Ikokore is a common type of pottage in Nigeria.It's made from grated water yam.  Grating the water yam with a food blender makes the job easier but I think I prefer manual grating of water yam. After grating, aside making this porridge, it can also be salted
lightly and fried like akara balls.
Ikokore, even though delicious is heavy, it's a carb meal and should be eaten not regularly and in smaller portions. Ikokore can be eaten as breakfast, lunch or dinner, it all depends on the quantity served. Most times, people overeat when this dish is well cooked like the one on the pictures here. Ikokore cooks really fast, 
the only work here is grating of the water yam. Why the fish is taken out of the pot before adding grated water yam is to prevent them getting crushed while stirring. Deliciously cooked with very few ingredients: This 8 ingredient ikokore gave us a quantity that served 4 adults and a toddler with the fish head left waiting for fish head lovers.


1 kg small tuber water yam
1 and 1/2 cups palm oil
1 medium sized red onion
1 tablespoonful grounded fresh peppers
2 seasoning cubes
1 large sized frozen mackerel/iced fish/titus fish
Salt to taste
A handful scent leaves/nchanwu/effirin/daidoya/Ocimum gratissimum

Get the water yam peeled, washed, cut in small sizes and grated manually the way we grate nutmeg and ginger, set aside. Get the peppe
rs chopped or grinded and set aside, wash and cut the vegetables and set aside too. The fish too should be washed, entrails removed and set aside. Get all the ingredients ready with a kettle of water boiling by the side.

1. Fry the onion, pepper and one seasoning cube in hot oil till onion becomes translucent before adding the fish. Let fish too fry for about 3 minutes as you flip sides every minute.

2. After about 3 minutes of frying fish, please don't over fry till done because you still need fish taste in the stock. After three minutes, add boiling water or stock to the level of the fish. Add the remaining seasoning cube and salt to taste. (Adding boiling water saves time as you don't have to wait for water to start boiling before adding the grated water yam). Now, after adding the water and remaining ingredients, cover and let it boil more until fish is well cooked. Then, take out the fish from the pot and set aside before cutting tiny lumps of grated water yam and dropping in the hot water until you have dropped everything in the pot. Cut tiny lumps .

3. Cover and let it boil for about a minute or two before stirring the pot. After stirring, cover again and continue to check until the ikokore tastes cooked. The raw taste is gone in about 10 minutes depending on the quantity cooked, it can take longer. Once it's cooked, add the chopped scent leaves and stir.

4. Check for taste again and drop the cooked fish back in the pot. Do not stir at this point. Lower the flames, put the lid back on the cooking pot and let it simmer for about 3 more minutes before turning off the stove.

5. Serve hot, wash your hands and enjoy like that. This is another finger food. The taste is better if you don't use cutlery.

Don't leave yet, we have more ikokore recipes on the blog

See Also; All our porridge recipes


  1. Anonymous12/07/2018

    Hi Eya. Thank you for the good job you're doing. Please this is far from ikokore except you want to give it another name. Ikokore isn't fried neither prepared with scent leaves. There are some dishes that when you add variations, you loose the original and unique taste. It's like adding curry and thyme to a pot of edikakong or afang soups. Thank you

    1. This is just one of the methods I cook ikokore and it's delicious and nutritious. I think that in the future, while the traditional method will still be used, many many more out of the box recipes will emerge. Let's just brace ourselves.I can't add thyme and curry to ikokore but if someone does and it's not bad, I 'll thank them for trying new things in the kitchen.


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