Moi moi – You will love this savory, fluffy, and soft moin moin for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It’s a simple comfort food classic!
Moi Moi Recipe
Moi Moi/ Moin Moin is a traditional Nigerian meal made from beans, onions, peppers, spices, and other ingredients. It is delicious, easy to make, and inexpensive.
It is often served as lunch or dinner, and we reheat the leftover in the morning and use it as a side paired with pap or custard.
What is Moi-Moi?
I’ll explain what this dish is all about in case you’ve never heard of it before. Moin moin is a savory steamed traditional Nigerian main dish made from peeled black-eyed peas, peppers, onions, and other condiments like fish, crayfish, boiled egg, animal liver, and other enriching condiments.
This meal is a favorite in almost any Nigerian home. It is also known as olele, bean pudding, Moi Moi, or moin moin.
Moin Moin/ Moi moi is traditionally steamed inside a pot using leaves such as the” Ewe eran” (Thaumatococcus daniellii) or banana leaves.
Other heat-proof bowls like ramekins, aluminum foil, and baking pans are also suitable.
Making it well
This recipe makes a delicious savory moi moi. Soft and moist but not mushy. It is firm enough to hold its shape. I’m sure you will love it!s
Jokingly, we refer to Moi Moi as “elemi meje,” meaning it has “seven lives.” This is because the mix of this bean pudding with extra protein like fish, crayfish, boiled egg, boiled liver, and chicken stock makes a perfect meal with an undeniably delicious taste. It is so delicious, and the taste hits differently.
In my experience, one of the most common mistakes is not blending Moin Moin very well, and another common mistake is adding too much water when blending.
The moi moi pudding should be blended as finely as possible because a grainy pudding will affect the appearance and texture of the moin moin, making it unpleasant to eat.
You can check this post on ”how to make better moi moi” to troubleshoot your moi moi.
Peeling the beans
To peel the beans faster, you can use a food processor. Here’s how:
- Soak the beans for about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Drain and pour the soaked beans into the food processor.
- Pulse a couple of times to remove the skin
- Pour the beans into a large bowl. Add enough water to cover the beans.
- Swirl all around till the skin floats, then pour off the skin.
- Repeat the process a couple of times until all the skin come off.
Ingredients for making Moin Moin
- Black-eyed Peas or Honey Beans – Best to use black-eyed peas or honey beans (Ewa oloyin)
- Peppers – It’s best to use a combination of peppers like red bell peppers (tatashe) and scotch bonnet(rodo) for a deeper flavor profile.
- Onion – Onions, as always, bring out the flavor in the food.
- Crayfish – you can ground the dry crayfish with the beans or use powdered crayfish.
- Vegetable Oil/Palm oil – You can use palm oil, vegetable oil, or a mixture.
- Chicken bouillon Cubes – Add this for taste.
- Fish – This is optional but a great addition. The fish is boiled and cut into chunks. I like to use Mackerel or Salmon.
- Hard-boiled Eggs – Also a great addition!
- Boiled beef liver – This is also optional. It will make a great filing in the mix. I love it because beef liver is nutrient-dense.
- Salt – Add salt to taste
How to make Moi Moi
- Soak the beans. It would be best to soak your beans for about 10 to 20 minutes. Dryer beans tend to be ready faster, while less dry beans will take a little longer.
- Peel your beans. You can peel your beans manually by rubbing them together between your palms. That is a long process, so I have found a shortcut for peeling. I use a food processor. This is a fast way to peel your beans.
- Sieve the skin of the beans out. After peeling, wash your beans and sieve out the skin until you get clean beans. The skin would float itself while the seed would go down. You can soak the beans for 10 minutes more to make them softer.
- Blend the beans and other ingredients – Add the beans into the blender with pepper and onions. Add bouillon cubes, salt, and crayfish. Add a cup of water to blend.
- Turn the batter into a bowl. Inside the batter, add the groundnut oil and mix.
- Add fish chunks or liver. You can add boiled fish already cut into chunks or pour in liver cut into small pieces. Keep mixing.
- Prepare the bowls – Depending on what you want to use for your Moi Moi, wash it and oil the plates. I used Ramekins Bakeware for this recipe.
- Portion the batter to the bowls.
- Add the boiled egg on top. Add your boiled egg on top. You don’t have to push it deep into the mix.
- Put the pot on the stove and add boiled water.
- Arrange the Moi Moi in the pot and cover. Allow it to steam for like 45 minutes. If you notice that the water in the pot has dried up, carefully add more water.
- Carefully remove the Moi Moi from the plate and enjoy.
Customize to your taste
Think of this pudding as a blank canvas that you can customize the way you want. Want more of a kick? Add more habaneros. Don’t eat fish; add beef liver or corned beef.
Frequently Asked Questions?
