Efo riro (Nigerian Spinach stew recipe) (2024)

Published: . by Chichi Uguru . This post may contain affiliate links.

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Efo riro also Nigerian spinach stew is a delicious Nigerian vegetable soup recipe that’s unbelievably easy to make. Traditionally made with Efo Shoko (Lagos spinach, tomatoes, red bell peppers and a few other ingredients, this recipe is one of the popular vegetable soup in Nigeria.

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Table of Contents

  • 1 What is Efo Riro?
  • 2 Why we love Efo riro (Nigerian Spinach stew)
  • 3 Join our recipe group on Facebook
  • 4 Ingredients
  • 5 How to cook Efo riro (Nigerian Spinach stew)
  • 6 What to serve with Efo riro
  • 7 How to store and reheat
  • 8 Tips to make the best Efo riro recipe
  • 9 FAQs
  • 10 More soup recipes you’ll love
  • 11 Efo riro

What is Efo Riro?

Efo rori is a delicious Nigerian spinach stew recipe, that originated for the western region in Nigeria, specifically the Yorubas. It is said to mean stirred spinach in Yoruba language.

It ranks with the likes of Afang soup and Edikang ikong in Nigerian cuisine. You won’t be wrong if you said Efo riro is to the Yorubas what Edikang ikong is to the Efiks and Ibibios.

Related: Nigerian vegetable soups, Nigerian beef stew

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Why we love Efo riro (Nigerian Spinach stew)

To be honest, only a trial will convince you that this recipe is all shades of delicious and more.

  • Picky eater approved
  • Family friendly
  • Low carb and keto friendly
  • Can be enjoyed on its own

Join our recipe group on Facebook

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Ingredients

  • Assorted Meats
  • Spinach
  • Red bell pepper
  • Roma tomato
  • Ground crayfish and whole smoked prawns (okporo)
  • Locust beans (iru)
  • Salt and bouillon powder
  • Palm oil
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Ingredients note and Substititions

Efo riro is traditionally made with either Efo Shoko (Lagos Spinach) or Efo tete (African spinach). In Diaspora the best options to use for this soup is Spinach or Kale.

How to cook Efo riro (Nigerian Spinach stew)

This is an overview of the recipe, you’ll find the full recipe and instructions in the recipe card at the end of the page

Prepare the meats

Efo riro is loaded with a variety of proteins, and you will need to cook them. Wash and clean the meats and cook till tender. Scoop out the meats and set aside. Reserve the stock for the soup.

Prep the vegetables

Frozen spinach: I used frozen spinach to make this recipe. Let the spinach thaw completely. Then squeeze out excess water. This is important because you need to control the amount of water in the soup.

Lagos spinach: If using Shoko aka Lagos spinach, it need to be washed thoroughly and wilted by soaking in hot water for 5 mins and then drained.

Other vegetables: coarsely Blend Tomato, Red bell peppers, onions and habanero peppers.

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Making the soup

Add palm oil to a pot, turn on heat. When the oil warms up, do not bleach the Palmoil. Add the onions, iru and pepper mix to oil. Add the meat stock, crayfish and Pomo. Let stew simmer till it reduces in size.

Add the precooked assorted meats and vegetables. Let stew simmer. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Add more meat stock if needed. Turn off heat and serve.

How to make vegan Efo riro

Good news to my friends following a plant based lifestyle, this Spinach stew can be made without animal products. Swap out the meats with mushrooms, swap out the meat stock with vegetable broth and you’re good to go.

What to serve with Efo riro

Efo riro is so rich that it can be eaten on its own as a meal. However it’s mostly accompanied by African fufu of different varieties the most popular being pounded yam or amala. It can also be served with white rice, plantains and yam. Below are some of the other swallow options for Eforiro which also includes low carb fufu.

  • How to make eba in the microwave
  • Oat fufu
  • Cabbage fufu
  • Plantain fufu
  • Keto Amala
  • Cauliflower fufu
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How to store and reheat

Efo riro will keep well in the fridge for up to 5 days. Beyond that it’s best to freeze. It can be frozen for up to a month without losing taste. Before storing, ensure it cools completely before storing in an air tight container in the refrigerator or freezer.

Eforiro can be reheated in the microwave straight from the freezer. So be sure it is stored in a microwave safe container otherwise you will need to thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

You can also Reheat thawed Efo riro on the stove top on low medium heat, stirring constantly till warmed through.

