Ofe Oha – Ingredients & Preparation

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Oha Soup is a native meal for the South Eastern part of Nigeria, Though also called Ora by some southern people. This native soup can be used to eat any swallow of your choice. Oha soup is similar to Bitter leaf soup which is also a traditional meal for the southeasterners. Oha (ora)a special meal because of the tender oha leaves used in preparing this soup, a seasonal recipe, unlike the Bitter leaf counterpart which can be found all year round. This meal goes through a rigorous process of preparation but the outcome I bet you are worth the time and expenses.

How to Cook Oha (Ora) Soup

Though it is only the vegetable that distinguishes the preparation of Oha Soup from that of Bitterleaf Soup, yet they taste so different that it is hard to believe the difference is just one ingredient which has made the meal taste different.

Ingredients for Oha (Ora) Soup

Vegetable: Oha leaves                                                                                                                       Uziza (optional )                                                                                                                                        8 small cocoyam OR Ofo
3 cooking spoons Red Palm Oil OR Extract from Mashed Palm Kernel
Assorted Beef,shaki, cow tripe
Assorted Fish: Dry Fish and Stock Fish
Chilli pepper
Onion (optional)
2 Stock cubes
1 teaspoon Ogiri Igbo

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Oha (Ora) is a unique vegetable hence does not have a good alternative.
If you cannot buy cocoyam corms where you live, you can use cocoyam flour. An alternative to cocoyam flour is potato flour.
Ogiri Igbo is optional, though it is advised to be used because it gives oha (Ora) Soup a traditional taste.


Before you cook the Nigerian Oha ( Ora ) Soup, you need to put the ingredients below in good condition and ready for use. firstly,

⦁ Grind the crayfish and pepper and set aside.

⦁ Wash and boil the cocoyam and palm kernel till soft if in use

⦁ Remove the peels and use a mortar and pestle to pound the corms to a smooth paste.  After which Pound the palm kernel carefully to avoid the seeds from breaking, but making sure that you get out all the extract from the kernel, you can also add a little water to effectively do so.

⦁ Using your kitchen knife cut uziza if in use into tiny pieces, then using your hands, cut the Oha (Ora) leaves into tiny pieces. This technique is to prevent the vegetable from becoming darker in color. This happens when you cut the ora leaves with a knife.

Cooking Directions

⦁ Boil the shaki (cow tripe), stockfish and dry fish in 1 liter of water till they are well done. The first sign of a done shaki is that the cuts will start curling on itself.

⦁ Wash the beef and add to the pot and continue cooking. When the meat is done, add 2 stock cubes and cook for 5 minutes.

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⦁ Add the pepper, ogiri Igbo and grounded crayfish and cook for 10 minutes. Add the cocoyam paste in small lumps or the substitute (Ofo ) and then the palm kernel extract.

⦁ Cover the pot and leave to cook on high heat till all the cocoyam lumps have dissolved. You can add more water if you feel that the soup is too thick.

⦁ Add the ora (oha) leaves and leave to cook for about 5 minutes.

⦁ Add salt to taste, stir and the soup is ready!

⦁ Serve with Garri (Eba), Semolina Fufu, Amala, Cassava Fufu or Pounded Yam.


If you choose to use the palm kernel then you pour the extract into your stock when it is boiled, and add your choice of thickener. Then follow the other process.