After more than a decade at last I had seen this very elusive vegetable, the Moringa fruit. I never knew this existed in New Zealand as I only saw this in the Philippines but after reading some forums online where a person asked where to find this in America, someone answered try Indian specialty shops and that’s where I got my idea. Luckily for me there was a new bulk Indian spices store that opened near our place and I gave it a visit and to my surprise I saw heaps of this freshly imported from Fiji. It was quite expensive at $14.99 per kg its 15 times the price of bok choy or kailan but with more than 10 years of not eating them I would pay any price.
For non-vegetable lovers you will dislike the taste as its bitter but not as bitter as bitter gourd, it has that unique taste that when you try them you can’t stop eating them. Back in the Philippines we have a tree at our backyard so this is a common vegetable used in our family cooking, sometimes it’s added in soups and sometimes in stir fries. A very nutritious vegetable specially the leaves where it is believed to contain the following:
Four times more Vitamin A than carrots
Contains more Vitamin C than oranges.
Contains more Calcium than milk, also contains twice the protein than milk.
Contains three times more potassium than bananas
Contains three times more iron than spinach.
It contains more than 90 nutrients and 46 types of antioxidants.
These are just the highlights and there are even tons of other benefits like aid in digestion, better skin, stimulate metabolism, etc. It’s not called a “Miracle Tree” without any reason. Still not convinced? Just Google its health benefits to find out more.
For this recipe we will make a simple stir fry with tomatoes, sweet potatoes, pork and lima beans. Very nutritious, very healthy at the same time very yummy!
Ginisang Bunga ng Malunggay is a Filipino vegetable dish made out of sauteed moringa fruit, sweet potaotes and pork in tomatoes.
around 15 pcs malunggay (moringa) fruit
1 medium sized sweet potato, sliced into thin strips
1 cup cooked patani (lima beans)
300 g pork belly, sliced into small cubes
1 1/2 cup pork stock
1 pc large tomato, sliced
1 onion, sliced
6 cloves garlic, minced
freshly ground black pepper
Prepare your moringa fruit by splitting it lengthwise then slicing them further in the middle resulting into quarters. Gently scrape the pulp to separate it with the tough skin making sure you get it in one long strip. Do it with the remaining then cut them into two inch sections.
In a wok add oil then sauté garlic and onion.
Add pork belly then cook and brown all sides for 5 minutes.
Add tomatoes and cook for a minute.
Add water, malunggay fruit, lima beans and sweet potato. Bring to a boil then simmer for 5 minutes or until vegetables are cooked and tender.
Season with fish sauce and freshly ground black pepper then serve.