EGUSI SOUP – NIGERIAN EGUSI SOUP

5 from 3 votes
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Egusi Soup is a finger-licking good Nigerian soup made with a white variety of pumpkin seeds. It is spicy, nutty with exotic African flavors! See the video below on how to make Egusi Soup.

Egusi soup recipe

I had to post the recipe for this Egusi Soup sooner than I planned because after sharing a pic of it on Instagram I had urgent requests for the recipe.

So friends, in order not to keep you waiting for so long, here is some delectable Egusi Soup that will make your taste buds sing!

What is egusi soup made of?

Egusi Soup is a soup made with a white kind of pumpkin seeds (obtainable from African stores or Amazon.com).

Ground egusi (or pumpkin seeds) is the main ingredient. Other ingredients include red palm oil, African crayfish, meats and fish, seasoning, hot pepper and some form of leafy greens.

Egusi Soup is a Nigerian classic enjoyed in various forms across the country. Here is what egusi looks like:

Egusi or white pumpkin seeds in a bowl

Egusi is basically white pumpkin seeds though some people prefer to call it melon seeds.

What does Egusi Soup taste like?

Egusi soup is nutty, spicy and so rich thanks to the variety of meats and fish often used.

Egusi is enjoyed in various ways in West Africa. Check out this Cameroonian Egusi Pudding or this Egusi Stew or even this Ogbono and Egusi Soup.

How to Make Egusi Soup

How To Make Egusi Soup

Egusi soup happens in three main steps.

1: Boil the meats and/or fish you intend to use. Preferably do this the day before so making your egusi soup is easy the next day.

2. Grind the egusi. I advise that you always buy whole egusi seeds and grind them yourself. That way you are sure of the quality of the seeds. Pre-ground egusi is not always the best.

3. Saute onions in red palm oil, cook egusi in red palm oil then add the boiled meats, crayfish and seasoning. It is really that easy!

Nigerian Egusi Soup best

Egusi Soup and Pounded Yam

One famous way of eating egusi soup is with pounded yam – a dough-like side dish made out of pounded (or ground) African white yam.

These days, yam flour is available in African stores and on Amazon so you can easily make your own pounded yam at home.

Egusi soup and pounded yam on a plate
Egusi Soup and Pounded Yam

You could also serve Egusi Soup with garri (granules made out of cassava/yucca root).

To make garri, you simply have to boil water and add the granules to it. You can see how I make garri in this video.

Egusi Soup and Garri (Eba)
Egusi Soup Served with Garri

Egusi Stew

Egusi stew is similar to egusi soup in that they are all made out of egusi. But egusi stew is mostly made to be eaten with rice and the ingredients used are different. Check out my Egusi Stew recipe here.

How to cook Egusi Stew
Egusi Stew

P.S. I finally made a video on how to make Egusi Soup. This has been a long time coming. Hope you enjoy the recipe!

Nigerian Egusi Soup Recipe

Watch How To Make Egusi Soup

Watch me making Egusi Soup in the video below. If you haven’t subscribed to my Youtube channel yet, SUBSCRIBE so you do not miss any of my videos.

Egusi Soup recipe - Africa

Egusi Soup – Nigerian Egusi Soup

5 from 3 votes
Egusi soup made the Nigerian way with red palm oil and different kinds of meats. Enjoy with pounded yam, garri or other kinds of fufu.
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings: 6

Ingredients  

  • 2 cups egusi (not ground)
  • 3/4 cup palm oil
  • 1/4 cup crayfish
  • 1 shrimp seasoning cube also known as Maggi Crayfish or Maggi Crevette
  • 2 pounds meats and fish I used a variety of goat meat, stock fish and chicken
  • 1/2 cup onion – chopped
  • 1 habanero (or scotch bonnet) pepper
  • 1/2 -1 cup chopped greens (you could use bitterleaf for an authentic taste or substitute with spinach or kale) I used chopped spinach

Instructions 

  • Boil the meats and fish. Preferably do this the day before so that cooking is easier the next day. Start by boiling the tougher meats then add the less tough ones. Add salt halfway through the cooking process (about a teaspoon of salt). Reserve the stock of the meat. Also, if using stockfish, be sure to soak it for some hours first and rinse thoroughly before cooking (cook it separately from the other meats/fish and discard of the stock). Stockfish has a very pungent smell so if you aren’t used to it you might be shocked at how much it smells. But the taste is amazing in Egusi Soup!
  • Grind the egusi. Grind the egusi using the small cup of a blender, coffee grinder or whatever grinding machine you have on hand. Be sure to remove any bad seeds from the egusi before grinding.

