Ila Asepo (Alasepo) Recipe

Yoruba Style Okro Soup

Ila Alasepo (Yoruba style mixed Okra Soup)

Ila is the Yoruba word for Okra, and Asepo means “To cook together”;  ila Alasepo is mixed okra soup. In regular Yoruba style, okro is typically served with stew. The fact that the ingredient that would normally go into the stew goes into the soup itself makes this a “lesser’ soup for the affluent Yoruba folks. Ila alasepo according to my grandma is something you cook when you are out of money.

The determining factor for a great okro soup is the level of viscosity (how much it draws), this is why akaun is added.

On the nutrition scale: okra is rich in Fibre, protein, Vitamins k/c, Folate and Magnesium.  I turned this soup into a “rich” soup by making use of a wide variety of proteins.


  • Precooked meat – 2 cups
  • Smoked fish – 2 pieces (washed and pulled)
  • Fresh or dried prawns  – 1 cup
  • 3 cups beef stock or water *
  • ½ teaspoon cooking potash (Kaun) or Baking soda *optional
  • 1 cube maggi (2 cubes if using water)
  • 1 teaspoon pepper powder
  • 3 tablespoons blended crayfish
  • ¼ cup palm oil**
  • Salt- to taste
  • 1 red bell pepper (Tatashe) – finely minced
  • 2 cups chopped okro

*(use less water if you are not adding lots of meat to the soup)

** You can make this even healthier by leaving out the palm oil


  1. Place a  pot on medium heat , pour in the meat stock (or water), cover and bring to a boil.
  2. Add in the cooking potash if using. Reduce heat to medium. Add in the prepared meat, fish, prawns, crayfish powder, maggi palm oil and pepper. Combine. Leave to simmer for 10-12 minutes
  3. Stir, taste and adjust for Seasoning
  4. Add in chopped okra and minced tatashe. stir well to combine. taste and adjust for seasoning. Simmer for another 3-5 minutes

Note: If using baking soda, add it in about 2 minutes before cooking ends.

Serve with Semolina, fufu, garri or pounded yam . Enjoy!

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By |June 24th, 2012|62 Comments


  1. Ronny September 3, 2016 at 6:16 am - Reply

    Thanks for showing me how to make this soup the yummy way. I made and loved it.

  2. Ayeni ibukun April 18, 2016 at 12:21 am - Reply

    I prepared it for my mum and she instantly fell in love with it

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie April 18, 2016 at 7:56 pm - Reply

      That’s great! thanks for the feedback.

  3. Alec March 25, 2016 at 12:28 pm - Reply

    So, food without palm oil is more healthy but adding maggi cubes instead of ‘iru’ is healthy?
    God has blessed the black race with abundant of food and NOTHING he created is unhealthy. Palmoil is non GMO and natural. Manmade “canola oil and so called vegetable oils”etc are the unhealthy ones.

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie March 28, 2016 at 2:18 pm - Reply

      Not really sure I understand your point. Palm oil in moderation is healthy. Canola (rape seed) just like palm kernel is actually made by nature.

  4. mfon March 8, 2016 at 1:38 pm - Reply

    Sorry please, what’s the baking powder/soda for? Would really love to know cos I’ve never used it… besides i love this soup, it’s my all time favourite…

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie March 10, 2016 at 8:34 pm - Reply

      Bicarbonate of soda. It’s added to enhance viscosity (drawness)

  5. Adedoyin November 27, 2015 at 4:15 am - Reply

    Please kindly send d link on how I can count calories for carbohydrates. Thanks

  6. Ampitan Tobi September 20, 2015 at 8:48 am - Reply

    So i decided to surprise my mom today after several years of not taking ila alasepo, thanks to yur blog which was a great help… Soup tasted so good she gave me thumbs up ??

  7. Bola September 19, 2015 at 11:17 am - Reply

    Hi, you are doing a wonderful job. i love your meals especially the healthy version of our naija meals. Please i need help here, how can i know the calorie in the ila alasepo. or how can i count the calorie in the soup. i know how to count for the carbohydrate like you explain in your healthy write up but i am a little lost counting for the soup. Please assist.

  8. yemosky August 28, 2015 at 1:08 pm - Reply

    Salivating already….alasepo my favorite soup….will definitely try your method

  9. Detayo August 3, 2015 at 1:57 am - Reply

    Ah. So I chopped my okro last night and put it in the fridge because I was sleepy. Can I still use it tonight? Or should I just make a fresh batch? HELP please. Also, can I skip the potash/baking soda altogether? I don’t have access to either right now.

  10. NewMom July 2, 2015 at 11:17 am - Reply

    Just made this….yumminess redefined

  11. cheeoorr June 19, 2015 at 1:25 pm - Reply

    Very yummy as always

  12. trish June 13, 2015 at 12:35 pm - Reply

    Nice one.Been itching to make this kind of okro that draws so much,I guess I just found the secret but would the baking soda give as much effect as potash?

  13. Soph May 4, 2015 at 8:00 pm - Reply

    Another winner! Tried this and it was yummy!! Had some with steamed rice!

    Thanks as always! Kisses!!!

    Between, I love how “not-daunting” your recipes usually are!

  14. Phunmi January 5, 2015 at 5:44 am - Reply

    Now I’m hungry!

