How To Make Efo Riro

How To Make Efo Riro

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How To Make Efo Riro

Efo Riro Recipe: So, today, we will be taking you on a very delicious soup journey. This particular recipe was a long time coming and no doubt, this is the best Efo Riro recipe you can find anywhere. It is delicious, quick, and it qualifies for low-carb Nigerian food as it can be eaten on its own. Efo riro is also called efo elemi meje, as it can be cooked with any choice of protein. You can also cook it with the core ingredients available to you.

Why wait, get ready to learn!

How To Make Efo Riro

How To Make Efo Riro

Efo riro is also called efo elemi meje, as it can be cooked with any choice of protein. You can also cook it with the core ingredients available to you.
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Nigerian
Servings 5


  • 6-7 bunches Spinach
  • 3 Red Bell Peppers (Tatashe)
  • 3 Chilli Peppers (Shombo)
  • 2 Scotch Bonnet (Rodo)
  • 1 Cup Palm Oil
  • 2 Onions
  • Assorted meats of your choice (Shaki, cow foot, beef, goat meat)
  • Stockfish (Panla)
  • Smoked Fish
  • 3 tbsp Locust Beans (Iru)
  • 1/2 cup Smoked Prawns (Optional)
  • 1 medium size mackerel
  • Seasoning Cubes
  • 4 tbsp Ground Crayfish
  • Salt to Taste


  • If you want to make Efo Riro the Yoruba way, it is important you use locust beans, smoked fish/dried fish and palm oil. Every other thing you decide to add after the core ingredients just complements it. Also, you need coarsely blended pepper to make the vegetable soup.
  • First, let's get our meat sorted out by washing and boiling the assorted meat. Start seasoning with some chopped onions, scotch bonnet pepper, salt, bouillon cubes and thyme. Simmer for about 15 minutes to 20 minutes. Now, add some water and stir well.
  • Check for the taste, and adjust accordingly. Then cover and cook till it's soft. In a separate cooking pan, add your cow skin, stock fish, salt, thyme, bouillon cubes and some chopped onions. Stir and cover the pot to cook till they're soft.
  • You can check on your assorted meat to see how it's doing. Now, take away all the meat from the pot, leaving just the cow foot because that's going to take longer to cook. Now add the stock fish and cow skin to the pot and cook till everything is soft and ready.
  • This next step is optional, you may choose to fry your meats when they're ready or grill them. You can also decide to use them boiled like that. It all depends. If you're grilling, just make sure that they're not too dry and that they are just a bit brown but still very juicy on the inside. Set aside once you're done.
  • For the pepper sauce, we will be using 3 bell peppers, 1 paprika pepper, 3 chili peppers, 2 scotch bonnet peppers and some onions. Now, wash and coarsely blend the peppers using a food processor. You can also use a blender if it's got a pulse function.
  • Naturally, Spinach is soggy and by the next day, it'e even soggier. So, the best way to make it hold up is to coarsely blend the peppers, but in the end, you decide if you want to blend your peppers that way or not. Now, blend the peppers and onions and stop at the texture you like.
  • Now, let's move on to our Spinach leaves. Spinach leaves always shrink when you cook them, so be prepared to see that and also, don't forget to buy more spinach.
  • Now, place them together and start chopping, not too slim but nice because it's still going to wilt, so you need to be very careful. As for the stalk, if you wish to also chop it and add it to the spinach, you can go ahead. It's all about preference.
  • Now, chop all the spinach the same size. It's time to blanch the Spinach. To do this, add some hot water. Wash thoroughly to get rid of all the dirt and debris. You may choose to do this twice, depending on how dirty the leaves are. It is advisable to wash thoroughly.
  • Once you're done washing, sieve the water out and add some very cold water to the leaves.
  • The moment you add hot water to vegetables, it begins to cook and the way to slow that down is by adding cold water and that's what we just did. Now, take it back to the sink and sieve the water away. Squeeze till it's almost dry.
  • Now, let's season our Mackerel fish with salt. You don't need much seasoning with Mackerel because it's got its own flavor, and you really don't want to outdo yourself. Rub the fish all over with some salt. Fold it and secure with some toothpick. Now, place it in your oven for about 40 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius. You can also use a halogen oven. Once the fish is grilled and ready, set it aside and let's start with our main cooking.
    Set a pot on medium heat. Then add some palm oil and add some chopped onions and fry for about 2 minutes. Add some locust beans and fry for another 2 minutes. Add some crayfish or crayfish powder and fry for about 30 seconds. If you fry for any longer, the crayfish will burn, and it might affect the taste of the soup.
  • Now, add the blended pepper mix and stir thoroughly. After mixing, add some bouillon cubes and some salt. That's all you need for your Efo Riro. Please, don't add curry or thyme. This is just fine.Stir a little and add your stock fish. You can choose to add it now or later with the meat.
  • After this, cover with a splatter guard and fry for about 20 minutes. Please, do not cover the pot with a proper lid. This is because you require the steam to escape and not get trapped in. If it gets trapped in, the stew will boil, rather than fry. If you haven't got a splatter guard, leave it open, its fine.
    After the time has elapsed, you can add your assorted meats into the pot now. Stir and add your smoked fish and soaked prawns into the mix. After mixing, cover again and leave to simmer for about 5 minutes.
  • After 5 minutes, it's time to add the washed vegetables. After adding, stir to combine thoroughly. Then add your crayfish powder and your mackerel fish. Stir and leave to simmer for just a minute. Your soup is ready!


Keyword Efo Riro, Efo Riro Recipe

YouTube Video Credit:
Sisi Jemimah’s Recipes

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