Moi Moi (Moin Moin) Recipe: Nigerian Bean Pudding

July 24, 2017 (Last Updated: March 24, 2020)

Moi moi (also called moin moin) is a delicious, savory steamed bean pudding made commonly in Nigeria from a mixture of blended black eyed peas or beans, peppers, onions, and spices.

Moin-Moin/Moi Moi Recipe: Nigerian Bean Pudding served on a tray

Not too long ago, if you asked me what my favorite food was, I would have said moi moi, hands down. Nowadays, I have a handful of favorite foods, but moi moi remains close to the top of the list. Moi moi (also called moin moin) is a  delicious, savory Nigerian bean pudding made commonly in Nigeria from a mixture of blended and steamed black eyed peas or beans, peppers, onions, and spices.  This moin moin/moi moi recipe uses smoked trout, but you can switch it out for any other cooked fish, corned beef, boiled eggs, or omit the animal protein altogether and make it vegan.

Moin-Moin/Moi Moi Recipe: Nigerian Bean Pudding served on a tray

Growing up, my mom’s moi moi recipe always utilized steamed bean batter wrapped with leaves locally called ‘Ewe eran‘ in Lagos. These leaves are also called ‘uma’ leaves or simply moi moi leaves. The native method of steaming moi moi involves wrapping them in these leaves and steaming in a pot of water. Moi moi leaves are a broad papery leaf, similar to banana leaves that are able to hold the blended beans while they cook. I remember moi moi also being made in small tins as well, but the moin moin made in the leaves, locally called moi moi elewe, always tasted the best. Nigerians typically prefer this method of cooking moi moi because of the almost imperceptible sweetness and flavor the leaf adds to the moi moi taste. Since I do not have ready access to these moi moi leaves, I decided to use a combination of banana leaves and stainless steel ramekins. I did not use banana leaves alone because I was not sure how to wrap the banana leaves to prevent the blended beans from leaking. This method makes it simple to make the Moi moi, and have the fresh taste of the banana leaves without stress.

How to Make Moi Moi

Skin the Beans

First of all, start by skinning the beans. Simply soak the beans in water for 3 minutes, after about 3 minutes, the skin of the beans should start wrinkling a little bit.

How to Peel Beans quickly with a food processor

Place the beans in a food processor, with some water, just enough to cover it. Pulse the food processor about 5- 6 times to agitate the beans. This process breaks the beans up and separates the skins of the beans from the beans themselves. Be careful, some water might splash out of the processor while pulsing the beans.

Pour the skinned beans in a bowl. Rinse several times to separate the beans from the skin, draining the skins with the water with each rinse. The skins should come off easily because the skins are lighter and should float easily to the top. Once the beans are clean, soak them in water for at least 4 hours or over night.

After the beans have soaked, drain the water that they have been soaking in, and rinse the beans one more time.

Blend the Beans and Prep Moin Moin Batter

Blend the beans with 1 cup of water, the bell pepper, scotch bonnet peppers, onions and bouillon.

How to blend beans with blender

I blended mine easily using a high powered blender. If using a normal blender allow your beans to blend for longer, stopping the blender every 30 seconds to allow it rest for 10 seconds. If the blade of the blender is not moving at all, add a little bit of water (just a little to allow the blade to move, not more).

black eyed peas/beans, peppers, onions, in a blender

Place the blended beans in a bowl, mix in the oil and salt thoroughly then thin out the mixture with the hot water until it resembles the texture of a light cake batter (you may need less than 1/2 a cup of hot water, just make sure the texture is like a light cake batter).

moi moi batter in a bowl

You can taste the mixture to adjust for salt ( you are just tasting for seasoning , so don’t expect it to taste good at this point since the beans are still raw).

Prep Banana Leaves in a Pot and Fill Ramekins with Batter

Prep the ramekins by brushing each one with oil on the inside like you would a cake pan. Fill each ramekin with the mixture till it is about 3/4 full, and then top it with a piece of fish.

Moi moi batter in ramekins placed in pot on banana leaves

In a deep pot with a properly fitted pot cover, place a sheet of banana leaf, and pour boiling water into the pot till it is about 1 inch deep. Place the ramekins into the pot, on top of the banana leaves. The hot water should not be more than half way up the ramekin. Cover the ramekins with a sheet of banana leaf

First layer of ramekins placed in pot on banana leaves.
Second layer of ramekins placed in a pot on banana leaves.

Depending on how wide your pot is, you may need to layer the ramekins in the pot. To do that, simply place the additional ramekins over the second sheet of banana leaf that covered the first layer of ramekins, then cover that layer with another sheet of banana leaf.

second layer of banana leaves covering moin moin in ramekins

Steam Moin Moin Batter in Pot

Cover the pot, and allow it to steam on low heat for 50 minutes.After 50 minutes, check the the Moi moi. Just like a cake, a skewer inserted into the middle of it should come out clean. If t doesn’t allow it to continue steaming for another 10 minutes.

banana leaves covering pot on the stove
covered pot on the stove

Allow the Moi moi to sit for 5 minutes then serve warm in the ramekin or unmolded.

moin moin ready and done in pot
moin moin in ramekins placed on a tray

I used 4 oz stainless steel ramekins, but you may use larger ramekins, it would probably just take a little more time to cook through.

a distance shot of moin moin served on a plate.

