Moi moi also called moin moin is another popular food eaten in Nigeria. It is made by blending peeled bean, adding fillings of choice and then steaming it. Originally, moi moi is cooked in leaves but in the present day, there has been a lot of improvisation.
Moi moi Leaf is hard to come by where I live, so most of the time I cook my moi moi in nylon, foil paper, plastic or recycled tin but the truth is nothing beats moi moi cooked in leaves. I look forward to the day I will come across fresh leaves here and I can cook moi moi as I know it. Moi moi is mostly eaten as breakfast and it can also be eaten as a side meal to other dishes preferably rice. People find making it tedious, moi moi is very easy to make and if you are finding it difficult to make, put a lot practise into it and you will perfect it over time.
Like I mentioned earlier, you can have any filling of choice in your moi moi. Yorubas called some moi moi elemi meje (moi moi with 7 lives) 7 lives ranging from hard boiled eggs, cooked liver, dried prawns, ground crayfish, boiled fish, chopped beef etc. Basically put anything you want that is readily available in your steamed beans pudding. Unlike akara where you deep fry in palm oil or vegetable oil, in the case of moi moi, you will have to mix the oil with the pureed beans. I used a combination of palm oil and vegetable oil for this recipe. Here are few pointers before you make your own moi moi.
- Save time by peeling your moi moi with blender/food processor
- Soak beans a day before so it is readily available to use on the day.
- Moi moi batter is lighter than that of akara
- I can’t stress this enough, always prep ahead in the kitchen so you have a stress free and fun cooking
- Prepare the nylon bag, if possible double it for durability. If you are using leaves, wash clean and set aside
What you will need
2-3 cups of peeled beans (Use honey bean or black eye peas)
3-6 hard boiled eggs (use as a whole or sliced)
Ginger and garlic (optional)
1 mackerel fish, cleaned and gutted
1 red bell pepper (tatashe)
2 scotch bonnet chillies (ata rodo)
1-2Csp palm oil
1-2Csp vegetable oil
Soak beans in water for about 10 minutes, feel the beans and if the skin peels off easily, then it is ready to be peeled. You can either peel the beans by hand or with the use of a blender or food processor. Check here on how to peel beans with a blender
Soak beans in clean water and leave for some few hours to soften. I left mine in the fridge overnight.
Boil fish with salt, seasoning and onions for about 5-7 minutes, set aside to cool. De-bone and flake fish.
When you are ready to make the moi moi,
Add beans in bits to a blender, add red bell pepper, ata rodo and onions, enough water to cover and blend till very smooth.
Pour pureed beans in a big bowl
Add seasoning, ginger, garlic (if using) ground crayfish, and salt to the pureed beans and beat with a wooden ladle (omo irogun/turning stick) for about 10 minutes to incorporate air in the beans batter. This is just to achieve a fluffy and light moi moi. Alternatively, use a hand blender or mixer to make the job easier.
Add vegetable oil or palm oil and you can use the combination of the two like I did (heat up the palm oil/vegetable oil for 2-3 minute on a medium heat or simply microwave)
Stir for another 3-5 minutes till well combined.
Place a pan on a medium heat, add water and leave to boil while you continue with the beans
Using a scoop, add beans batter in the nylon bag in bits, add all the toppings you want then tie the beans tightly and also leave a bit of space between the beans batter and the knot to allow for expansion during cooking. Continue this process till you have exhausted all the batter.
Add the tied bags to the already boiling water in the pan, reduce the heat if on high, add a little more to the pan and cover tightly. Cook for about 40-50 minutes or till beans is set. (Check the pan from time to time to make sure the water does not dry out as this will burst the bags and ruin the moi moi) Take it off the heat and allow to cool.