Egusi soup (melon)

  • Author: Chef Lilian


Ofe Egusi, that’s the Name. Just like I rightly stated on the introductory page of Nigeria Soups, the Egusi soup (melon) happens to be the MOST popular of all Nigerian Soups as far as consumption is concerned. Also on this page I have done my best to attach a video on the preparation and cooking of the Egusi soup (melon) for better illustration, and also made a list of needed ingredients.



  • Meat of choice 2kg (beef, chicken turkey, goat meat, or assorted meat)
  • Assorted meat is a combination of different parts of a cow
  • 4 cups of egusi (melon)
  • Dry fish (maybe two medium sizes)
  • 1 cup of ground crayfish
  • 1 cup of Ground Osu (optional)
  • A good amount of washed bitterleaf
  • 3 cubes of knorr, maggi or other natural sweetener
  • 250ml of palm oil
  • About 2 liters of water
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • One medium size Stock fish head (okporoko)
  • Ogiri or dawadawa or opkei (local ingredients)


  1. Grind the four cups of egusi with a dry blender or hand grinding machine and set aside in a bowl. Add about  a cup of water to it and stir to make a very thick paste.
  2. Be sure that the bitterleaf (onugbu) is properly washed, it is advisable to remove over 95 percent of the bitter taste, this process in known to most Nigerians, and it involves washing and squeezing the bitter leaves for several minutes in a very big bowl.
  3. If you bought the already-washed bitter leaf from the market it already, beautiful! it is advisable to boil alone for about ten minutes, this would further remove the  bitter taste and serve other purposes.
  4. Parboil the meat of your choice with all the necessary ingredients; it is advisable to parboil meat with some ingredient before adding to the main food, this improves the taste of the meat. Parboil for about ten minutes, then add water and cook till the meat is tender and the stock (water) is about to dry. Use two cubes of knorr, one spoon of kitchen glory beef spice (optional), a teaspoon of salt and half cup of sliced onions.
  5. Soak the dry fish and stock fish in a bowl with hot water and wash thoroughly to remove sand and center bone, then set aside. Tear open the head of stock fish and wash.
  6. Set your cooking pot on fire and add 250ml of palm oil (red oil), allow to heat for a minutes but don’t allow to bleach. Add the egusi paste and keep stirring for the next eight to ten minutes to form seed-like crumbs.
  7. Then transfer the already cooked meat into the pot, stir, add the washed dry fish, stock fish, ground crayfish, 2 cubes of maggi or knorr, 3 cups of water. Then cover half way and allow boiling for the next ten to fifteen minutes.
  8. Stir occasionally to avoid burning.
  9. At this point you can add one cup of ground osu (optional), a tablespoon of ground ofor or achi.
  10. Add the already washed bitter leaves, (or ugu [fluted pumpkin]), one spoon of ground dawadawa (local ingredients), taste for salt and pepper.
  11. You may add another cube of knorr. Allow to boils for five to ten minutes and you just made a delicious egusi soup.
  12. Nigerian egusi soup could be served with rice, but most especially eba and fufu. I personally enjoy eating this soup and pounded yam together.