21 Feb2010


I came across little plastic bags filled with a half-cup full each of the fleshy contents and immature seeds of the malunggay tree seed pods. While I have used the apparently “medium” matured seed pods in pinakbet before, as well as featured the nearly over-the-hill and ready to plant dried seed pods here, I have never come across the young, vibrantly natural light green of the fleshy young things in the photos in this post…


AFter purchasing two little plastic bags worth for a total of PHP20, I asked the vendor how best to cook them and she said I could put them in soups or sautes along with other vegetables. I have to admit, with all the cooking over the weekend, we never got around to cooking them in a soup, but at least I have managed to capture these photos of an ingredient that is still rather unusual for me. I suspect they don’t have much flavor at this early stage of their development, but maybe they already have the nutrition benefits. With all the interest in the health benefits of consuming malunggay (leaves, pods, etc.) this is another way to get some of the wonderful vitamins and minerals associated with the malunggay/horseradish tree.


If you have any bright ideas recipe wise for these greens, I would love to hear about it so I can experiment the next time around when I find some of this in the local markets…



  1. atbnorge says:

    Using them as the main ingredient, MM? Well, try sauteeing with frogs? That would be nice. My mother is from Victoria, Tarlac; I and my siblings used to have our vacations there. I once ate ginisang upo with frog legs and I loved it. Substitute upo with malunggay seeds and maybe add some squash flowers for a bit of colour. What do you think?

    Feb 21, 2010 | 5:08 pm


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  3. Mom-Friday says:

    MM, I am just wondering how these taste like? coz with the bitter malunggay leaves, we just mix it with monggo guisado. Maybe this can work if mixed in with the ginisang togue & giniling, to make lumpia?

    Feb 21, 2010 | 5:30 pm

  4. chloe says:

    We cook this dinengdeng burudibud style with alocon.

    Feb 21, 2010 | 5:46 pm

  5. Jguevs says:

    I get these at P20 a pack also from my suki in Farmers Market. I bought 2 packs yesterday and used it in my bulanglang together with other bahay-kubo vegetables.

    Feb 21, 2010 | 5:50 pm

  6. frenchadobo says:

    it reminds me of the dinengdeng my mom cooks. she usually mix it with kamote, fried fish and fish baagoong. like all ilokanos, dinengdeng is present most of the time. the addition of kamote gives it a slight hint of sweetness. it’s so yummy with hot rice. i remember we used to eat it often during the stormy season when a lot of malunggay trees fall due to strong wind. it’s been a long time though i have not eaten malunggay. have not seen this veggy in france, not even in the chinese market. ask my in-laws but they don’t know malunggay as well. u made me yearn to go visit philippines mm! eating dinendeng na malunggay brings back a lot of childhood memories. thanks a lot mm!

    Feb 21, 2010 | 6:14 pm

  7. uniok says:

    ginisa pa rin! hehehheh with kamatis and pork.
    Last Thursday we had our kabsa galore with my officemate near to a Mall. Even though we have our food at the camp, a never ending supplies of chicken. Still we crave for this chicken lechon with long grain rice. Maybe it has something to do with eating with bare hands. My friends order a side dish which is a vegetable similar to your previous post. It’s a pure eggplant with I think a tomato sauce. It taste good and goes well with rice. The smell and ingredients is very different.

    Feb 21, 2010 | 6:59 pm

  8. Jack Hammer says:

    One of the main ingredients in the South Indian “Sambar” which is a mixture of Vegetables like Kalabasa, Talong, Okra, Sitaw, and malunggay seed Pods…with a Base of Boiled Toor Dal (or red lentils)…one of the “Millions of Recipes” here..http://www.south-indian-recipes.com/sambarrecipe.html..The flavour imparted by the Malunggay Seed Pods is imperative and impossible to not include.

    MM maybe Instant version available with the Taj Indian Spice Shop at Pasong Tamo, Makati…enjoyed with Rice, Puto, Pancit.

    Feb 21, 2010 | 8:28 pm

  9. millet says:

    looks like something i would cook with patola, misua and shrimps, maybe?

    Feb 21, 2010 | 8:30 pm

  10. eden says:

    try sauteing 3/4 kilo of beef cadera (divide in serving pieces) in garlic, onion and tomatoes add patis for flavor. then add just enough water and boil in high heat. after the first boil, simmer till meat are fork tender then add quartered gabi (bisol in visayan dialect) and the malungay seed pods (as many as those in your pix). season to taste, simmer till gabi is fork tender and the soup is a little bit creamy in consistency (because of the gabi). try this. it’s so yummy!
    I learned this from a neighbor who’s from Masbate.

    I hope this contribution will merit your good taste market manila.

    Feb 21, 2010 | 8:46 pm

  11. i love sta.rosa says:

    wow, tama po ba MM ang malungay sa english ay horsereadish? ngayon ko lng nalamna yun heheheheh, at ngayon ko lang din namanlan na pwede pa lang lutin ang pod ng malungay akala ko dahon lng ang pwede.. thanks for the info…

    Feb 21, 2010 | 10:11 pm

  12. pinayinny says:

    does the pod taste similarly like edimame?

