MNE Delicacies: My ‘Native Soup’ Memories


This soup, Native Soup takes me back to my days back in the University. It would surprise many to know how much one can achieve on a budget. Those were the days when a young lady had to get by and still meet up with lectures during the day to ensure success in a crowded hall for the most part. The feeling of having to juggle life with its challenges of getting through school writing on papers instead of actual notebooks in order to save cost and keep the body moving. I made it out *lol*

The preparation of this soup would cost about N700 (‘N’ here means Naira) at those times, no kidding! Let me explain the budget costing.  Meat-N250, Isam or Periwinkle- N100, Smoked Fish – N150, Uziza Leaves- N50, Native soup thickner- N50, Dried Pepper- N20, Onions -N20, Palm Oil- N50, Seasoning -N10. Salt would be sourced from my friendly Neighbours’ who would sometimes partake. It was sometimes a communual meal that ended in two meals.

(This was in 2008-2009 and I didn’t crawl out of a rock *hehehe* Times were pretty hard).

Anyways, this spicy soup has been modified in exciting ways since then. I present to you the Native Soup from it’s home in the Niger Delta, Rivers State.

It is usually eaten with ‘swallows’ or morsels in *brit* accent , typically Fufu, Eba, Wheat or Semovita. I don’t think Amala quite follows but hey, what do I know?

PS: You can always modify your recipes to suit your budget but not at my past pace *hehehe*


Isam Fulo is originally cooked with just fresh seafood but I made a mix of Cow leg & beef with Fresh fish in this recipe. I couldn’t get all the seafood I needed here in Abuja, so I improvised.

Now let’s cook.


1 big fresh Fish.
1 cow leg.
500g Beef.
1 cup fresh Prawns.
1 cup Periwinkles.
1 cup Ngolo.
500g coco yam.
1 cup ground crayfish.
1 teaspoon ground dried pepper.
2 small onion.
6 fresh habanero pepper.
20cl Palm oil.
1-2 cup sliced Uziza leaves.
Seasoning cubes.
Salt to taste.
2 tablespoons Ofor…if needed.



1. Cook cow leg with onion slices, salt & seasoning cubes in a pressure cooker until soft.

2. Cook beef separately in a pot with onion slices, salt & seasoning until cooked.

3. Steam fresh fish with 1 tablespoon of ground crayfish, onion slices, 1 teaspoon ground dried pepper, salt & seasoning with 1 cup of water for about 7 minutes over medium heat to firm up & give flavour to the fish. Then add fresh shrimps to the pot if using & cook for 3 more minutes. Do same for other seafood if you are cooking with them.

4. Wash and cook coco yam with the skin with water. When it is cooked, remove the skin & pound till smooth in a mortar or use a food processor.

5. Wash & slice Uziza leaves.

6. Clean periwinkles by removing the black scale like eye. Rinse properly. Do same for the Ngolo.

7. Blend the habanero pepper.


1. Add the cooked meats together with their stock.

2. Add 5 cups of water to the pot, pour in the blended habanero pepper & crayfish , palm oil & cook for 10 -15 minutes.

3. Add seasoning & a little salt. Remember the stock is already in the pot & has added it’s own flavours.Cook for 5 mins.

4. Add the pounded coco yam bit by bit & melt it in…then allow to cook & dissolve into the soup to the thickness you want. Follow up with the Ngolo.

5. Add the steamed seafood.

6. Now, the periwinkles.

7. Finish off with the sliced Uziza leaves & cook for 5 minutes.


Photo and Recipe Credit: MatseCooks


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