How to Make Nigerian Pepper Soup: Catfish

Pepper soup is a food lovers’ delight and a soup that warms the heart and soul. It is a soup that is not only tasty but also quite easy to put together. This soup has become a favorite among many Nigerian homes, due to the richness of its flavor and a guarantee of satisfaction. One of the key ingredients of pepper soup is meat or fish, which is the main attraction of the dish. It is also spiced up with delightful local spices such as calabash nutmeg, gbafilo, and umilo, which give it an authentic and aromatic taste that resonates with Nigerian culture.

There are so many ways to enjoy Nigerian pepper soup as it can be paired with various side dishes such as garri, yam, starch, or plantain, making it an all-time favorite dish with unmatched versatility. Whether consumed as a comfort food on a cold evening or after a hard day’s work, it is always guaranteed to fill you up and leave you wanting more. You have the freedom to adjust its level of spiciness according to your preference; this makes it a perfect meal, whether you love extra spicy or mild dishes.

Contrary to what many believe, it’s usually served as an appetizer before the main meal, but paired with other staples such as yam, starch, or garri, it can quickly be turned into a meal of its own. Trying out new recipes or modifying your existing ones can give you an exciting twist on this delicacy and leave you satisfied. So, if you cherish healthy soups with a rich and aromatic taste, there’s no better time to try pepper soup and start perfecting the art of making it.

Catfish Pepper Soup

Catfish Pepper Soup

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Catfish Pepper Soup is a Nigerian appetizer made with fresh or dried catfish, Nigerian spices, and other ingredients that makes this savoury delicacy highly sought after all year round, especially in the rainy season. This recipe can be used for both fresh and dried/smoked catfish.


  • 2 medium-sized catfish (weighs about 3kg)
  • 1 medium-sized onion (grated)
  • Lemon grass (fresh or dried) Can be substituted with scent leaves
  • A dash of ground ginger
  • Bush apple ( Beletete) leaves (a little)
  • 3 seasoning cubes.
  • Spyce Republic's Peppersoup Seasoning
  • 1 cup of ground crayfish.
  • 2 teaspoons of Hot Chilli Powder by Spyce Republic
  • 2 habanero pepper (lightly mashed)
  • Salt to taste.


    1. Wash, gut and clean the catfish with hot water to eliminate the slime. Set aside.

    2. Grind the crayfish using a dry mill blender. Slice the lemon grass or scent leaves to their desired sizes.

    3. Pour one litre of water into a pot and place on medium heat. Add in the washed catfish, ground ginger, onions, Chilli Powder, peppersoup seasoning, ground crayfish, mashed habanero pepper, seasoning cubes, salt. The dried bush apple leaves should also be added at this point. Allow to boil for about five minutes.

    4. Taste for salt and seasoning and pepper. If you like a more spicy flavour, you can add more pepper.

    5. Add the sliced lemon grass or scent leaves and boil gently for about five minutes.

    6. Turn down the heat and allow to simmer for a minute.

    7. Enjoy while its hot or warm.


    1. This recipe can be tweaked to suit your tastes. I chose grated onions because I don't like the idea of seeing onions in my pepper soup. If you like onions you can slice yours.

    2. Bush apple leaves can be substituted with uziza leaves, It all depends on your preferences. Fresh ginger can also be finely chopped to replace the ground ginger indicated in the recipe.

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    Tried this recipe? Please share your experience by leaving your comments. Thank you for reading.


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    Wumilicious, is a food content creator, a lover of innovative African recipes, and an avid foodie.

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