How to Prepare Moi Moi: A Step-by-Step Guide

Moi moi
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Got a hankering for some moi moi? That savory steamed bean pudding from West Africa is calling your name. Making it from scratch might seem intimidating, but don’t sweat it. With just a handful of simple ingredients and a few basic steps, you’ll be whipping up batches of delicious homemade moi moi in no time. In this article, we’ll walk you through an easy recipe to create the perfect moist and fluffy texture and get that authentic moi moi flavor. No special tools or hard-to-find ingredients required. Just grab some beans, onions, and spices from your pantry and let’s get cooking. We’ll show you tips for prep, mixing, steaming, and more. With our guidance, you can become a pro at making this tasty dish to enjoy anytime. Ready to give it a try? Let’s get started!

What Is Moi-Moi?

Moi-moi is a delicious Nigerian dish of steamed black-eyed peas. The peas are soaked, ground, and then steamed in banana leaves. It has a sticky, pudding-like texture and subtle nutty flavor from the beans. Moi-moi is comforting and satisfying, perfect for sharing with family and friends.

Ingredients Needed to Make Moi-Moi

To make this delicious dish, you’ll need some essential ingredients:

  • 2 pounds of dried black-eyed peas: The main ingredient. Soak them overnight to soften them up.
  • 1-2 onions, finely chopped: Adds flavor and moisture.
  • 1-2 fresh red chili peppers, finely chopped: Provides a kick of heat. Adjust amounts based on how spicy you want the moi-moi.
  • Palm or groundnut oil: Adds flavor and richness, giving the dish a distinctive orange color and nutty flavor.
  • Salt to taste: Usually 1-2 teaspoons.
  • Crayfish: 1/4 cup, ground
  • Seasoning cubes: For extra flavor, use 1-2 seasoning cubes.
  • Banana leaves, moi moi plates plates, or nylon: Used to wrap or contain the mixture for steaming.
  • Stock or water: To moisten the mixture and achieve a thick, porridge-like consistency.

Step-by-Step Guide to Making Moi-Moi

1. Gather the Ingredients

You’ll need black-eyed peas, onions, fresh red chili peppers, palm or groundnut oil, salt, seasoning cubes, crayfish, and banana leaves (or moi moi plates or nylon). The peas and onions provide the bulk, while the chili peppers, palm oil, seasoning cubes, and salt add flavor. Banana leaves or alternatives are used to wrap or contain the mixture during steaming.

2. Soak the Black-Eyed Peas

Place the black-eyed peas in a bowl and cover with water. Soak overnight or for at least 8 hours. Drain and rinse before using. Soaking softens the peas and reduces cooking time.

3. Grind the Black-Eyed Peas

After soaking, drain the black-eyed peas and grind them thoroughly using an electric blender or food processor. Grind until completely smooth.

4. Chop the Onions and Chili Peppers

Finely chop 1-2 onions and 1-2 chili peppers. The onions add flavor and moisture, while the chili peppers provide a kick of heat. Adjust amounts based on how spicy you want the moi-moi.

5. Heat the Palm Oil

Add a few spoonfuls of palm or groundnut oil to a skillet and heat over medium. Palm oil is essential for flavor and richness.

6. Mix the Ingredients

Transfer the ground black-eyed peas, onions, chili peppers, oil, ground crayfish, seasoning cubes, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to a bowl. Mix well to combine. Add more salt to taste and mix again. Add stock or water to achieve a thick, porridge-like consistency.

7. Wrap in Banana Leaves or Alternatives

Place spoonfuls of the mixture in the center of banana leaf sections, moi moi plates, or nylon. If using banana leaves, fold the sides of the leaf over and tie off with kitchen twine to secure. Repeat with remaining mixture and wrapping material.

8. Steam Until Done

Add a few inches of water to the bottom of a large pot and bring to a boil. Add a steamer basket and place the wrapped packets or containers in a single layer. Cover and steam over medium-high heat until the black-eyed peas are tender, about 1 to 1.5 hours. Enjoy your delicious moi-moi!

Tips for Getting the Perfect Texture

Grind the Beans Thoroughly

After soaking the beans, drain them and grind thoroughly using an electric blender or food processor. Grind until completely smooth.

Mix in the Oil (palm or groundnut oil)

Add palm or groundnut oil, one tablespoon at a time, mixing well after each addition. The oil helps provide richness and a velvety mouthfeel. Start with 3-4 tablespoons and add more to taste and texture. Mix the oil in thoroughly to avoid greasiness.