How will I know that the Moi Moi is done?
You can insert the tip of a knife or toothpick into the Moi Moi. The Moi Moi is done when the tip of the knife comes out fairly clean.
Can I use palm oil?
Yes, you can use either palm oil or vegetable oil. It depends on the one you prefer. You can also mix the two.
What can I use to mold my Moi Moi?
Traditionally, the leaves called “ewe eran” (Thaumatococcus daniellii) are used for steaming the moin moin. An alternative to that is banana leaves. However, not many people have access to these leaves, so we use heat-safe containers like ramekins, aluminum foil pans, and baking pans.
- Ensure that you blend your Moi Moi very well to get a smooth texture. Grainy texture affects the appearance of the Moi Moi and the texture in the mouth.
- Do not use too much water to blend the Moi Moi. Too much water makes it watery, and it wouldn’t mold well.
- Check the water level in the pot regularly to prevent your Moi Moi from burning.
- Do not use hot water to soak your beans. It will cook the beans a bit, resulting in a poorly textured moi moi. Use water at room temperature.
Watch how to make moi moi below:
Equipment used for making Moi Moi
- Big stainless pot
- Food processor
- Ramekins or baking pan
What to serve with Moi moi
There are also several different ways to serve up moi moi because it’s really versatile. Here are some ways:
- Bread – Crusty Dutch Oven Bread, No-Knead Garlic Pull-Apart Bread Loaf, No-Knead Potato Bread, Easy Rice Flour Bread, No-Knead Rosemary Focaccia Bread, Bread Rolls, Sweet Milk Bread Recipe
- Classic Nigerian Salad, Pap or Custard, and Eko
- Rice – Nigerian Fried Rice Recipe, Nigerian Jollof Rice
You can also serve with garri, pap (ogi – fermented corn meal), and the list goes on as your mind can create.
Other Nigerian recipes to try:
- Yam Porridge/ Yam pottage
- West Africa Fufu
- Jollof Spaghetti recipe
- Ewa Riro (Stewed Beans)
- Akara Recipe – Nigerian Beans Fritters
- Nigerian Rice and Beans Recipe
- Ata din din (Fried Pepper Stew)
Thank you very much for your time. Now, I’m confident that you can make this at home.
This recipe was first published in 2015. It has now been updated with new pictures!
How to make Moin Moin/Moi Moi
- 1½ Cups dry beans Black eyed Peas or Brown Beans-”Ewa Oloyin”
- 1 Red Bell pepper/Tatashe Medium size
- 1 Habanero/scotch Bonnet/Rodo
- ¾ Cup Diced onion
- 2 Tablespoons Crayfish
- ¼ Cup Vegetable Oil
- 2 Bullion Cubes
- ¾ Cup cooked minced Fish
- 3 Hard boiled Eggs
- Salt to taste
- Soak the Beans for 15 minutes depending on how dry your beans are. The drier beans tend to be ready for peeling faster than the less dried beans.
- Pour the Beans in the Blender and add twice as much water as the Beans (by volume) blend the Beans for 3-4 seconds per time and repeat this 3 to 4 times – Remember we are peeling the beans and not blending them.
- Pour the beans back into a large bowl and add enough water to fully cover the Beans. Now agitate the Beans with your fingers and the skin will float then quickly separate the skin from the Beans by pouring through a sieve.
- Once that is done, pour the peeled Beans (the skinless Beans) inside a Blender, together with the Red Pepper, Habanero, and Onion – Blend to the smoothest consistency you can ever get.
- Combine the blended mixture with the remaining ingredients except for the boiled Eggs.
- Spray or brush the container you will be using with oil. Pour the mixture into the container and place the boiled egg over it. Cover it with a lid or seal with foil paper.
- Line the base of a large pot with either foil paper, sticks, leaves. Add enough water to the pot. (Add just enough not to submerge the moi moi bowls). This is to prevent the Moin moin from sticking to the base of the pot in case the water dries up before the moin moin gets done.
- Arrange the Moin moin inside the Pot and cook till done. This should take about 45 minutes to 1 hour a little more or less depending on the quantity of the Moin moin mixture in each container.
- To check for doneness, insert a toothpick into the middle of the Moin Moin/Moi. The toothpick should come out fairly clean and not wet.
- Remove from heat and serve.
- ***Don’t use tomatoes or tomato-based products when making Moin Moin/ Moi moi it makes it difficult for the Moin Moin/Moi moi to solidify.
- ***Be sure to check the water level at least every 15 minutes to prevent the Moin moin from burning and top up the water as required.
- ***Be careful with salt – a little goes a long way.
- ***Soak the Beans even more if it’s still hard after peeling it. Soft peeled beans are easier to blend, thus preventing your Moin moin from becoming grainy