Ginataang Malunggay at Tokwa + Malutong na Mungoo – Coconut Stewed Malunggay (Moringa) with Crispy Tofu.
First of all Hi!! It’s been awhile. Sorry, but I’m back now and I have lots of recipes lined up. Just need to write them all out for all of you. The first of these recipes is Ginataang Malunggay at Tokwa + Malutong na Mungoo.
Okay let’s do some translations here first.
Ginataang means to cook in coconut milk
Malunggay – Is Malunggay, I’ll touch more on that below.
Tokwa – Tofu
Malutong – Crispy
Mungoo – Mung Bean
During the warmer months our local farmers market has a stand that sells fresh Malunggay. It’s super exciting to see. I’ve put it in bread and made soup with it and even cooked it in omelets. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
If you are familiar with the “wellness” world, you have probably heard of Moringa Powder. It’s one in the same. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Malunggay is an indigenous tree in the Philippines that provides nourishment to those who need it. It’s passed down from generations of Mothers to help heal the body when recovering from pregnancy and to help with milk production.
Once the kids are grown, a soup called Tinola filled with chicken broth spiked with ginger and fresh Malunggay leaves is given to the children who are sick to help speed up recovery. It’s no wonder they call it a miracle tree. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Drinking it in a smoothie in powder form to me removes that connection of mother and child that my culture has ingrained within us with this vegetable. So my job is to pass down to Abby, what my mom passed to me and what her mom passed down to her. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
A preservation of culture and rituals that she can carry on in the future.
The stems of the malunggay are pretty tough, so not edible even after cooking. What you need to do is remove the tiny leaves from the stem. To do that all you need to do is grab the top of the branch with your fingers and lightly run it through. The leaves will fall off quite easily.
It’s actually a great activity for the younger ones if you are grasping at something to do during the summer when they are home. Abby did this for me all by herself in less than 10 minutes.
As I mentioned earlier Ginataang is the act of cooking in coconut milk. There are both savory and sweet versions. You can make Ginataang with different kinds of seafood like prawns and crab. It’s also great with vegetables like kalabasa (squash) and sitaw (green beans). In this recipe we will be using the malunggay leaves and quickly cook it in coconut milk.
Start with a standard can of full fat coconut milk and add in 3 diced garlic and about two inches of fresh garlic that has also been diced. Leave it to simmer on low for about 10-15 minutes until the coconut milk reduces to half. Add in about 3 cups of the malunggay leave and stir until it’s wilted. About 2-3 minutes or so.
Season with some fish sauce and black pepper to your liking.
Listening to Tagalog list like listening to someone sing. We have so many playful words like tokwa otherwise known as tofu. Bake the tofu in the air fryer for a quick 15 minutes until it’s nice and crispy.
Serve the dish with rice and crispy mungoo beans. Now this recipe becomes reminiscent of the traditional Filipino Mungoo Stew, just a little lighter with the same flavor profiles.
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