Moi Moi Recipe: Steamed Black Eyed Peas Pudding
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.
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 steamed bean pudding made commonly in Nigeria from a mixture of blended black eyed peas or beans, peppers, onions, and spices. This moi moi recipe uses smoked trout in the Moi moi, 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.
Growing up, my mom’s moi moi recipe always utilized steamed Moi moi wrapped with Moi moi leaves locally called Ewe eran in Lagos. 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 Moi moi made in the leaves, locally called Moi moi elewe, taste the best.
Since I do not have access to the leaves used to make Moi moi, 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.
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.
- 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 bullion
- 3 tsp salt or salt to taste
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup hot boiling water
- 3-4 broad sheets of banana leaves
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. 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 with 1 cup of water, the bell pepper, scotch bonnet peppers, onions and bullion.
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 man 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 t 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.
Let me know if you enjoyed this moi moi recipe! Also, 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.