There we go…Bon appetit! I daresay, moi moi is arguably one of the most delicious dishes to be found in the wide variety of tasty Nigerian cuisine. This Nigerian bean pudding is another common staple that you will find featured in most Nigerian parties, weddings or even Nigerian homes. Moin moin is commonly eaten as a side with jollof rice, rice and stew, fried rice or on its own as a main dish with a side of garri, pap (or akamo) and yes also similarly to its fried bean fritter cousin Akara, as a burger!

a close up shot of moi moi served on a plate

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I buy moi moi leaves in America?

Moi moi leaves are from a tree native only to West Africa and as such are quite rare abroad, especially in the US. Depending on how ethnically diverse your city is, you may be lucky enough to find some in stock in local African, Nigerian, Caribbean or even International stores, especially if you live in Northeast and South areas like New York, Baltimore, Dallas or Philly etc where there is a significant Nigerian population. Another possible location many sleep on are Asian markets, where one can find a large variety of ethnic goods, many quite close to what is available in Africa. They might be difficult to recognize because of the non-English labels or different names but if you have a good eye, you just might be fortunate enough to spot them (that’s how we found these banana leaves). One must also consider the added risk of preservative chemicals required for exportation of these leaves to the US. Since this will be coming in direct contact with your food many Nigerians in diaspora do not consider it worth the risk and would settle for banana leaves and ramekins, foil paper or even transparent plastic bags as a substitute.

What’s a suitable blender for grinding beans for moi moi?

In Nigeria beans is commonly ground using industrial grinding machines because of how hard it can be to properly grind the hard bean shell. The best blender for properly grinding beans for moi moi or otherwise is a high powered blender. This category of blender requires a lot of power (usually between 1000-1500 Watts versus normal blenders which vary from 300-750 Watts), has a lot more functionality and is quite capable of handling a variety of food textures including beans. Since high powered blenders might be more expensive or unavailable, normal blenders will suffice and can be successfully used instead with the method described in the recipe.

Please be sure to rate my moi moi/moin moin recipe and leave a comment below if you tried it! Also while you’re here why not take a quick second and subscribe to my newsletter to get email notifications on new recipes, click the links to FOLLOW ME ON PINTEREST or INSTAGRAM? You can catch some behind the scenes action, my shopping hauls, personalized tips and friend-only recipes with videos on my Instagram. Also pin this recipe for later and explore some of my favorite recipes on Pinterest and if you love it as much as I know you will, SHARE with some friends! 

Moin-Moin/Moi Moi Recipe: Nigerian Bean Pudding served on a tray
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4.75 from 4 votes

Moi Moi (Moin Moin) Recipe

This moi moi (moin moin) recipe features a Nigerian delicious, savory steamed bean pudding made from blended black eyed peas, peppers, onions, and spices
Prep Time5 hrs
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time5 hrs 50 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Nigerian
Servings: 16
Calories: 110.4kcal
Author: Yummy Medley

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups of black eyed peas
  • 1/2 large bell pepper
  • 2 scotch bonnet/ habanero peppers
  • 1/2 cup neutral unflavored oil I used sunflower oil
  • 1/2 large onion I used a red onion
  • 8 oz smoked de-boned fish broken into small pieces
  • 3 tsp bouillon
  • 3 tsp salt or salt to taste
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup hot boiling water
  • 3-4 broad sheets of banana leaves

Instructions

  • To skin the beans, soak the beans in water for 3 minutes, after about 3 minutes, the skin of the beans should start wrinkling a little bit.
  • Place the beans in a food processor, with water, just enough to cover it, then pulse the food processor about 5- 6 times to agitate the beans. This process breaks the beans up and separates the skins from the beans. Watchout for splashing water!
  • Pour the skinned beans in a bowl. Rinse several times to wash off any loose skin, draining the skins with the water with each rinse. The skins should come off easily because the skins are lighter and should float easily to the top.
  • Once the beans are clean, soak them in water for at least 4 hours or over night.
  • After the beans have soaked, drain the water that they have been soaking in, and rinse the beans one more time.
  • Blend the beans with 1 cup of water, the bell pepper, scotch bonnet peppers, onions and bouillon.
  • Place the blended beans in a bowl, mix in the oil and salt thoroughly then thin out the mixture with the hot water until it resembles the texture of a light cake batter (you may need less than 1/2 a cup of hot water, just make sure the texture is like a light cake batter).
  • You can taste the mixture to adjust for salt (it is will not taste good at this point since the beans are raw but at this point you are just tasting for seasoning).
  • Prep the ramekins by brushing each one with oil on the inside like you would a cake pan. Fill each ramekin with the mixture till it is about 3/4 full, and then top it with a piece of fish.
  • In a deep pot with a properly fitted pot cover, place a sheet of banana leaf, and pour boiling water into the pot till it is about 1 inch deep. Place the ramekins into the pot, on top of the banana leaves. The hot water should not be more than half way up the ramekin. Cover the ramekins with a sheet of banana leaf
  • Depending on how wide your pot is, you may need to layer the ramekins in the pot. To do that, simply place the additional ramekins over the second sheet of banana leaf that covered the first layer of ramekins, then cover that layer with another sheet of banana leaf.
  • Cover the pot, and allow it to steam on low heat for 50 minutes. After 50 minutes, check the the Moi moi. Just like a cake, a skewer inserted into the middle of it should come out clean. If it doesn't, allow it to continue steaming for another 10 minutes.
  • Allow the Moi moi to sit for 5 minutes then serve warm in the ramekin or unmolded.

