Catfish Banga Soup

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Catfish Banga Soup

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1 Catfish (any size of your choice). Pls note that river catfish tastes better than pond. If your catfish is whole, you will need to cut and clean it yourself, which will take some additional time. It is a lot faster to buy it already cut from the store or market, if possible
1 large onion divided into 2 half chopped and half blended with the peppers
1 tsp Cameroon Pepper
2 tsp seasoning powder or Bouillon cubes (divided into two)
3 Stockfish Panla, Okporoko soaked in hot water
1 can Palm-nut Extract
2 Scotch bonnets
1 Tablespoon Banga Spice a blended mixture of Irugeje and ataiko
1-2 Tablespoons Crushed Obeletientien leaves or Dried bitter leaves
1 Oburunbebe stick
2 Medium Dried Fish soaked in hot water and deboned
4 to 6 Cups Water
1 tbsp ground crayfish
Salt to taste
  • Medium




Banga Soup, also known as Palm Nut Soup or Ofe Akwu, is a delectable Nigerian dish with a pleasant, nutty flavor. In Nigeria, it is known as Banga soup in the Urhobo/Niger-Delta region, and Ofe Akwu among the Igbos. It is called Mbanga soup in Cameroon, Abenkwan in Ghana, and Moambe in Congo.

There are slight variations in how this soup is prepared in different regions, but one common ingredient found in all of them is Palm Nut. Palm nut (also known as palm kernel) is the fruit of the palm oil tree, native to West and Central Africa and some Asian countries. It lends a delightfully nutty and ethnic flavor to this soup!

palm oil for Banga soup

How to Make Catfish Banga Soup:

  1. Cook your banga until it softens (30 mins plus); pound carefully, rinse the pounded banga and extract the banga water using a sieve. 
  2. Cut and clean your catfish if you bought it whole. Rinse the catfish, add the diced onions, Cameroon pepper, seasoning powder, and salt.
  3. Cook till the meat becomes tender; remove and set aside.
  4. In another pot, cook the stockfish for 10 mins.
  5. Pour the palm nut concentrate inside the same pot. Dilute with some water and leftover catfish stock from the boiled catfish.
  6. Cover and leave to cook until the oil begins to float on top of the soup.
  7. Meanwhile, blend the scotch bonnet pepper and the remaining half onion and add to the palm nut.
  8. Add the Banga spice, smoked fish, seasoning powder, salt, crayfish, and Banga stick. Cover and leave to cook for another 10 mins.
  9. Add your cooked catfish and leave for 3-4 mins.
  10. Stir in the bitter leaves. Leave to simmer till thickened to your taste.
  11. Serve hot with starch or pounded yam, semolina, fufu, etc.

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