There are many sights and sounds to experience when you visit Onitsha. From the beautiful atmosphere buzzing with life in one of the largest commercial cities in Africa to the refreshing sounds of Ekpeli music. Onitsha has a lot to offer. However, it will be a shame if you visit this animated and buoyant city without taking in its delectable tastes.
Firstly, it would be a crime for you to visit this dynamic city and not try some of Onitsha’s very own Nsala Soup.
Nsala is a delicacy indigenous to Ndigbo and maybe you’ve had a taste of it when you visited some other Southeastern town but if this dish was not made in Onitsha by experienced hands such as those at Nwando’s Kitchen then brace yourself and prepare your appetite for an incredible palate.
Ofe Nsala or white soup as it is called in English is a simple soup bursting with the tastes of various indigenous spices and a lot of condiments floating in it such that every bite gives you something to relish. It is usually paired with pounded yam but you can eat it with any other swallow.
White soup is quite popular in the South and Southeastern parts of Nigeria. This is because its ingredients are grown and easily accessible in these parts.
If you wanted to prepare your own ofe nsala, you would need:
- Utazi leaf
- Pepper (fresh or dry)
- Seasoning cubes
- Thickener – Onitsha people insist on yam
- Fresh fish (azu isi, azu asa, azu ejoh )
- Dry fish
- Meat of your choice
- Stock fish (optional)
Next on our list is Ofe Ogbono and Nni Oka.
OFE OGBONO AND NNI OKA
. Image credit: Chef Lola’s Kitchen
“Ofe-Ogbono” means “Ogbono soup”, and “Nni Oka” is roughly translated to “Corn Meal” although it is not the actual “Corn Meal” we are all familiar with. Any bonafide Onitsha person knows that Ofe Ogbono and Nni Oka is the king of all swallow combos. It takes its position of honour in any authentic Onitsha Ado celebration.
“Ogbono” is the seed of a mango-like fruit. Most people cook ogbono with okro to provide crunch and texture. Ogbono has a slimy and slippery effect in your mouth. It goes down so smoothly you won’t realize when you’ve consumed a whole plate.
For Ogbono soup, you need:
- chopped assorted meat (goat, smoked turkey, chicken)
- Dry fish
- Stock fish
- ground ogbono
- Triple washed bitter leaf
- Chilli peppers
- Stock cubes
For Nni Oka, all you need are corn pap, water and cassava flour
Have you ever wondered what fulfilment tasted like? Well then, you must have never tasted Ofe Akwu. Ofe Akwu is the Onitsha variant of Banga soup. And if you love Banga soup, you’ll love Ofe Akwu even more.
Ofe Akwu is made from palm nuts and is similar to Banga soup and Abak Atama with the difference being the type of spices and herbs used in its preparation. Ofe Akwu is sometimes used as stew for rice but can be taken as soup with eba, pounded yam, fufu, nni oka etc.
The ingredients needed for making Ofe Akwu are:
- Fresh palm fruits (Aku)
- Assorted meat
- Fresh fish
- Stock fish
- Stock cubes
Do you throw away overripe plantains? After having Ukpo Ogede or Plantain Moi-Moi, you’ll never want to do that again. The sweetness of this dish will put your taste buds in overdrive and have you looking for more.
They say variety is the spice of life. Soups are not all Onitsha has to offer. Ukpo Ogede is a sweet, savoury steamed meal made with overripe plantain especially the ones whose skin have begun turning black to avoid wastage. To make it a little less sweet and to thicken it also, some unripe flour is usually added.
To make ukpo ogede for yourself, all you need is:
- Ripe plantain
- Akwukwo Uma (moi-moi leaf)
- Fresh pepper
- Palm Oil
OFE NFECHANYE ONUGBU
Ofe Nfechanye Onugbu is a soup visitors are typically rich. If you pay an emergency visit to Nwando’s kitchen or any of our people in Onitsha or you may be lucky enough to relish this unique soup.
It’s a very rich soup most prepared by Onitsha women in the olden days for those times when a visitor came unannounced and would spend the night. Most things used in preparing the soup are what we have in the kitchen. It’s very easy to make. It just needs lots and lots of dried fish and dry meat and be sure to eat it with a swallow like pounded yam. For the Ofe Nfechanye Onugbu, you can add freshwater fish (that is if you can quickly get it).
Source: Recipes and information were provided by Miss Nwabundo Sylvia Egbuna, the CEO of NWANDO’S KITCHEN.
Miss Nwabundo hails from Umuasele village in Onitsha. She graduated from Imo State University Owerri as an Accountant but the passion for cooking led her into catering. She is based in Asaba Delta State. Contact her on 08035366044
Nwando’s Kitchen caters for all kinds of events and also offers bulk delivery.