25 Oct

Bitter Leaf Soup–Nutritional Benefits and How to prepare-Video

Delicious Bitterleaf Soup(Ofe Onugbu) Delicious and Bitter don’t sound right together Right? I know but this soup is one that makes the two words work together Trust me. So on today’s menu we have this delicious soup from eastern Nigeria. It is cooked with a type of vegetable called bitter leaf.  like I Said don’t worry it’s delicious, despite the name of the vegetable used. The bitter leaf is washed till most of the bitterness goes off. you need to let some of the bitterness hang around though, because that’s what gives the dish it’s unique taste.

Different Ethnic groups in eastern Nigeria cook with this vegetable but in different ways. It is a delicacy for the Anambra people and some parts of Imo that share borders with Anambra like Arondizuogu people. The Ibibios call there brasses not sure of the spelling please correct me if you know the spelling. But theirs is cooked mixed with another vegetable like UGU (pumpkin leaves)



Delicious Bitterleaf Soup ( Ofe Onuegbu)

This is a delicious Nigerian delicacy made with a special vegetable bitterleaf.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Nigerian
Servings: 10


Assorted meats

  • 500 g Meat Precooked
  • 800 g Cow/beef foot Precooked
  • 500 g Stock fish Precooked
  • 1-2 Dry fish

Other ingredients

  • 250 g Bitter leaf vegetable Check recipe notes
  • 3 Uziza leaves (Finely chopped)
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp Mkpuru ofo powder
  • 2 Tbsp Cameroon pepper ( reduce quantity if you don’t like heat
  • 2 Tbsp Ogiri ( or 2 wraps)
  • 200 g Palm nut paste (Or 1-1/2 cup palm oil)
  • 1/4 Cup Coarsely ground crayfish


  • Put about 8 cups of water in a pot. Add salt and bring to s slow boil. then add the ground crayfish and ground Cameroon pepper.
  • Add the precooked meats,  Turn down the heat to low. ( Don’t cook meats for too long remember they are already precooked)
  • Add in the palm paste or palm oil and stir.
  • Mix Ogiri with a little water and add to the pot. Then take a cooking spoon of hot liquid from the pot to dissolve the mkpuru ofo powder. Pour the dissolved mixture into the soup and stir. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
  • As the soup thickens, add onugbu leaves followed by the uziza leaves.
  • Stir in properly, Allow simmer for about a minute.  Turn off heat. Do not cover pot immediately
  • Enjoy with any African swallow food of choice


To process the bitter leaf:

Wash the bitterleaf thoroughly with lots of water to remove sand and other particles.

Boil in a large pot for 30 mins. with about 3 times the size of the leaves. Leave the pot open while cooking otherwise it would bubble over.

Turn off heat, pour the bitter leaf into a sieve and run it over with cold water. Rinse a few times.

Transfer back to pot SS a lot of water and some 1/2 a tsp of potash or baking soda. Bring to boil again and allow to boil for another 30mins. Turn off heat and pear process above.

Store or use immediately.

To save time, I process the bitter leaf veggies in bulk and ahead of time. So not easy that the recipe above reflects that. If you prepare the vegetables the same day you are cooking the soup, then the prep and cook time would be longer.

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