5 Examples of Delicious Nigerian Meals Which Are (Unfortunately) Not Work-Friendly

You know, while I was trying to decide how to frame the title, I came up with an alternative title:  5 Delicious Nigerian Meals that your boss must not catch you eating.  I just was not sure that would be as "all-encompassing" as the one I settled for.

Pounded Yam and Egusi Soup // Lohi's Creations

Okay, enough with the titles.  Off to the koko.  

Unless you're self-employed (i.e. you are an entrepreneur) and work alone, you should be concerned about work-place etiquette.  That includes what you can or cannot eat at work, especially if you eat at your desk or cafeteria or office break room.  

I would like to believe that there is no one reading this who has actually carried a mortar and pestle to their office to make 'fresh' pounded yam.  Or taken garri to work and made eba right there in the office.  If you have done this ... I doubt that anything I say beyond this paragraph would seem strange to you.  I might as well waste my time trying to convince you that 'Harmattan' is a public holiday.

# 1: Anything that has the word 'soup' attached to it: (except maybe pepper soup).  In any Nigerian language.  That includes any "efo riro" (vegetable soup).  The reason is that unless you're on the Atkins diet, the soup will have company, i.e. some type of starch.  I know you're probably about to protest that you can eat it with rice, and that should be fine.  Indeed, rice is fine. Now, head over to # 2.

# 2:  Anything you have to eat with your hands:  The keywords here are "have to."  I know it is possible to eat eba with a fork and knife or even a spoon, but if you're the kind of person who must eat eba (and similar starchy / "swallow" foods) with your hands, you might want to reserve it for 'home consumption.'  You can stop glaring at me now.  This is for your own good.  And remember I said you can eat it at home.  No one has banished pounded yam out of your life. 

# 3:  Slimy Foods:  Think Okra, Ogbono, that sort of thing.  So, for example, Ila Asepo, Okra Soup, and Ogbono soup might not be the best things to take to work for lunch.  

MEN, please note:  Don't tell me you'll hang your tie over your shoulder so that it will not get in the way of you and your okra soup.  Your shirt, sir, is still in danger of being 'okra-fied.'  And if you have a meeting with a client afterwards, how on earth will you explain away that awful palm oil stain on your shirt? Yes, that stain that you kept trying to wipe away but only got bigger and bigger.  This is not experience speaking.  Look, don't be that guy. Or woman.

Okra Soup with Pounded Yam // Lohi's Creations

#4:  Anything that has a potent or very strong smell:  By strong smell, I am referring to ingredients or dishes that Febreze or any similar air freshener won't be able to wipe out quickly.  Are you familiar with the smell of iru (locust beans)? Stock fish nko? Then, why would you take that to work and warm it in the office microwave?  Don't you pity your colleagues? Okay, let me rephrase that question, because I know some people were shaking their heads at the 'colleague'-question.  Don't you value your reputation? Aha! I thought so too.  Please respect yourself and leave the iru-infused dish at home.  Believe me, it is better that way.

# 5:  Any meat dish with bones:  Okay, this might seem a bit extreme, because on the surface it looks like I am frowning on any meat dish at all.  But, what I was referring to was, for example, chicken stew made with the bone-in chicken, IF (and only IF) you are one of the those people who absolutely MUST crack the bones.  With your teeth.  If you find that you are that kind of person, please opt for boneless, skinless chicken, fish, etc.  We can't have you cracking bones and hunting down bone marrow at work.  It is unacceptable.

Question:  What kinds of foods would you have added to the list? Examples are welcome.  

Hahahaha, Relentless builder, you make sense. I will add amala and ewedu. Lol!

joy ojay

so... basically... anything that is not rice lol

Just make sure to avoid iru/ogiri, LOL...

Leme jor. Ounje wo lo wa ku en?
I totally feel you though lol

I say fish o especially smoked fish..smh dont do that na


In many companies in Nigeria (both local and international), they serve number 1 and 3.


LOL... eba and okra no bad naa. I eat vegetable soup with banku (almost like eba) for lunch when they bring it to the canteen o...


Sorry, I forgot to mention. I have tagged you in the BBC book list tag. Please, check the most recent post on my blog for details.


Hahahaha...I take all this to work and my co-worker have survived. Once when I was fresh out of college, broke and with no money to buy food ...I took fried fish, garri and ground-nut to work. WHAT?

haha thanks for adding the links! and LOOOOOOOOOOL!!! none of these should ever be eaten outside your home tbh!


I unfortunately fell victim to the 'bone chomping' temptation in the office. I didn't realize anyone was watching until someone made a comment *hides face*. I sha tried to do bold-face but the dude never lets me forget it.


This nearly happened to me recently. i just returned the juicy bone to my flask...to be dealt with in my non-judgemental home lol



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