• Thursday, February 22, 2024
businessday logo


Egusi soup



Egusi (melon) seeds

Red palm oil

Beef or assorted meat

Fish – Dry fish and stock fish


Pepper and salt to taste

Vegetable – pumpkin leaves or bitter leaf

Seasoning – Maggi or Knorr cubes

Traditional seasoning – Okpei (optional)

Before preparing the soup, soak the dry fish for about half an hour

Boil the stockfish for 20 minutes and leave in the pot 


with the hot water to soak for about an hour

Grind the Egusi, the crayfish and the dry pepper separately and set aside. Wash the vegetable to be used. Cut into tiny pieces.

Boil the shaki, stock fish and dry fish in water till they are well done

First sign of a done shaki is that the cuts will start curling on itself

Wash the beef to be used for the soup and place in a pot and start steaming at medium heat. There is no need to add water at this stage. When the meat is done, add Maggi/Knorr.

This method makes the meat cook faster while retaining all the taste. Also meat contains lots of water and you will notice that the water content increases as the meat starts to boil.


There are two main methods of cooking Egusi soup.Oil before Egusi Put red palm oil into a dry pot and set on the stove to heat As soon as the oil is clearer, add the ground Egusi and start frying

This should be done at low heat to avoid burning. Keep frying till you see the Egusi getting drier. One sign of this is that it will start sticking to the bottom of the pot

Now, start adding the assorted meat/fish stock little by little while still turning the Egusi

When the stock is exhausted and you feel that the soup is still too thick, you can add more water

If your choice of vegetable is bitter leaf, it should be added as well

Cover the pot and allow to cook for some time

The Egusi is done when you notice that the oil has risen to the surface of the mix and separated from the mix

Add the fish, assorted meat

Also add pepper and salt to taste

If pumpkin leave is your choice (or any other soft vegetable), add it

Cover the pot and leave everything to steam together for 3 minutes

The Egusi soup is ready to be served with Eba (garri), amala, pounded yam or cassava (fufu)

Egusi before oil

This method produces a healthier Egusi soup. This is because there is no frying involved.

In this method, as soon as the shaki, fish and meat are done, remove them from the stock and place in a different pot or plate

Add the ground Egusi to the stock and cook for 40 minutes. You will notice the clear Egusi oil coming to the surface of the soup

Add two cooking spoons of red palm oil, the meat, fish, bitter leaves (if it is your choice of vegetable) pepper and salt to taste and cook for another 10 minutes. Now, add the pumpkin leaves if is your choice of vegetables, stir the soup and turn off the heat.

The egusi soup is ready to be served with amala, Eba (garri), pounded yam or cassava fufu.