy 🙂

  8. Anonymous
    March 25, 2016 / 5:06 pm

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

  9. Dr JICA
    February 15, 2016 / 10:04 am

    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.

    • Nky Lily Lete
      November 27, 2016 / 7:08 pm

      You're welcome Dr Jica 🙂

  10. Anonymous
    February 14, 2016 / 11:49 am

    U too much jooooooor

    • Nky Lily Lete
      November 27, 2016 / 7:05 pm


  11. Anonymous
    February 12, 2016 / 6:09 pm

    Thanks for teaching us all this foods.

    • Nky Lily Lete
      November 27, 2016 / 7:05 pm


  12. bankole kikelomo
    December 3, 2015 / 9:25 am

    How do I subscribe pls.kike

    • Nky Lily Lete
      December 30, 2015 / 8:21 am

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

  13. bankole kikelomo
    December 3, 2015 / 9:23 am

    Thanks 4 d recipe.Kike

    • Nky Lily Lete
      December 30, 2015 / 8:28 am

      You're welcome Kike 🙂

  14. Anonymous
    November 27, 2015 / 1:23 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

    • Nky Lily Lete
      December 30, 2015 / 8:12 am

      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 🙂

    October 27, 2015 / 9:04 am

    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…..

    • Nky Lily Lete
      December 30, 2015 / 7:35 am

      Thanks Chioma, I'm so happy to have you here 🙂

  16. Sunny
    October 19, 2015 / 7:30 am

    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.

    • Nky Lily Lete
      December 30, 2015 / 7:27 am

      You're welcome Sunny 🙂

  17. Ngozi Onwazebe
    October 10, 2015 / 7:52 pm

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

    • Nky Lily Lete
      December 30, 2015 / 7:22 am

      Ngo dear, Thanks for your lovely feedback 🙂

  18. Anonymous
    August 25, 2015 / 7:46 am

    Please how do I subscribe

    • Nky Lily Lete
      September 9, 2015 / 10:47 am

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

  19. Anonymous
    August 25, 2015 / 7:45 am

    Please how can I subscribe?

  20. stephanie
    August 22, 2015 / 3:40 pm

    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?

    • Nky Lily Lete
      September 9, 2015 / 10:42 am

      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 🙂

  21. Chioma Ezejiugo Ben
    August 6, 2015 / 9:35 am

    thank you so much,enjoyed every bit of it

    • Nky Lily Lete
      August 16, 2015 / 11:14 pm

      you're welcome hun 🙂

  22. Anonymous
    July 10, 2015 / 3:13 pm

    Hello madamI 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 itThanks

    • Nky Lily Lete
      July 23, 2015 / 9:06 pm

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

  23. maureen dorathy
    July 10, 2015 / 3:09 pm

    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 itThanks

    • Nky Lily Lete
      July 25, 2015 / 10:07 am

      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 🙂

  24. Anonymous
    June 19, 2015 / 8:03 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.

    • Nky Lily Lete
      June 22, 2015 / 8:59 am

      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 🙂

  25. Anonymous
    June 11, 2015 / 9:04 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?

    • Nky Lily Lete
      June 12, 2015 / 5:43 pm

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

  26. Anonymous
    May 17, 2015 / 9:47 pm

    You are just too much abeg. Thanks

    • Nky Lily Lete
      May 24, 2015 / 3:34 pm


  27. Kehinde Falade
    April 29, 2015 / 10:06 am

    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.

    • Nky Lily Lete
      May 1, 2015 / 11:41 am

      Congrats dearie.Trust me, you can never go wrong with this recipeYou'll win him over and over again 🙂

  28. chinonso enimola
    April 25, 2015 / 6:04 pm

    Uw dear

    • Nky Lily Lete
      April 29, 2015 / 11:09 am


  29. chinonso enimola
    April 24, 2015 / 2:54 pm

    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

    • Nky Lily Lete
      April 25, 2015 / 1:12 pm

      I'm on it dearie ., thanks for the insight 🙂

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