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Oto: A Delicious Water Yam Porridge

Oto is a local cuisine among Abiriba [an Ibo tribe in Abia state] and Efik tribe. The dominant ingredient used is water yam which is a species of a tuberous root. This dish is not as popular as Ekpang kwukwo which is still peculiar to the Efik tribe. The focus is on this dish and how it portrays the abundant variety of dishes in Nigeria
These are the ingredients required to prepare this dish.

Oto. Photo: Afrotourism.



  • 1/2 kg of water yam
  • 12 medium size dry prawns
  • 1/2 gram,meat
  • 1/2 gram, stock fish
  • 5 tbsp, palm oil
  • 1 tbsp, pepper
  • 1 tbsp, crayfish
  • Salt
  • Seasoning
  • Scent leaf or green


  1. Peel the brown skin off the water yam and cut into small pieces.
  2. Use a grater or food processor and grate the water yam. This will form a white-ish fine paste , set aside.
  3. Steam the stock-fish and meat. Add onions, salt, and seasoning.Remember to separate, stock-fish will get too tender if steamed for a long time
  4. Add the palm oil and cook for three to five minutes.
  5. Add the prawns and crayfish.
  6. Carefully add small balls of water yam paste one ball at a time. Leave room between balls to ensure they do not stick together.Reduce the temperature to give room for the balls to cook properly.Check that the sauce has thickened and the balls have changed to a brownish colour.
  7. Taste for salt and season if required.
  8. Slice the scent leaf or green and add to the sauce.
  9. Simmer for one minute and your meal is ready.
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