How To Cook Nigerian Okpa

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How to Cook Nigerian Okpa: A Delicious and Nutritious Delicacy

Okpa is a popular Nigerian snack that is made from ground beans and spices. It is a delicious and nutritious delicacy that is enjoyed by Nigerians and non-Nigerians alike. Okpa is steamed in special leaves that give it a unique flavor and aroma. In this article, we will show you how to cook Nigerian okpa step-by-step, including the ingredients you need and the cooking process.

Ingredients for Nigerian Okpa

To cook Nigerian okpa, you need the following ingredients:

  • 2 cups of peeled beans
  • 1 teaspoon of ground crayfish
  • 1 teaspoon of ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 cup of palm oil
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • Special okpa leaves (banana or plantain leaves can be used as a substitute)

Steps to Cook Nigerian Okpa

  1. Soak the beans in water for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  2. Drain the soaked beans and rinse thoroughly to remove the skin.
  3. Add the beans, crayfish, pepper, and salt to a blender or food processor.
  4. Add a little water to help blend the beans until it becomes a smooth paste.
  5. Transfer the paste to a mixing bowl and add the baking powder.
  6. Mix thoroughly until the baking powder is well incorporated.
  7. Gradually add the palm oil while mixing until it forms a smooth and fluffy batter.
  8. Add the water and mix thoroughly.
  9. Cut the okpa leaves into rectangles of about 8 by 12 inches.
  10. Fold the leaves into small pouches, ensuring that the edges are well sealed.
  11. Fill each pouch with the batter, leaving about 1 inch of space at the top.
  12. Place the pouches in a steamer, cover and steam over medium heat for about 45 minutes.
  13. Remove from heat and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.
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Tips for Cooking Nigerian Okpa

  • Use fresh beans to get the best taste and texture.
  • Soak the beans for at least 4 hours or overnight to make it easier to peel.
  • Rinse the peeled beans thoroughly to remove the skin.
  • Use special okpa leaves to get the authentic taste and aroma.
  • Fold the leaves tightly to prevent the batter from leaking out.
  • Steam the okpa over medium heat to prevent it from getting burnt.
  • Serve the okpa hot with pepper sauce or any other dipping sauce of your choice.

Health Benefits of Nigerian Okpa

Nigerian okpa is not only delicious but also nutritious. It is a good source of protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates. It also contains essential vitamins and minerals such as iron, magnesium, and potassium. Okpa is low in fat and calories, making it a healthy snack option.


Nigerian okpa is a delicious and nutritious snack that is easy to make. With the right ingredients and cooking process, you can enjoy this delicacy in the comfort of your home. Follow the steps outlined in this article and enjoy the authentic taste and aroma of Nigerian okpa.


Q1. Can I use a substitute for the special okpa leaves?
Yes, you can use banana or plantain leaves as a substitute for the special okpa leaves. However, it may affect the taste and aroma of the okpa.

Q2. Can I use a food processor instead of a blender?
Yes, you can use a food processor instead of a blender to blend the beans. Ensure that it is a high-speed food processor with a sharp blade.

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Q3. How long should I soak the beans?
You should soak the beans for at least 4 hours or overnight to make it easier to peel.

Q4. Can I add other spices to the batter?
Yes, you can add other spices such as onion powder or garlic powder to enhance the flavor of the okpa.

Q5. How do I know when the okpa is fully cooked?
You can insert a toothpick into the okpa, and if it comes out clean, it is fully cooked. You can also check the color of the leaves; if it is brown, it is fully cooked.