When I first opened this box and saw these strange, elongated, okra looking things nestled between the bunches of greens, I thought “Oh dear God, did I make a huge mistake?!” I had no idea what these things were and they were far more exotic than the occasional funny colored cauliflower head that I used to receive in my FarmBox. I immediately starting doing some online research to figure out what the hell they were and what I was going to do with them.
What I found out was that they are from the Moringa tree which is a plant whose leaves and pods can be eaten. It is popular in Indian and Southeast Asian cuisines and is regarded as a super food by some people because of it’s broad nutritional value. The leaves and pods are chock full of minerals, vitamins and lots of amino acids. This was great and all but I was still a little intimidated because I had no idea what they tasted like or how I should prepare them. I continued my research and found some videos and recipes and video recipes that gave me a little more confidence about how to cook Moringa pods.
I decided on this soup because I had most of the ingredients and the video I found was thoroughly instructional so I felt good about what I was about to do. It came out VERY tasty but I will say that the pods remained a bit fibrous and stringy. If you happen to get some of these I highly recommend pulling them out and eating them on the side or just being ok with spitting out all the fibers as you go. Unless you can find some super young and tender pods, then those might be tender enough to eat like a green bean.
The flavor is delicate and delicious. I would say it’s a cross between artichoke hearts and green beans. It’s definitely worth a try and I’m excited to try a few other recipes if I get more of these guys in the next box.
- 8 Moringa pods (best to get the super young tender ones)
- 1 can of coconut milk
- 4 cups of water
- 1 lemongrass stalk
- 3 garlic cloves
- ½ teaspoon of red chile peppers
- 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled
- Pinch of curry leaves
- 2 Tablespoons of fish sauce
- Prep moringa pods by peeling the tough outer layer with a veggie peeler and then cutting the pods into 2 inch sections.
- Smash garlic, ginger, and chile in a mortar and pestle with salt.
- Heat veggie oil or grapeseed oil in a dutch oven on medium high heat. Fry the garlic, ginger and chile mixture into the hot oil and stir for a minute for two until it becomes fragrant.
- Add water, coconut milk, lemon grass, curry leaves and fish sauce to the pot and let it come to a boil.
- Toss moringa pods into the broth and let them cook for about 10 minutes or until tender.
- Meanwhile, heat a pot of salted water until boiling. Add one package of soba noodles to boiling water and cook for no more than 4 minutes. Strain the noodles and then immediately coat them with sesame oil.
- Add the noodles to the bottom of a bowl and then pour soup over. Garnish with fresh basil and lemon or lime juice.