okro with chiken soup

Okra Soup: Things you don’t know

Okra Soup (Okro), is a low-calorie vegetable, and a rich source of dietary fiber, minerals, and vitamins. This soup is also referred to as lady’s finger, miyan Kubera, or gumbo, depending on the environment you find yourself in.

It is slimy, easy to find and cook, and can be called one of Nigeria’s national dishes as it’s consumed in and outside Africa. Okra is used in its fresh or dried form depending on individual preference and availability. 

Okra soup

This soup is made from okra and can be prepared in many ways (cooked, fried, pepper soup, microwaved…), and the result will be super delicious at each trial. 

What does okra soup taste like? 

Okra tastes the spices and ingredients used in preparing it as it absorbs it all during its making. 

This soup is popularly known for its slimy nature (which makes it a turn-off for some people). However, this sliminess (known as mucilage) helps to coat the intestines and ensure smooth and regular bowel movements. So you see the sliminess is beneficial but you can get rid of it if you don’t want it or reduce it-we will talk about this as we go on. 

Read also: How to Cook Ofe Onugbu (Bitter Leaf)

What can I pair with Okra?

Okra soup can be taken alone as a complete meal in itself and can be served with Pounded yam, semo, wheat, eba, fufu, rice flour, and even rice depending on who’s eating. 

Because there is no one size fits it to this delicacy, it can be taken as an appetizer, lunch, dinner, or whatever as long as it’s what you want, just enjoy yourself.

Although some argue that making okra soup is stressful and requires so much work, I disagree because truth be told it’s one of the quickest and easiest soups to think of.

If you are looking for a quick fix that will make you drool nonstop, cook Okra. Once you can get the vegetable ready and the orisirisi (proteins and ingredients) you’ve decided to use, in less than 5 minutes your soup is ready. You want to avoid overcooking your okra soup to avoid the brownish look (vegetables are green in color remember?). Overcooking your okra might tamper with the nutritional value of the vegetable.

When is the okra season?

Before I talk about this, do you know how to identify good okra? If you’ve not been getting this in time past, here’s what you should look out for – when selecting okra, look for small, crisp, brightly colored pods without brown spots or blemishes, and you’re good to go. My vendors usually try to snap the thin end of the okra vegetable and it breaks with this crispy sort of sound. They do that to show me that it’s a good and slimy one.

Now back to your question, okra can be gotten anytime during the year but the peak season for fresh okra is May through September.

Nutritional value 

One-half cup of raw okra contains 16 calories, 0 grams of fat, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 41 milligrams of calcium, and 150 milligrams of potassium. If these vitamins and minerals are what you will like to have in your diet then you can incorporate okra in your soup going forward.

Nutrition Facts

1 servings per container

Serving Size10g

  • Amount Per ServingCalories16
  • % Daily Value *
  • Total Fat 0g 0%
    • Saturated Fat 0g 0%
    • Trans Fat 0g
  • Potassium 150mg 5%

  • Calcium 41%

* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Okra is too slimy – can I reduce that?

Yes, you can. When cutting the okra vegetable, please do not cut it too tiny (I am not saying you should make it too big, though). The tinier it is, the more viscous and slimy it becomes. And please avoid using the blender if you don’t want a too slimy okra soup. 

Finally, cook your okra very fast and very hot to reduce its slimy nature as cooking on low heat for a prolonged period will increase its sliminess. 


Okra, like any other soup, can be made considering your pocket size (you don’t have to break a bank to make an okra soup). However, what goes in has a lot to do with what you get. 

Here’s a list of the ingredients you need while making okra soup but please note that the list is endless and like I said, you don’t have to use this exact ingredient if you can not afford them. A substitute will always do. 

There are variations in the mode of preparation of this soup. Take for example persons who live close to the sea, you will expect to see more sea foods in their ingredients right? So also it is people who stay far away from where okra is cultivated, they might not be able to access fresh okra and will therefore advocate for the dry okra vegetable. 

Some people fry their okra vegetable, some others cook it, and some persons even prepare it with a microwave. In the end, okra soup is achieved and the table is served. 

For the sake of this write-up, we’ll be using:

Ingredients for cooking okra soup

  • Okra

  • Pepper

  • Onion  

  • Palm oil

  • Shrimps

  • Stockfish

  • Fresh crayfish

  • Ground crayfish

  • Meat/turkey

  • Shaki

  • Ponmo

  • Bokoto 

  • Fish

  • Smoked fish

  • Ugwu leaves

  • Locust beans (if you’re making it the African way) 

  • Seasoning cube

  • Salt


If you have all these ingredients, you are good to go. Now you see why some people can make their okra soup as a one-pot meal. Imagine having all of these in one soup sitting nicely before you. 

