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Oil-free Ogbono

I know I know, I am back to my oil free ways. I sincerely think the amount of oil used in Nigerian cooking is way too much. The average adult is supposed to consume around 2 tablespoons of added oil per day. With the way egg is often deep fried in the average Nigerian household, people have often consumed more than this allocation by breakfast. Do not get me wrong, I am not anti-oil, I just think added oil should be significantly limited in our diet; not only from a weight loss perspective but from overall cardiovascular health viewpoint.

So there I was craving Ogbono soup a little while ago, just like okro Soup, I love the ease of preparing ogbono soup. It also one of the lower calories Nigerian soups because it’s seed based and has high thickening properties. You can pretty much get an entire pot full of soup from 1/3 cup of ogbono seed.

Most people think ogbono needs to be melted in oil in order to make it draw (viscous) but this is a misconception, “drawness” is activated by heat not oil. Ogbono can be mixed in hot broth or hot water to get the same effect.

I do hope you try this recipe; you will honestly not miss the oil at all. If you don’t have a lot of time, simmer the broth for about 12-15 minutes on medium –high heat.

oil Free Okro - Ogbono Soup

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 6

  • 2 maggi cubes
  • Salt – to taste
  • 2 tablespoons ground crayfish
  • 2 cups precooked beef/shaki/ponmo
  • 1 large mackerel (or any fish of choice) cleaned and cut into steaks
  • ⅓ cup groundOgbono seed
  • 2 large red bell pepper (tatshe)
  • 2 scotch bonnet pepper (ata –rodo)
  • 2 cups sliced okra
  1. Season cleaned fish steaks with salt and pepper – set aside
  2. In a blender or food processor, process the peppers to a coerce consistency – set aside
  3. Combine the first 4 ingredients in a large pot with 5 cups of water. Simmer on medium-low heat for 30 minutes
  4. Add about 1 cup of simmered broth into the ogbono. Whisk until viscous and smooth
  5. Add the mixed ogbono and peppers into the broth. Stir well to combine. Place the fish pieces in and allow to cook uncovered for 10 minutes.
  6. Add in chopped okra and stir gently (careful not to break the fish). Allow to simmer for another 2 minutes and remove from heat.
  7. Serve and enjoy!!

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