Cook on Low Heat

Pour the batter into greased ramekins, nylon, or moi-moi plates. Place the plates or containers in a large pot and add water to come halfway up the sides. Cover and cook over low heat for about 1 to 1.5 hours, until the batter is set. Low, gentle cooking is key to achieving a creamy texture. Higher heat can cause the outside to cook too quickly before the inside sets.

Following these tips will help you make moi-moi with a texture so rich and decadent, your friends and family will be asking you to make it again and again. The key is taking your time and paying close attention as you prepare each ingredient. Your patience will be rewarded with the creamiest, smoothest moi-moi you’ve ever tasted!

How to Serve and Store Leftover Moi-Moi

Serving Suggestions

Leftover moi-moi is delicious served in many ways. You can simply reheat individual portions in the microwave and enjoy with a side of stew, fried plantains, or a fresh salad. For something different, cut the moi-moi into cubes and add to a soup or stew to make it more hearty. Another option is to mash the moi-moi with a potato masher or fork and season it with salt, pepper, and spices like chili powder, curry, or nutmeg. Serve the mashed moi-moi like you would mashed potatoes.

Proper Storage

To keep your leftover moi-moi fresh for up to 5 days, store it properly in an airtight container or sealed bag in the refrigerator. Make sure the container is large enough so the moi-moi has space and is not squished. Press down on the surface with your hands or a spoon to release any trapped air before sealing the container. This will prevent air exposure which can cause the moi-moi to dry out.

When reheating, make sure the moi-moi is heated all the way through to an internal temperature of 165 F. You can reheat the entire container in the oven at 350 F for about 15-20 minutes, stirring halfway through, or reheat individual portions in the microwave in 30-second bursts, stirring in between, until heated through. Do not thaw frozen moi-moi on the counter, always thaw in the refrigerator overnight and use immediately. Enjoy your delicious leftover moi-moi!

The key things to keep in mind are using an airtight container or bag, pressing out excess air, properly reheating until the internal temperature reaches 165 F, and not leaving it sitting out at room temperature for too long. Following these tips will ensure your leftover moi-moi stays delicious and safe to eat for several days. Happy eating!


What ingredients do I need to make moi-moi?

To make delicious moi-moi, you’ll need some basic ingredients:

  • Black-eyed peas or cowpeas: The main ingredient. Soak 1-2 cups of dried peas overnight.
  • Onions: Finely chop 1-2 onions. Onions add flavor and aroma.
  • Chili peppers: Mince 1-2 chili peppers for some heat. Optional, use less or omit if you prefer mild moi-moi.
  • Palm or groundnut oil: Adds flavor and richness, giving the dish a distinctive orange color and nutty flavor.
  • Salt: To taste. Usually 1-2 teaspoons for moi-moi.
  • Seasoning cubes: For extra flavor, use 1-2 seasoning cubes.
  • Leaves: Banana leaves, plantain leaves, small rubber plates, or nylon to wrap or contain the moi-moi.

How long does it take to make moi-moi?

Making moi-moi usually takes several hours from start to finish, due to the long cooking time. Here’s a basic timeline:

  • Soaking the beans: 8-12 hours or overnight
  • Preparing the leaves: 30 minutes
  • Grinding the beans and mixing ingredients: 30 minutes
  • Wrapping the moi-moi: 20-30 minutes
  • Cooking: 1 to 1.5 hours. The slow cooking is what gives moi-moi its distinctive texture and flavor.

Can I freeze moi-moi?

Yes, moi-moi can be frozen for up to 3 months. After cooking, allow the moi-moi to cool, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap, foil or ziplock bags. When ready to eat, thaw the moi-moi in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat thoroughly in the oven, microwave or stovetop until the internal temperature reaches 165 F. Moi-moi can be frozen before or after it’s unwrapped. For best quality, freeze moi-moi within 2 hours of cooking.

What is the difference between moi-moi and moin-moin?

Moi-moi and moin-moin are essentially the same dish. Moin-moin tends to refer to a loaf-shaped version, while moi-moi usually describes individually wrapped portions. However, the terms are often used interchangeably. Both are made from black-eyed peas that have been seasoned, mashed and steamed in leaves.


And that’s it – with these easy steps, you can make delicious Nigerian moi-moi right in your own kitchen! From soaking the beans to steaming the wrapped packages, making this tasty dish is a fun and rewarding way to expand your culinary horizons. With the right ingredients and a little patience, you’ll be enjoying tender, flavorful moi-moi in no time. This traditional staple is the perfect comfort food

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