How to cook the perfect Efo Riro

Efo Riro meaning “stirred vegetables” is a highly nutritious, delicious and popular soup in West Africa. It is made of leafy vegetables like spinach, green amaranth or pumpkin, pepper, meat, palm oil and other ingredients. This soup is usually eaten with swallow foods like Pounded yam, Eba, Amala or Fufu. It is a must serve in Nigerian owambe parties. You can also enjoy it with rice. Efo Riro is well known even in other parts of the world.

efo riro

One thing I love about the soup is its versatility. You could use any meat of your choice in preparing it. If you are not a meat fan, however, you could use seafood and fish. Dried fish also tastes wonderful in this soup. Other options include assorted or organ meats like tripe, kpomo, kidney, liver etc.
There is a popular belief amongst the Yorubas in Nigeria that the best way a woman can get a man to be putty in her hands is to cook Efo Riro for him. LOL.
For me, the perfect Efo Riro is when the vegetables are crisp, not too oily or watery and has all the works dancing inside. Hmmn Yum!
The preparation time for this soup is less than an hour and it’s quite easy to make.

Ingredients (4 servings)

  • Shredded Spinach/Pumpkin leaves (4 cups)
  • Habanero Pepper (7 medium sizes)
  • Tomato (5 medium sizes)
  • Onion (1 medium-sized bulb)
  • Meat/Fish/Chicken: According to your preference, but chicken does it for me (1/2 kilo)
  • Kpomo (1/2 kilo)
  • Crayfish (1 handful)
  • Palm oil (3/4 cup)
  • Locust beans (2 tablespoonfuls)
  • Bouillon cube (1)
  • Chicken Stock (1/3 cup)
  • Salt to taste
  • Seasoning

How to cook the perfect Efo Riro

  • Make sure the ingredients are properly washed and cleaned.
  • Season the meat/fish/chicken and boil until tender. Set aside. I fry my chicken because it’s tastier.
  • Adding very little water, blend the pepper, tomatoes and onion to a rough texture. We don’t want a watery soup.
  • Pour the palm oil into a pot and allow to heat for about 2 minutes.
  • Add the pepper and stock.
  • Add the chicken, kpomo, crayfish and other animal parts of your choice. LOL.
  • Locust beans go in next.
  • Add the bouillon cube and stir.
  • Cover the pot and let the ingredients simmer for about 7 minutes.
  • The leaves are the very last ingredient to be added. Don’t cover the pot so the leaves don’t get too soft.
  • Add salt to taste.
  • And voila! Our Efo riro is ready. Enjoy with your favorite swallow.

You can also see the video for preparing Efo-Riro below. Recipes for the Efo riro are available for delivery on OjaExpress. And this how to cook the perfect Efo Riro, enjoy.

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