Ofe Nsala with Chicken and Catfish – White Soup Recipe

Ofe Nsala

Ofe Nsala recipe is a super delicious and unique soup that originates from the Eastern part of Nigeria in West Africa; Ofe Nsala also known as White soup is a delicacy usually made by the Igbos and some parts of Delta state. Nsala soup is known to be made particularly for women who just gave birth, and also during special occasions.

Nsala soup is called white soup because it doesn’t require the use of palm oil or any oil at all. Just like pepper soup, except that in this case, it is usually thickened. Some people prefer the soup thick, while others like it light and just slightly thick. Whichever one your choice is okay and acceptable.

Basically, nsala soup and pregnancy are mostly referred to as five and six, because pregnant women always look forward to it when they deliver their baby. So after pregnancy comes the almighty white soup.

Moreover, I still enjoy nsala soup now as an adult. Even though I still see it as a soup reserved for special occasions. I can’t really explain why. When grandma made it years ago, she used fresh fish and assorted meat. However, this time I tried making it with chicken and catfish. And guess what, it turned out super yummy. The taste of the chicken in it gave it another luscious taste; which is why I want to share the recipe with you.

My Nigerian Nsala Soup

I remember when my Mum gave birth to my brother. I was very young, but I still remember that my grandma who had come for omugwo prepared nsala soup. If I had eaten the soup before then, I couldn’t really tell. But I definitely remember this one. It was hot in the mouth because of the spices and leaves used in preparing the soup. But it was so so delicious, that I told grandma to live with us so that she would make the soup everyday. Little me!

Meanwhile, homemade white soup is very easy to make; it doesn’t take so much time to spice up. The moment your chicken is properly cooked to tender the soup is ready since the next step is to thicken the soup and add the vegetables. On the other hand, the Igbo white soup is quite similar to the Calabar white soup.

Soup thickeners for Nsala –White Soup Recipe

  • Pounded Yam
  • Achi
  • Ofor
  • Ede (Cocoyam)

How to Prepare Ofe Nsala Soup with Chicken and Catfish Recipe

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  • 1kg of chicken
  • 1 medium-size onion
  • 2-3 tablespoons crayfish grounded
  • 1 medium-sized catfish
  • Calabash nutmeg seed ( Ehuru)
  • Ogiri Okpei/Dawadawa
  • Uziza leaf (2 handfuls)
  • Grounded pepper
  • Yam (Poundo Yam for thickener)
  • Stock cubes
  • Uziza seeds grounded
  • Utazi leaf (optional)
  • Salt to taste

Preparation and Cooking

  1. First and foremost, wash the chicken and set aside. Do the same for the fish. You may add vinegar to thoroughly cleanse it. Place the chicken in a clean pot, spice with your sliced onions, salt, and seasoning cube; cover the lid and cook to tender.
  2. Secondly, peel some part of the yam, cut it into 8 pieces, the size of a baby fist, and boil the yam in a separate pot. When properly cooked pound using mortar and pestle until it becomes a thick paste; but for this recipe, I used Poundo yam.
  3. Thirdly, when the chicken is nearly soft, add enough water to cook the soup. Then add your ogiri okpei, crayfish, Ehuru, uziza seed, cover, and allow boiling.
  4. Add the Poundo yam into the chicken stock already boiling, use your cooking spoon and split the yam into smaller sizes; cover the lid and cook to slightly thicken the soup.
  5. Finally, stir the consistency add the washed catfish into the soup allow cooking for like 5-7 minutes, gently stir your soup to avoid the fish from splitting.
  6. In conclusion sprinkle the Uziza leaves into the soup, stir and taste for salt. Leave to simmer for a few minutes.
  7. Note that Utazi is bitter, therefore you may consider washing and rubbing it a bit to wash out some of the bitterness before adding to the soup.

I’m guessing that by now, the aroma would have filled your nostrils by now. Why don’t you try it out sometime soon? You can enjoy the soup with Fufu, Eba, Semo, or even Pounded yam. Maybe, after having the soup with your favorite swallow, you will see with me why it is reserved for special occasions.

Serve and Enjoy white soup Nigerian style!

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