Okra soup is delicious, satisfying, filling, nutritious and loaded with protein and healthy fat. If your testimony is otherwise, it’s either you haven’t had the right experience or you have no experience at all. A good, well-cooked trial will convince and even confuse you if you are not careful. 

Some people believe that using onions in preparing okra soup makes it less viscous – this can only be true if too much is added, if not then why not? But it’s okay if you’re uninterested in the onion ideology (you can skip it). 

How to prepare Okra soup

Now let’s go to the kitchen for some practical experience  

Depending on the number of people you are cooking for, you can just eyeball the okra and guess the quantity you will need to serve your table. 


  • Prepare your okra

    This involved washing and cutting your desired quantity of okra. You can use your knife and your chopping board to achieve this by cutting in 4 horizontal lines and then chopping till you get your desired result. This determines the look and viscosity of your okra soup. You can also use a food processor or blender for a smooth even blend. 
    If you’re using frozen okra, please allow it to defrost before you use it. NB: Fresh okra is the best. However, if frozen okra is all you have then use it and enjoy. 
  • Wash your desired quantity of pepper and blend. Some people use dried or Cameroon pepper instead while others prefer fresh pepper. The choice is all yours but you can change the pepper you use at each trial – it has a way of changing the taste of your soup. 
  • Slice the onion if you’ll be using it and grate some (set these 2 aside). 
  • Wash the fish, meat and the plenty orisirisi you’ll be adding. Cut into tiny chewable bits and make sure to remove the bones in the fish or meat if it’s not the cowed leg. 
  • Boil the meat/turkey and stock fish with the grated onion. Don’t forget to add your blended crayfish and your preferred spice including a salt of course. Add to desired taste. 

    You might need to boil your protein ingredients separately depending on how well and fast they cook. An example is if you are adding intestines shaki, bokoto, ponmo… boil them separately and don’t forget to add your spice moderately. 

    Also, the amount of water needed to make your okra soup should be put into consideration here. If you want your soup think, this is when you have to negotiate that. Less water, more thickness and vice versa. 
  • Bleach your palm oil before adding your pepper (it unleashes a different taste). Stir fry your pepper, add your spice, including your already sliced onion and leave it to cook for about 6mins depending on the quantity of pepper. 
  • Add your already cooked proteins and cover them to cook for 2mins. Taste the combination for adjustment where necessary. This is when you can add your fresh crayfish.
  • Add your okra vegetable and mix carefully. Cover for 2 minutes and it’s ready to be served. 
    If your okra is too thick, you can add water. 
For practical knowledge, click on the link down below 

Source: Sisi Jemimah

Can you eat okra raw? 

The entire okra plant is edible; the leaves can be used for salads and the pods can be fried, stewed, boiled or used as a thickener for soups. 

I’m a vegan, how can I make my okra soup? 

You can substitute the proteins with mushrooms and you are good to go. 

Is okra good for kids? 

Mothers/guardians who wanted to transition their child from sulking to taking a swallow testified that okra helped them transition well as the child seem to enjoy the meal and swallow better with okra. 

Does okra soup affect pregnancy or fertility?

Okra, a good source of folate (Vit B9) may help a pregnant woman meet her daily folate needs. Folate helps in preventing neural tube defects which affect the brain and spine of a developing fetus. Although, Okra contains gossypol, a pigment that promotes infertility in men by arresting sperm production. Therefore, it’s overconsumption can be an issue in the long term. Women who have irregular menses and infertile men undergoing medical treatments are advised to steer clear of okra soup consumption. Health is wealth regardless of your likeness or love for any meal. 


Okra can be stored for the week’s consumption (for me it’s 2 days max from the day it was prepared if you want to enjoy it) in a freezer but make sure that there is a constant supply of light to that freezer. You don’t want to experience the awkward smell a spoilt okra soup gives, it can make you dislike the soup you once love. 

If you’re storing okra vegetable itself, do not wash and allow for air circulation if stored in a bag. 

Okra is best used as soon as possible. 

Final Note

There’s no size fits it all to making okra soup – explore, create, recreate and enjoy. If you’ve learnt something new from this article, please leave a comment and if you have tips different from those mentioned here, kindly share and let’s learn from you. 

If you’re trying this for the first time, I’m cheering you on, do well to share your experience and feedback. 



  1. I see you baby girl🥰🥰 nice one♥️ I’m on my way to prepare the delicious okra😂

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