Making the egusi soup.

  • Place palm oil in a pot and heat up on high for about 3 minutes (do not bleach). Add the onions to the palm oil and saute until fragrant. 
  • Add the ground egusi to the palm oil and let it cook in it, while you stir from time to time until the egusi shrinks and starts sticking to the bottom of the pot. About 7 minutes.
  • Add a teaspoon of crayfish and stir then add the cooked meats and their stock. Add the remaining crayfish, crayfish seasoning cube, habanero or scotch bonnet pepper then add water if needed according to desired thickness. Stir well and taste to ensure that seasoning is perfect. Let all the ingredients simmer together for about 5 minutes. 
  • Add the greens and let them cook in for about 2 minutes. Turn off the heat – your egusi soup is ready!

Notes

1. Options of meats to use include beef, goat meat, smoked/dried fish. I often just use a blend of what I have on hand or what I can easily find.
2. Most of the ingredients in this recipe can be found in African stores (for those who do not live in Africa).

Nutrition

Calories: 302kcal

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: African, Nigerian
Calories: 302
Tried this recipe?Mention @preciouscore or tag #PreciousCore!

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Close up of Nigerian Egusi Soup.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)


About Precious

Welcome to my core! I am Precious Nkeih, the recipe developer and writer right here on my blog, Precious Core. My goal is to show you insanely delicious recipes you can replicate in your kitchen. And I love to tell stories too. Hope you find recipes here that will make cooking easier for you! Check me out on YouTube at YouTube.com/PreciousKitchen.


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34 Comments

  1. Hi Precious. Thanks for the many recipes. I have tasted this egusi at Nigerian functions and it is to die for. Well, l have two questions: l got the egusi seeds from a Naija friend and he told me l can blend them, is that ok? Secondly, can l use virgin/canola oil since l do not have palm oil?
    From your Southern African sister….lol l pray l won’t cook a disaster

    1. Hi Nyarai, Egusi Soup is totally to die for! Yes, it’s okay to blend the seeds. I normally use the small cup of my blender to get a fine blend. Also, you could use canola oil but it won’t have the bright orange color that it gets when you use palm oil. Also, it will be missing some of that authentic taste red palm oil gives. Are there any Nigerian stores around you from which you could get palm oil? If not, just go with what you have. Hope this helps, dear.

    2. Hi precious. I have 1 question.. Can I pay you to make and mail me this fantastic Egusi soup and fufu. Omg! I’m dying to try it but so scared I’ll mess it up.. HELP!!!

  2. Hey Precious! Tell you what, l had my first attempt of cooking egusi. As l started, l felt like l needed a diploma in this because everything seemed so difficult. It took me hours but l finally did it. Though it wasn’t perfect (but again!!! it was the first attempt), my husby and l enjoyed the egusi with soft pap. Thanks for the recipes.

    1. You are welcome, dear. Thank you for the feedback! I literally just thought of you while updating this recipe with a video. Hope you all are well. God bless.

  3. I think I messed up . I boiled everything together including the crayfish . How do I rectify this ?

      1. Hi, just reading the recipe and trying to understand how to do it. Isn’t crayfish the ground dry seasoning to be used here? How do you boil it as you mentioned here that it should be already boiled? Thanks

        1. Hi Anna, you do not boil the crayfish. You boil the meats and fish then add the crayfish later in the cooking as stated in the recipe. Have you watched the video? You can find the video right above the recipe. Hope this helps.

  4. Hmm! I followed everything and am happy I learned it. Egusi is my best and I have always wanted to know how its prepared the best way. Enough of information fom you dear.

      1. Greetings dear precious. Pls I like to know if there’s an alternative method of grinding egusi and Ogbono apart from blending. Or is it better I grind in large quantity when I travel but the how do I store them. I’m recently working in a remote area in yobe state and I love cooking my meals. Thank you

        1. Hi Walter, it is best to blend as you use. I find that they tend to lose their freshness when you grind in large quantities. Hope this helps.