Recipe: How to cook banga soup (‘ofe akwu’) with smoked and dried catfish

Banga Soup Ingredients

Banga soup is a staple among the peoples of the south east and south south parts of Nigeria. The ethnic groups you will find in this geographical location include Igbo, Efik, Ibibio, Urhobo and Bini. The Igbo call the soup ‘ofe akwu’, the Ijaw, Urhobo and Itsekiri call it ‘banga soup’ while it is called ‘abak soup’ among the Efik and Ibibio. There are different flavours to this soup and the recipe described here will make a pot of soup.


  • Palm oil juice from 1 derica of palm nuts (banga or akwu)
  • Meat (beef or goat meet parboiled with thyme, onions and salt)
  • 3 pieces of dried catfish (tear to pieces, wash by soaking in hot water for 5 minutes, and picking the fish out of the water)
  • Ground dried pepper (4 teaspoonfuls)
  • Diced onions
  • Ground crayfish (4 teaspoonfuls)
  • Salt to taste
  • Sliced vegetables (okazi and uziza)

The timing in the method described here assumes you are using gas cooker on standard burn. Adjust appropriately if you are using a slower burner like kerosene stove. Boil the palm nuts and hand-wash to squeeze out oil juice using about 3 liters of water. Use a pot big enough that the 3 litres is not more than half-full in the pot.


  1. 00:00 minutes (mins): Pour the 3 litres of oil palm juice in a pot, put on your gas cooker and light the cooker.
  2. 00:08 mins: Pour in your parboiled meat and stock. Stir.
  3. 00:17 mins: Add your dried catfish. Add ground dried pepper. Stir.
  4. 00:24 mins: Add crayfish, onions and salt. Stir.
  5. 00:28 mins: Add vegetables. Stir.
  6. 00:30 mins: Stir and put out the fire.
  7. Soup is ready.

You can eat the soup with your choice swallow. Common swallows that go with banga soup are fufu, pounded yam, eba, white amala, semovita, wheat meal. Banga soup can also be eating as sauce for white rice.

If you need further explanations on how to cook your banga soup with dried catfish feel free to send us a mail at or call +2348077776861. You can also comment below. You will be replied as soon as possible.

Click here for how to wash your dried catfish before cooking with it.

Author: divinefish Admin

Adminstrator of the Divine Fish Farm and Gardens website.

2 thoughts on “Recipe: How to cook banga soup (‘ofe akwu’) with smoked and dried catfish”

  1. Please correct the portion where you write Efik and Ibibio call it Banga soup.

    It’s called Banga soup among the Ijaw, Urhorobo, itsekiri etc in Delta state and Port Harcourt etc.
    While the Ibibio and Efik call it Abak soup.

    Thank you for the write up.

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