  15. Lan October 27, 2014 at 6:16 pm - Reply

    I haven’t cooked this in years! I just made some tonight and it came out really nice. Thanks!

  16. Bumzie October 25, 2014 at 3:05 pm - Reply

    You missed out locust bean in your recipe…. I added some to mine. It was delicious!!! Thanks for this great guideline

  17. airnorhor August 27, 2014 at 7:17 am - Reply

    Nice receipe, well taught. But i didn’t qute get d part were u said palm oil cud b omitted for a healthier dish. Tot pail oil had its own nutritonal values too. Wud appreciate if u cud shed more light on dis. Thanks.

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie August 28, 2014 at 8:00 pm - Reply

      yes it has nutritional value, but, some people counting calories look for ways to reduce caloric content of food.

  18. oluwayemisi July 26, 2014 at 3:25 pm - Reply

    Pls I didn’t see one soup here maybe I didn’t check well is ibo okro maybe with ugu but they use to cook it together pls teach me hw to cook it . Thanks

  19. Lolade April 22, 2014 at 7:51 am - Reply

    My best receipe blog ever! XoXo

  20. lola March 23, 2014 at 8:52 am - Reply

    I made the soup but it doesn’t draw but nice. It would have been better if it were drawing like draw. Is there anything I might have done wrong

  21. olufunmi March 13, 2014 at 11:37 am - Reply


  22. olufunmi March 13, 2014 at 11:36 am - Reply


  23. tunmi November 4, 2013 at 11:43 am - Reply

    Palm oil is actually helathy

  24. Aminabest September 30, 2013 at 6:46 am - Reply

    Hmmmmm. i am hungry oooooo

  25. newbie April 18, 2013 at 8:47 am - Reply

    I made this last week and used bicarbonate of soda instead of potash. I also added king prawns. It was delicious! Will be cooking it today again. Thanks for the recipe!

  26. TeeA. February 3, 2013 at 10:35 am - Reply

    My boyfriend likes this soup, so I came on here to learn how to cook it. Your recipe is awesome and I’m gonna try it asap. but there’s just one more explanation I need. Do u add the chopped okro into the stock directly or do u cook the okro then add it into the stock?

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie February 3, 2013 at 12:21 pm - Reply

      You add the chopped okra into the stock directly, you do not have to cook it prior. Let me know if you have further questions. Happy cooking!!

  27. Anon October 19, 2012 at 2:18 pm - Reply

    What is cooking potash?

  28. chictherapy July 17, 2012 at 7:55 pm - Reply

    Ila alasepo is my go to soup for eba!Easy to make,yummy to eat.

  29. dobby July 3, 2012 at 6:32 pm - Reply

    This looks really nice!

  30. rhapsody July 1, 2012 at 11:30 pm - Reply

    Its been a while since i’ve seen you by my place via your comments. i trust that you are well and life is treating you kind. Hope you are having a wonderfilled summer.

    That dish looks wonderful. yum
    thanks for sharing.


    When you have the time. Stop on by and LIKE my facebook page, join my GOOGLE + community and see what I’ve been up to challenging my reading at MY SHELFARI BOOKSHELF and follow me?

    No pressure and no offence would be taken if you opt to do neither of the above.


    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie July 4, 2012 at 6:46 pm - Reply

      Thanks for checking in! I have just been busy with work, i will visit your blog soonest.

  31. Adura Ojo (Naijalines) June 29, 2012 at 5:12 pm - Reply

    Haba 9jaFooDie, this is not fair o! Now I must cook obe ila asepo by force. Been a while since I last cooked it. Going to the market tomorrow – smoked turkey (grilled + skin off), smoked fish, fresh prawns, dried crayfish. And the biggest plus – don’t need much oil. Just a little Semovita is in trouble:D

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie June 29, 2012 at 9:29 pm - Reply

      yeiii!!! sounds yum!! remember to add lots of pepper to raise your metabolism. Please send us a photo of your soup.

      • Adura July 7, 2012 at 4:24 pm - Reply

        I cooked o. It was great. There’s still some left. MS loves it. I’m cooking more sef. Tomorrow. Thanks for rekindling my love for it.

        • Name July 7, 2012 at 4:26 pm - Reply

          I’ll post pics when I get my new BB. Can’t wait!

        • 9jafoodie
          9jafoodie July 8, 2012 at 9:24 am - Reply

          #Happy dance…. I am happy to hear that.

  32. Pearl June 27, 2012 at 4:56 am - Reply

    Looks real good. If i omit the cooking potash would it still have the ‘drawy’ texture? I hear its the potash that makes it drawy. Is there any replacement for the potash?


    PS: Thanks too for the print icon!

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie June 27, 2012 at 4:45 pm - Reply

      You are welcome…. It will,cooking potash is more for viscosity, so the okra integrates well with the water. I have cooked it without potash and it works out great

  33. Name June 25, 2012 at 10:15 am - Reply

    cold eba on my mind

  34. NikkiSho June 25, 2012 at 2:02 am - Reply

    I love alasepo!!! ah that malta guinness!!!

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie June 25, 2012 at 8:51 pm - Reply

      Me too!!!!! I just fell in love with okra.

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