Isiewu, Ukpaka and Isiewu Salad


Isiewu, is what I call “food for the gods” I love Isiewu with my very soul. My mother owned a restaurant where she served Isiewu as the main course and even when she made some at home, I used to lick the pot with the left over sauce ?. After 10 years, of missing my mom, one of the very first foods she made for me when I saw her was Isiewu ;and I licked the mortar clean. Chai!

Isiewu, known to the South eastern people of Nigeria(mostly the igbos) is not just roasted goat head; but one which is thoroughly cleaned, cut into stewed sizes, seasoned, boiled and made into a slightly thick and soupy sauce along with the delicious marriage of some aromatic herbs and Palm oil.  This meat sauce is now served in individual serving sized mortars. Yum!

The best way to enjoy Isiewu is to have it thoroughly cleaned and to use the right amount of herbs and spices. To thoroughly clean the goat head, you wash it in some warm water and using the blunt end of a knife to scrape every nook and corner of the meat; making sure to scrape the tongue and ears clean.

Isiewu can be served with any side; from fufu to rice, beans, bread or even yam. However, I like it with rice or yam. If I could have Isiewu on a daily basis, I sure would. But team fit fam no go let me rest ?. Let me be great na ehnn kaii

Anyway, it was Valentine’s day and  the beautiful Shakirat AkA 9jafoodie had me do a feature on her blog. It was a beautiful experience and I have to say I enjoyed that blog post and I got to eat Isiewu ? Below is a link to my feature on her blog.

Please follow the link and read…and find the recipe below




Recipe Transformation…IsiEwu salad



5.0 from 1 reviews
Isiewu and Ukpaka
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Cuisine: Nigerian
Serves: 6
  • •One goat head (Cut into Bite size pieces)*
  • •1 medium sized red onion
  • •8-10 ehuru seeds
  • •100-200ml palm oil
  • •2-3 Scotch Bonnet peppers (ata-rodo)
  • •Handful utazi leaves (sliced)
  • •Handful ukpaka (optional)
  • •1 Tablespoon Ngó mix or 1 Teaspoon potash*(you could even use baking soda)
  • •Bouillon
  • •Crayfish (optional)
  • •Salt – To Taste
  • •Dry grinded pepper – To taste
  1. *Goat head should be washed with a strong sponge & warm water. brain should be removed and set aside.
  2. *If using ngo, potash or baking soda – Dissolve in a tablespoon(or more) of water
  3. Put your goat head in a large pot, add enough water just to cover the meat. Season with salt and onion and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let the meat cook until it softens
  4. Add reserved brain into the pot of meat. When water is almost dry, remove from heat and set aside
  5. Meanwhile, toast ehuru seeds and finely blend in a blender with the ata-rodo, a few slices of onion, and the brain ◦if you have a motar you may pound it all together
  6. Strain ngo or potash mix to remove any residue. Set aside
  7. In another pot or in a large mortar pour in some palm oil and stir in the ngó mix or dissolved potash until a slightly thick oil result ◦This resulting oil blend is called Ncha
  8. Add the blended/pounded ingredients (From step 3) , ukpaka, and some of the utazi into the oil mix. Thoroughly combine. Add meat (from step 1) along with the dry pepper.
  9. Season with a bouillon and a pinch of salt. ◦If the mixture is too thick add some water or isi ewu stock, return to the stove on low heat and stir for about two minutes. Remove from heat.
  10. Your Isi ewu is ready to serve (Garnish with fresh onion and utazi) . Serve with a side cold bottle of palm wine
  11. For the salad, combine the cooked isi ewu with your favorite vegetables and enjoy 🙂


    • Nma Okpara says:

      Hi Edna. Thank you. Ehuru seeds are also known as calabash or Jamaican nut meg. It is part of the pepper soup spices. Once you ask at the market they will be able to show you. I hope this helps 🙂

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