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from: Western Africa | cooking method: boiling-simmering

Ogbono Soup

This recipe, which is popular in Nigeria and its neighbors, uses ogbono (sometimes spelled agbono, and also called apon) as the soup thickener. Ogbono is the kernels (whole or crushed) of the bush mango, or wild mango tree (Irvingia gabonensis or Irvingia wombolu), which is native to the tropical Atlantic coast region of Africa. Nearer the equator, in Cameroon and Gabon, ogbono goes by the names etima, odika, or dika. (See: Beef in Wild Mango Kernel Sauce.) Packaged ogbono or apon (whole or crushed) is available in African import grocery stores outside of Africa. Ogbono may be the most powerful of all African soup thickeners; it is best to add it to the soup in small amounts, while stirring to avoid making lumps, until the desired consistency is obtained.

cacao harvest in nigeria

What you need

What you do

If you can't obtain ogbono, you can achieve a similar mucilaginous quality by adding more chopped okra, or substituting crushed egusi seeds, or crushed pumpkin seeds (also called pepitas). You might use crushed pine nuts (as are used in pesto), or even crushed walnuts or crushed macadamia nuts.


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