nigerian recipes

Nsala Soup (White Soup)


So i attended a Mobile Web Conference meet-up at Four Point Hotel Victoria Island and during the hiatus, was wondering what i would like to eat. Then a friend draw my attention to her favorite white soup and how she would really love to have this soup as she can hardly prepare it. So since am always with my camera, i decided to take a snap shot and write the recipes for someone like her to be able to prepare.

White soup also known as Ofe Nsala, is very popular in the eastern part of Nigeria. The Igbos and some part of the south-south are very familiar with white soup and pounded yam.  Nsala soup is called white soup simply because it is the only soup that doesn’t require the use of red oil. It is delicious and easy to prepare.


1kg cat fish or (goat meat) optional

400g dried fish

6 chilli pepper

½ cup crayfish (ground)

2 seasoning cubes

1 Onion bulb

½ medium yam tube (Thickener)

Salt to taste.


If your choice of stock is goat meat, boil and seasoned meat with Maggi cube, onions and salt to taste.  Cook till the meat is tender enough for consumption.

If it is fish, it does not take time to cook so be observant so that the fish does not overcook and get scatter. Catfish is the most preferred fish to use.

So cut the fish into discs and removed the intestines. Place in bowl and pour hot water to toughen the skin of the fish so it does not disintegrate while cooking the soup. After 3mins wash the fish in a cold water and place in a clean pot to be cooked and seasoned.

When the catfish is almost done, add ground crayfish, pepper

Blend the Cray fish, Cook and pound about 1.5 kg of yam, normally, cocoa yam is the favorable thickener for most soups of this kind the only exception is when you are make nsala soup, pounded yam is used.

Wash the dried fish/stock fish with hot water. This is to soften the fish for easy washing (to remove sands and impurities) Add more water to the meat on fire (when it is tender enough for consumption) add water depending on the quantity of thickener and the available ingredients.

 Add the washed dried fish, crayfish, stock fish cook for about ten minutes before adding the pounded yam. When using yam powder as thickener, mix the powder with hot water first to make a thick smooth paste (as if you are making pounded yam) before adding it to the soup. Adding the powder directly into the soup will make the soup mushy and you may end up with lumps.


Note: Catfish is what makes Nsala soup what it is, giving it the unique taste that it has so it is essential to this recipe. Cover the pot and allow the contents to cook at high heat till all the yam paste have dissolved. While cooking, if you think that the yam paste will make the soup too thick, you can remove some that are yet to dissolve.