Ila Asepo. For The Love of Okra Soup.


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Yes, I know I have done two previous posts on Okra, but you know food is versatile 🙂

This was quite a successful recipe. My ajebutter 2 licked his soup bowl and fingers to no end. I kept asking him “Do you want more soup?” and he would nod in reply and as mommy, I would give him more. Both my ajebutters ate so much of the soup that when it was time for bed, they both sprawled in their beds like some full chicks and within ten minutes they were snoring.

This particular type of Okra soup is indigenous to the Yoruba speaking people of Nigeria and in it goes one key ingredient called Akaun i.e. edible potash; which helps with the soup’s viscosity. Okay hold your breaks! Although, I do  have a few recipes using potash or ngo’ (ngo is natural by the way and I love!), I used baking soda. Yes baking soda does the same thing and it was easier to source too.

I have to thank My Sisi Kemi for this recipe. I sent her a message about giving me the recipe and Eureka! As I read the recipe she sent, I thought “oh quite easy” And I took off to make it. I did not have to really plan anything. I never really plan my blog posts.  I find that when I plan, I over do it and nothing really comes out well. I just put some thought into it and go for it. My posts are usually our breakfast, lunch or dinner ideas. I taste each meal after cooking and if it comes out great, I take some pictures and share. I am too lazy to sit down and start racking my brain on what and what not to do. I have to say though, when it comes to baking and pastry I do put more than some thought into it. I have been trying to make Samosas and I am tired of thinking about it. I’ll check with ajebutter1 and once she is ready to make some, I’ll go for it. She is my baker and pastry person. She has that patience 🙂 Ike adirom biko! (I am tired please)

One thing though, I was talking to my friend Tam and she has a fabulous blog here We were talking about writing. I love writing and I lost my “magic”  after some trauma, but she has encouraged me to write and just write, so I picked up an old habit of me reading. Reading helps my writing a lot. I have to say thank you to Tam. She is just one of those angels in disguise. I love her blog too. Once you read her writing, you would know why 🙂

Anyway back to the recipe, I really love this recipe. It was spicey, “drawy” and totally delicious. It is the ultimate comfort food and can be eaten with any side, as a main meal or even an appetizer 🙂

Although I did not, but you may add any green vegetable of your choice. I like okra and bitter leaf. There is something “wowy” about it. I also did not use any onion, as it is a local recipe and Nigerian local recipes never really make the use of onion; plus the onion is known to reduce the viscosity of this soup. “How true is that?”  I do not know 🙂 It is just one of those things you are told not to do in the kitchen. But, seeing the versatility of food, you may add some. I also used some Iru i.e. Locust beans for this recipe. It has quite a strong taste. This recipe calls for it originally, but you may leave it out. A  little rinsing of the iru under running water kind of helped; not just to clean it, but to tone down that strong taste.

For the love of Okra soup 🙂

We cooked, we ate and we conquered!

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Here is a recipe for you

5.0 from 1 reviews
Ila Asepo. (Okra Soup)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6
  • 4 cups of chopped okra(divided)
  • 1lb of meats
  • 1lb fresh shrimps or prawns(deveined with tail on)
  • 3 tbsps. of dry grinded pepper or red chili flakes(add more or reduce according to heat preference)
  • 3 habanero peppers or ata-rodo(smoothly blended or chopped)
  • 1 large red bell pepper(minced)
  • 1-1½ cooking spoons of palm oil (you may leave it out or use 2 tbsps. of coconut oil if you prefer)
  • 1-2 tbsps. of locust beans or iru (you may leave it out)
  • 4 tbsps. of crayfish
  • 1 large dry or smoked fish
  • 1 knorr cube(any bouillon works)
  • salt to taste
  • ¼tsp baking soda(mix with just a little water)
  • 1 cup of any chopped green vegetable of your choice(I used none)
  1. Pound or blend one cup of the chopped okra and set aside
  2. run iru through a little water to remove stones. Do not over wash as it will loose it's flavor
  3. blend the fresh habaneros
  4. mince the bell pepper
  5. soak the dry fish in warm water and wash; then drain
  1. in a medium pot, season the meat with salt, 1 tbsp. of dry pepper and the knorr cubes. Do not add any water. The meat would begin to simmer and produce it's own water. Let it cook until the liquid dries up a bit; then pour in some water to the level or a little above the level of the meats and check for seasonings.
  2. once the meat has cooked and is tender, pour in the baking soda and oil and cover the pot. Bring to a simmer on medium heat and cook for another 10 minutes or until the oil is cooked and no longer has the oil taste. Stir in the crayfish, iru and dry pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Pour in the Okra; both the pounded and the chopped one and stir really well (do not cover the pot) Add the dry fish. Cook for another 10 minutes or less; then add the habaneros, shrimps and bell pepper and stir(if using any green vegetables, pour it in at this point) Check for seasonings, cook until the shrimps turn pink; then set aside and serve with or without any side
If using edible potash, just melt a pea size in a little water and pour that water into the soup; leaving the residue out



  1. Zee says:

    I don’t eat okro but I’m surrounded by people who do. Looks really nice and sounds easy. I’ll try it for them tomorrow!
    Thanks ma’am

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