How To Prepare The Popular Efo Riro

smoked turkey efo riro mixed in spinach

Efo Riro is a very popular Yoruba soup in Nigeria, it is in fact one of my favorite Nigerian soups because of its healthy benefits. The name ‘efo’ means vegetables, hence it is a Yoruba rich vegetable soup/stew. Believe me when I tell you that this happens to be one of the most delicious Yoruba soups that I have tasted.

It is a little bit similar to the popular edikaikong soup, the difference is the use of tomatoes and few other Yoruba local ingredients, although some people choose to avoid tomatoes for personal reason but I think it is very necessary.

Here are the ingredients for making efo riro, I think it would take a little over 1 hour for preparing the ingredients and then the actual cooking. As usual, the ingredients below can serve between 15 to 20 people, you can increase or decrease depending on your audience.

Ingredients Include: (for five to 7*3 serving)

Fresh vegetable leaves (water leaves, spinach or fluted pumpkin)
Stock fish head(medium sized)
Small fresh tomatoes (4 to five balls)
Fresh pepper (as you want)
Onions 1 to 2 bulbs)
Ground Crayfish (about 1 cup)
Iru (locust bean) 2 to 3 teaspoon full
Dried fish (two to three medium sizes)
Palm oil (15cl)
Snails (washed with lemon juice/alum) optional
Smoked fish (1 medium sized) (Optional)
2 knorr cubes


For most foods made with tomatoes I like to slice instead of grinding them, this improves the look of the food at the end of the day. Wash meat thoroughly with lots of water and salt to remove sand then be sure to also wash the snails with alum if you are making efo riro soup with snails.

I learned that some people avoid snails for either religious or personal reasons but I really think it kinda complete this recipe, it is very delicious in efo riro and also very rich in protein

How To Cook Efo Riro

If you follow the steps outlined below cautiously you will end up with a very delicious pot of obe efo riro, {obe} is the yoruba name for soup in case you are wondering.

Step 1

Place the washed meat in a large pot, add a little of water, season with salt, sliced onions, 1 knorr cube and ground pepper and boil for 20 minutes or until tender and the water is almost dried.

Add the smoked fish, stock fish, add a little water and cook for another five to fifteen minutes depending on the hardness of your stock fish, you need to know that people like them better when they are very soft.

Step 2

Remove the pot from heat. Place another pot on the burner and pour in some palm oil, about 15 to 20cl. Add the ground tomatoes to the heated oil (be sure not to allow the oil to bleach), Also add Cray fish, sliced onions to the hot oil and fry for 10 minutes stirring frequently

Step 3

Then follow with some locust bean seeds (iru), preferred seasoning and allow cooking for just a few minutes Pour in the cooked meat, smoked fish, stock fish and snail and allow boiling for five to ten minutes

Step 4

Finally add the washed vegetables to the sauce and allow to simmer for just 2 to 3 minutes. Do not over cook the vegetables or they will lose much of their nutritional value.

Serve the cooked Efo-riro soup with Eba, Pounded yam, Semolina or Amala or any other similar Nigerian Food or choice, I like this soup and fufu the way it appears below.

What you find below is a delicious plate of efo riro and well prepared fufu, I feel hungry every time I turn to this page.

Yoruba Efo Riro


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