Efo Riro Soup Recipe


Efo Riro Soup Recipe

This is a delicious and quick recipe for Efo Riro soup, a Nigerian vegetable soup made with leafy greens, smoked fish, and locust beans.

This is the best efo riro recipe you can find anywhere on the internet. If you are looking for how to make efo riro, look no further, you are at the right place. It is delicious, quick and  it qualifies for low carb Nigerian food as it can be eaten on its own

a bowl of efo riro loaded with ponmo and smoked mackerel.


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.

I have other recipes of efo riro on the blog that I added a bit of everything to but this time, I chose to use smoked mackerel, ground crayfish and smoked ponmo that my great aunt brought for me. This is the best efo riro I have cooked in a long time. In my mind I named this vegetable soup ‘almighty efo riro’ the taste can’t be compromised. Every blood in my veins prayed for my friend and his family as I enjoyed the Almighty efo riro with my family.

efo riro.


  • Bunches of green vegetables (efo tete) or substitute with fresh or frozen spinach
  • Red bell peppers (tatashe)
  • Scotch bonnet chillies
  • Onions
  • Palm oil
  • Locust beans (Iru woro)
  • Dried shawa/palamu (dried smelt fish)
  • Smoked mackerel
  • Smoked ponmo (optional), washed and diced
  • Ground crayfish
  • Salt
  • Seasoning

process shot of how to make efo riro.


  1. Prep:

    • Soak dried ponmo in warm water for 36-48 hours if using. Wash and dice ponmo.
    • Pick and chop vegetables.
    • Wash locust beans.
    • Chop 1 onion and shred smoked fish.
    • Blend bell peppers and onions for a coarse texture.
  2. Cook the Sauce:

    • Heat palm oil in a pan on medium heat for 5 minutes.
    • Add half the locust beans and chopped onions, fry for 2 minutes.
    • Add blended pepper and cook for 3 minutes, then add remaining locust beans.
    • Add diced ponmo (if using), ground crayfish, and cook for 3-4 minutes on low heat.
    • Add seasoning and a pinch of salt.
  3. Prepare the Vegetables:

    • Boil water to cover vegetables.
    • Pour boiling water over vegetables, cover, and cook for 5-10 minutes.
    • Drain and squeeze excess water from vegetables.
  4. Finish the Soup:

    • Cook the sauce until oil floats on top.
    • Add half the smoked fish and dried smelt fish, stir to combine. Add a little water if the sauce is too dry.
    • Add vegetables to the sauce and stir well.
    • Add remaining smoked mackerel and cook for 4 minutes.
    • Check for seasoning and adjust salt.
  5. Serve:

    • Serve Efo Riro soup with fufu, pounded yam, eba, rice, or on its own.


  • You can substitute efo tete with spinach, kale, or collard greens.
  • Meat can be added to the recipe. Check out African Spinach Stew recipe for ideas.
  • Vegetable oil can be used instead of palm oil.
  • Locust beans are not strictly necessary, but they add a unique flavor.