Tips to make the best Efo riro recipe

  • If you blend the peppers with a blender, to get the coarse texture needed, use the pulse button once or twice and don't blend for too long at each pulse.
  • If the Soup seems dry after adding the squeezed spinach, wait a bit to allow it simmer because spinach usually releases some water.
  • If the Soup seems dry after adding the squeezed spinach, wait a bit to allow it simmer because spinach usually releases some water.
  • Though traditional Efo riro uses Tomatoes, I skip that sometimes and use only red bell peppers and it still turns out delicious.
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FAQs

Here you’ll find answers to common questions about Efo riro. Feel free to leave me a comment if you have more questions.

What is Efo riro made off?

Efo riro is a Nigerian vegetable soup also popularly known as Nigerian spinach stew. It is made with spinach, tomatoes, bell peppers, palm oil and a few other ingredients.

Is Efo riro healthy?

Depending on your view of healthy. Efo riro is considered a healthy dish. You can adapt the soup to suit your needs, like cutting down on the oil, or using different sources of protein such as chicken instead of beef.

Is Efo riro vegan?

Efo riro is not traditionally vegan but can be made vegan by switching up the meats with mushrooms and using vegetable stock.

If you try this recipe, show it off on Instagram! Be sure to Follow and Tag @mydiasporakitchen on Instagram and use the hashtag #mydiaporakitchen so we can see your recreations!

More soup recipes you’ll love

  • Okro soup
  • Efo elegusi
  • Oha soup (Ofe oha)
  • Onugbu soup
  • Ofe Ugba
  • Chicken pepper soup
  • Emergency Soup
  • Egusi Ijebu

Check out all our recipes!

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Efo riro (Nigerian Spinach stew recipe) (8)

Efo riro

Chichi Uguru

Efo riro also Nigerian spinach stew is a delicious Nigerian vegetable soup recipe that’s unbelievably easy to make. Traditionally made with Efo Shoko (Lagos spinach, tomatoes, red bell peppers and a few other ingredients, this recipe is one of the popular vegetable Soups in Nigeria.

5 from 29 votes

Print Recipe Pin Recipe

Prep Time 20 minutes mins

Cook Time 40 minutes mins

Course Main Course

Cuisine African, Nigerian, Yoruba

Servings 10 to 12

Ingredients

Meats

  • 200 g Pomo (cow skin)
  • 100 g stock fish
  • 300 g cow feet
  • 400 g smoked Turkey
  • 200 g shaki (tripe)

Other ingredients

  • 1.5 kg frozen spinach (thawed and drained and squeezed)
  • 3 large large red bell peppers
  • 1 medium Roma Tomato (optional)
  • 2 medium onions (chop one and blend the other with the bell peppers)
  • 3 habanero peppers
  • ¼ cup coarsely ground crayfish
  • ¼ cup smoked prawns (Okporo)
  • ¼ cup iru (locust beans)
  • 1 teaspoon Bouillon powder (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 11/2 cup Palmoil
  • 2 cups beef stock (from cooked meat.)

Instructions

  • Coarsely blend red bell peppers, habanero peppers, onion and tomato and set aside.

  • Season and cook the meats till cooked through and tender.

  • Heat up palm oil over medium heat, (do not bleach) add chopped onion, and iru let it cook for about 2 mins before adding the coarsely blended pepper mix, 1 cup of meat stock, cray fish and pomo.

  • Let stew cook till it reduces in size and the oil comes to the top. This should take about 10-15 mins stir at intervals to prevent the stew from sticking.

  • Add the precooked assorted meats, fish and smoked prawns stir and taste for seasoning, adjust if necessary.

  • Add the squeezed spinach, stir to combine simmer on medium low heat, for about 3 minutes add the remaining cup of meat stock if needed and let it continue simmer on medium low heat for another minute before turning off the heat.

  • Enjoy with your favorite side dish either swallow or rice.

Keyword Efo riro, Efo riro recipe, Nigerian spinach stew

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This recipe was first posted on March 2017 and has been updated and republished with better pictures and detailed tips. Recipe remains the same. Enjoy! Image below is from 2017

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Try these next!

  • Ogbono soup (Ofe Ogbono)
  • Delicious Oil Free Ogbono Soup
  • Egusi Ijebu | Egusi Soup without vegetables.
  • Nigerian Afang Soup | Our South-Southern Delicacy

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Uzo

    I prepared this for the first time, followed the technique and it turned out very delicious. I enjoyed it with oatmeal fufu. Simply amazing! Thanks ChiChi

    Reply

Trackbacks

  1. […] Efo riro […]

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  2. […] that group of people. Just like Edikang Ikong is one of the dishes unique to the Efiks and Ibibios, Eforiro to the Yorubas, this Ofe Ugba also called Ofe Okwuru Ugba is unique to people from some parts of […]

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Efo riro (Nigerian Spinach stew recipe) (2024)

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