Nigerian pepper soup with offal meat is a spicy, nourishing, West African soup packed with nutrition and bold flavors!
This is one of the most common pepper soups eaten in Nigeria and is sometimes referred to as assorted meat pepper soup. No party is usually complete without it.
Most of the time, you wouldn’t even be able to identify all the different meats in the soup. All you know is that it tastes incredible and you don’t stop eating until you drink the last drop.
It is also a popular remedy when you’re feeling under the weather or have a bad cold. One bowl of this pepper soup often works wonders to make you feel instantly better!
What is Offal Meat?
Offal meat, also known as organ meat, variety meat, or assorted meat (or in Nigeria, as orishirishi meat), refers to the organ and other parts of an animal that are deemed undesirable and discarded.
The word Offal literally is a combination of two words, off and fall, which generally refers to the part of the animal that has fallen off the butcher’s chopping block.
Some examples of offal meat are intestine, tripe (beef stomach lining), kidney, liver, heart, brain, sweetbreads(meat from the thymus gland and pancreas), tongue, and chicken gizzard, among others.
Offal meat might not be very desirable in the U.S, but in many parts of the world, this is part of a healthy and nutritious diet. In fact, offal meat contains more nutrition than the more popular muscle meat.
In most parts of Africa, a common practice is nose-to-tail eating, which means, we let nothing waste and eat every part of the animal, organs, and all.
Another plus for offal meat is that they usually are very cheap to buy, so your pocket will thank you too!
Are offal meats healthy?
Offal meats boast several significant benefits and have been referred to as “superfoods.”
They are a nutritional powerhouse and contain large amounts of essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, vitamin B, riboflavin, selenium, and copper, among others.
Some other benefits of offal meat include:
- They are very rich in omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants.
- Because they are rich in B vitamins, they help maintain heart health and reduce blood pressure.
- Offal meats contain folate, which is beneficial for pregnant mothers.
- They keep you feeling full longer.
- They are usually a source of high-quality protein and help retain muscle mass.
Ingredients used in making Nigerian pepper soup
I used a few different types of offal meat, but you can mix and match according to your preference.
Tripe: I used blanket tripe, honeycomb tripe, and mountain chain tripe. Tripe is the stomach lining of beef, pork, or lamb.
Most butchers here in the U.S will clean the tripe for you, and Asian or Mexican grocery stores sell them already cleaned and packaged.
If you get them uncleaned, it takes a while to clean it yourself, but it can be done. Tripe is a bit tough and chewy, but when cooked for an extended period, it softens into a silky texture and readily absorbs flavors.
Kidney: Kidneys are very nutrient-rich and are high in proteins.
Pepper soup spice: The star of this recipe is the pepper soup spice. It is usually made from calabash nutmeg, alligator pepper, and selim pepper, but you can make it yourself from spices found in traditional stores.
You can also buy it online from Amazon or African stores near you.
This pepper soup spice brings an earthy, unique taste to this recipe that is soothing and refreshing.
Vegetables: Onions and habanero peppers. You can omit the habanero peppers, but I like that it gives an extra spicy kick to this dish!
How to clean beef tripe
If your tripe is not cleaned, it can look pretty intimidating, but it is not that complicated. It does involve a bit of elbow grease, though, so roll up those sleeves!
The first thing you do is place the tripe in a pot of water and let it boil for about 15 minutes. When done, drain the water and let the tripe cool down. Then place it on a cutting board.
Using a sharp knife, scrape the surface of the tripe in one direction to move the dirt and impurities away and on to the board.
When you think you’re done, rinse it and look again. There might be some bits you left behind. Keep scraping till it looks clean.
When you’re all done, rinse it thoroughly, and you’re good to go! This method works for all types of tripe, although the beef mountain tripe is the toughest of all and will take some time to get as clean as you want it to be.
How to make Nigerian pepper soup with offal meat
Once your offal meat has been washed and cleaned, the hard part is over. Chop them into pieces and set aside. Also, chop the onions and habanero pepper.
Add the offal meat to a large pot, add enough water to cover it, and then a little more. I added about 6 cups because the meat will be boiled for an extended period, so some of the water will be evaporated.
Add the chopped onions, bouillon, black pepper, and salt. Boil for about 40 minutes or until the meat is tender. You don’t want it to be too soft yet because you are not done cooking it.
Add the pepper soup spice one tablespoon at a time. You might be okay with just one, but I like to add two tablespoons. Also, add the chopped habanero pepper.
Let it boil for about 10-15 minutes to give the spices time to really sink into the meat.
Your delicious pepper soup is ready!
This recipe serves 6 and contains 0 net carbs per serving. It keeps well in the fridge for about 5 days and also freezes well.
Tips when making Nigerian pepper soup with offal meat
Offal meat spoils quickly, so it is best to use them on the day of purchase or freeze immediately.
When boiling the meat, check it after 30 minutes to see if it’s just a bit tender. Remember, you don’t want it to be too soft because it will be cooked some more after adding the pepper soup spices.
You can add some cayenne pepper if the soup is not spicy enough for you.
You can also leave the habanero whole to reduce the heat, instead of chopping it up.
Check out these other African soups and stews!
Nigerian Pepper Soup with Offal Meat
- Wash offal meat and clean thoroughly.
- Chop the onions and set aside.
- Add the meat to a pot, pour in the water, and add the onions, bouillon, black pepper, and salt.
- Boil for 40 mins or till tender.
- Add the pepper soup spice, 1 tbsp at a time, till you reach your desired taste.
- Also, add the chopped habanero pepper.
- Add the cayenne pepper if you want it hotter.
- Boil for another 10 – 15 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy!
- Offal meat spoils quickly, so it is best to use them on the day of purchase or freeze immediately.
- When boiling the meat, check it after 30 minutes to see if it's just a bit tender. Remember, you don't want it to be too soft because it will be cooked some more after adding the pepper soup spices.
- You can add some cayenne pepper if the soup is not spicy enough for you.
- You can also leave the habanero whole to reduce the heat, instead of chopping it up.