Notes

Calories in Moi Moi (Moin Moin) and Nutrition Info

The approximate nutrition breakdown for this moi moi recipe (specifically!) is shown below based on the earlier listed ingredients. Please note that the nutritional information below, including ingredients and calculations are sourced from a third party site and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content might differ depending on the brands used, measuring standards, portion sizes and other factors.

If you want to try another bean recipe, why not check out my delicious Vegan Akara: West African Black Eyed Pea Fritters recipe or explore some of my other West African recipes by clicking here.

11 Comments

  • Reply
    Sebastian Wahl
    December 22, 2017 at 11:59 am

    Thanks for posting this fabulous recipe. Will make as soon as I can figure out a steamer set up.

  • Reply
    CrackerJack
    March 24, 2018 at 12:45 am

    5 stars
    Moi god, this is amazing! Nice pictures and really cool website. Much obliged for the info on moi moi.

    • Reply
      Lois. O
      March 26, 2018 at 4:41 pm

      You are very CrackerJack!

  • Reply
    Remi
    October 20, 2018 at 3:57 am

    And I just feel like trying this moimoi today. Thanks for your cooking made simple approach of teaching. I hope it goes well for me on this occasion.

    • Reply
      Lois
      October 20, 2018 at 2:14 pm

      I hope so too Remi!!!

  • Reply
    Donna
    June 4, 2019 at 8:18 pm

    I am born and raised in the U.S. One of my friends from my old neighborhood is Nigerian and she introduced me to the deliciousness of Moi Moi. We moved and I rarely see her now, yet I occasionally get a craving for it. I tried your recipe, and the result was wonderful!

    I changed it a little bit. I left out the Scotch Bonnet peppers because I can’t handle spiciness, lol. I used some chili pepper and a tablespoon of tomato paste instead. (I might go wild add in a dash of hot sauce next time, lol.)

    I have an electronic pressure cooker made by the Elite Co. I followed your banana leaves – ramekins- hot water surrounding them – cover with banana leaves method. I cooked two batches of five ramekins, each batch taking 6 minutes once the appliance reached full pressure. They came out firm but moist. So pleased with the result!!

    Divine! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    • Reply
      Lois
      June 24, 2019 at 10:12 am

      I am happy it worked out Donna!!! Honestly, I confess that probably add a little more scotch bonnet peppers than I do when creating recipes because my family and I love spicy food, but I can totally understand omitting it. Try it with the hot sauce though, you might just enjoy it a little more than you think.

  • Reply
    Lyndsey Dianne
    October 27, 2019 at 6:41 pm

    5 stars
    Excellent recipe. Exactly what I needed. Thank you so much for posting this. I’m not Nigerian, but my husband is and I try to incorporate Nigerian dishes into our meal routines. But I find a lot of the recipes hard to follow either because of the vernacular or the loose measurements. It’s hard to just add “some” of this or that when you haven’t grown up with the flavors you’re trying to produce. Clear measurements are really helpful. I even have a Nigerian cookbook with a Moin Moin recipe in it, but I couldn’t follow it. I didn’t understand why she was talking about putting knots of newspaper at the bottom of the pot. 😆 But after seeing your pictures it made sense. You’re just trying to lift them off the bottom so you steam cook them, not boil them in the water. Most steamer trays that come with large pots aren’t deep enough to hold more than 2 of foil mini loaf pans (5 for $1 at Walmart if anyone’s wondering), so you have to improvise with newspaper, banana leaves, or balls foil (which I used).

    This recipe with the images was perfect. 5 stars all the way!

    • Reply
      Lois
      December 1, 2019 at 7:36 pm

      So happy to hear That this worked out for you Lyndsey!!! I completely understand the struggle of understanding measurements especially when you are new to the cuisine.

  • Reply
    Enya
    February 24, 2020 at 5:09 pm

    4 stars
    Hey i totally love this..the only reason i am not giving it five star is because of the tweaking. I find that it works better if soak the whole beans for 4 hours straight up before attempting to remove the skins. Im Nigerian all the way but my husband is French and I like to show him our naija food swag from time to time. I really love your bio and our you referenced ur hubby..lol ..

    • Reply
      Lois
      February 24, 2020 at 6:43 pm

      5 stars
      Hi thanks kindly for the compliments! I’m glad you found a method that works for you. Hope your husband loved the moi moi!

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