How To Make Rivers State’s Native Soup

Below are the ingredients for making the popular native soup in River state:
– Meat

– Stock fish head

– Sliced uziza leaves

– Medium size dry fish

– Cocoa yam as thickener

– Palm oil

– Maggi or knorr

– 1-2 cups of periwinkles

– 1 cup of ground crayfish

– Salt and pepper to taste.
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– Two handful of fresh prawns

– Ofor as thickener

Directions On Preparing The Soup
– Start by parboiling the prawns, wash and parboil with a small pot, add half cup of water, a cube of knorr and a pinch of salt, allow to boil for up to 5 minutes, remove the head and set aside in a clean plate.

– Parboil the meat with just 2 cubes of knorr, 1 bulb of onions, salt and maybe a sachet of onga classic.

– Prepare the other ingredients; wash and slice the uziza leaves.
Soak the stock fish and dry fish with boiled water and wash thoroughly to remove sand and center bone. Grind the crayfish and fresh pepper also, you can grind together or grind separately.

– Add the washed dry fish/stock fish in the boiling meat on fire, after about 30-50 minutes of cooking just the meat. Once they are soft and the water is almost dried (about 1 cup left) add about 5-7 cups of water, palm oil and the ground crayfish.

– Allow the soup to cook for another ten minutes before adding salt to taste, a cube knorr. Knorr is a natural food sweetener, used in making almost all the {foods eaten in Nigeria}.

– Add the cocoa yam, allow to dissolve in 8-10 minutes, if it is still very watery you can add a spoon of ofor, cook for three minutes before adding the periwinkles, prawn and sliced uziza leaves which is likely the last ingredient while making River state native soup.

– Allow to simmer for another five minutes and you just made Nigeria’s most popular native soup.

3 Replies to “How To Make Rivers State’s Native Soup”

  1. I am from a Riverine community in Rivers State. You have done a very great job here I must say.


    A few things to note in Rivers Native Soup.
    The soup originated from the riverine communities who are predominantly fishermen. For this reason, meat, stockfish, and dry fish is alien in Native Soup. It’s a plethora of EVERYTHING FRESH that we can find in the river. Therefore MEAT, CHICKEN, STOCK FISH, DRY CRAYFISH, are not used.

    But where you can’t find fresh fish or too expensive, Goat meat can be a substitute.

    The original thickener is Cocoyam. You cook and pound it like Pounded-Yam, but you must pound it until it’s elastic. Flatten small balls of it with your palm and fingers. The smaller/flatter it is, the quicker it will dissolve in your soup.

    Archi and Ofor as thickeners were a modern introduction mostly by the Ikwere/non riverine people. I believe it’s because of the stress in pounding cocoyam.

    The original leaves for Native Soup is Bitter leaf and not Oziza leaf. But it’s a good alternative, since it relieves you of the stress in washing bitterleaves.

    A typical list of ingredients would be:

    Fresh fish (Tilapia, Croaker, Catfish, Barracuda, Redsnapper, etc. etc.);
    Isam (blue periwinkle, removed from it’s black shell);
    Ngolo (white periwinkle, removed from it’s white shell. It’s bigger than Isam);
    Shrimps or prawns;
    Imgbe (Oysters);
    Ofingo (Clams);
    Sea-snails (normal land snails can be a substitute);
    Cocoyam (thickener);
    Palm oil;
    Seasoning cubes (any seasoning of choice).

    The above is the original list of ingredients, but because of availability and cost of ingredients, you can cut down on it or use alternative ingredients.

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