pepper soup

How to prepare Nigerian Catfish Pepper Soup

Pepper soup is one of Nigeria’s iconic soups. Just like the name implies, it is a soup with a whole lot of pepper, but that is what makes this soup unique and different from any other Nigerian soup.

There are various ways this soup can be made, and they are named based on what they are made with as well, like pepper soup made with goat meat will be called “goat meat pepper soup”. However, the best and most common pepper soup type is the catfish pepper soup. It is distinctive because of the unique taste and texture of the catfish, and it is also very easy to make.

One thing you should know about catfish pepper soup is that it should be prepared to be consumed immediately. This is because catfish tends to disintegrate the longer it stays in the soup, unlike other types of pepper soup that can be prepared to be eaten later.

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Let’s look at a simple catfish pepper soup recipe. Over the years, a lot of people have adapted and learned other ways of cooking or preparing catfish pepper soup, but let’s just use a simple recipe that you can easily try.


1. Catfish( get one big catfish)
2. Pepper soup spices:  nutmeg seeds, hot chili pepper (usually of the scotch bonnet variety), and some scent leaves (Efirin in Yoruba, Nchanwu in Igbo, and Daidoya in Hausa)
3. One large onion
4. Ground crayfish
5. Seasoning cubes
6. Salt to taste


1. A bowl
2. Medium-sized pot
3. Stirring spoon
4. Eating plates


STEP 1.  Start with washing and preparing your catfish. Unlike most fish, catfish are slimy and need to be washed using alum, which will easily get rid of the slime. Wash in water thoroughly after using the alum.

How to wash Catfish before Cooking, Baking or Frying - Jotscroll

STEP 2.  After washing, put the catfish in the pot and add water (note: the amount of water you add at the beginning of the soup is the quantity of soup you intend to make).

STEP 3.  Slice the onion into the pot containing the catfish, and add the Maggi cube.

pepper soup

STEP 4.  Once the water and fish start boiling, add the pepper soup spices, and scent leaves.

STEP 5.  Allow to boil for 10 more minutes, and you can now put off your heat.

Cooking catfish pepper soup shouldn’t take long, only up to about 25 minutes. You can also follow my Amazon links to get some of the ingredients if you can’t get them locally.




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