    Feb 21, 2010 | 10:39 pm

  13. denise says:

    Hi MM! my grandma adds that to pinakbet (the real Ilocano version “shaken not stirred” no kalabasa) if the pods are really tender and fresh…another is bulanglang…it already has that malunggay flavor without being stringy and the seeds are fun to eat coz they pop

    Feb 22, 2010 | 12:27 am

  14. betty q. says:

    How about pickling them with firm ripe mangoes and sweet red peppers like ampalaya achara (my favorite!)

    Or making them into something like your Thai Papaya Salad….with garlic, roasted peanuts, lime, Splenda brown sugar, tomatoes, patis, cilantro…thinly sliced sweet onions and grilled prawns!

    Feb 22, 2010 | 5:55 am

  15. Betchay says:

    My mom used to cook it as “sinabawaang isda at bunga ng malunggay”.Fry any fish half cook(mom used Kabayas or tanigue) then saute onion, garlic and tomatoes.Add malunggay pods and rice washing then add the half cooked fish and let it simmer till pods are tender and fish fully cooked.Season with salt and pepper.

    Feb 22, 2010 | 8:33 am

  16. Bubut says:

    you can cook it with pinakbet or bulanglang just like the ilocanos way using bagoong isda and not bagoong alamang. that is very delicious!

    Feb 22, 2010 | 9:45 am

  17. ted says:

    @BettyQ, they have Splenda brown sugar now?

    Feb 22, 2010 | 12:03 pm

  18. Lynn says:

    My cousin made this recipe eons ago when she came to visit us in Cebu. She just sauted the young malunggay pods with guinamos. I was about 8 or 10 at that time and all I remember was that she used guinamos in the recipe.

    Feb 22, 2010 | 12:04 pm

  19. betty q. says:

    Yup, Ted! I am looking at the package right now as I am typing this. It says on the package Splenda Brown Sugar Blend. It comes in 1 – 454 gm. plastic package and not the envelopes or sachets.

    Feb 22, 2010 | 1:17 pm

  20. junb says:

    my first take on this will be on ginisang munggo or pinakbet but for the sake of being creative a pinakbet salad will be something that I will try. Bllanch them on a boiling water then mix with other pinakbet gulay (ampalaya, eggplant, tomatoes, lima beans, etc…) pour a simple dressing which is probably a mixture of fish bagoong or anchovies and a bit of ilocos or balsamic vinegar and drizzle it with olive oil :)

    Feb 22, 2010 | 5:34 pm

  21. junb says:

    and of course top it with zubuchon hmmm….Yummy !!!

    Feb 22, 2010 | 5:41 pm

  22. Marketman says:

    Actually junb, tita Cely Kalaw made just that pinakbet salad for an event in Cebu a couple of years ago… veggies were blanched and served cold with a bagoong and kalamansi dressing.

    Feb 22, 2010 | 7:15 pm

  23. noes says:

    This is good for dinengdeng with alocon and sweet potato tendrils.

    Feb 22, 2010 | 8:02 pm

  24. junb says:

    opps I’m not the original but its ok… it’s tita cely kalaw !!! I’m sure it taste great.

    Feb 22, 2010 | 8:29 pm

  25. betty q. says:

    How about like your okra dish you posted with taba ng talangka and some curry powder or garam masala and a touch of whipping cream…just a touch!

    or maybe cook with sofrito and chopped parsley!

    Feb 23, 2010 | 12:15 am

  26. betty q. says:

    Oh, and then…sorry, MM….got sidetracked! ….add the above …one or the other or even both to orrechiete pasta!….but cut the baby malunggay pods like in small pieces like 1/2 inch pieces

    Feb 23, 2010 | 1:05 am

  27. junb says:

    How about young malunggay seed pods Tempura or a fried lumpia…..

    Feb 23, 2010 | 8:40 am

  28. contagious says:

    In ilocos, mallunggay pulp is a favorite ingredient. It can be a part of pinakbet and dinendeng- all boiled in fish-broth with ginger and tomatoes. But one of my most memorable comfort food is called boribud. boribud has many versions but let me share you my recipe:
    1. boil peeled patani (they look like bigger version of edame) till al dente.drain.
    2. boil roughly chopped camote, then when cooked, mash a bit to sweeten broth.
    3. boil ham bones and some scrap Chinese ham. add fish sauce.
    4. take out bones when broth acquired the umami taste, add the patani and camote. boil.
    5. add spinach and camote leaves. cook.
    6. drizzle olive oil and dash of iloco vinegar. serve hot

    Feb 23, 2010 | 12:57 pm

  29. b says:

    I would add those to 2 pop dishes of southrn philippines” manok bisaya with kamungay and’ munggos with kamungay .

    Feb 23, 2010 | 6:03 pm

  30. Getter Dragon 1 says:

    These are like Illocano edamame. The fun way to eat these are boiled intheir stalks and served with tomatoes and onions. Just munch on the stalks and eat the pods. The stalks are discarded.

    As mentioned inthe other posts, you can enjoy them in dinengdeng so its a good way to maximize that leftover fried fish. I’ve never had it in pinakbet, but imagine it must be pretty good. My favorite is just grazing through a pile with tomatoes and onions on a summer day.

    Feb 24, 2010 | 9:00 am

  31. Anne :-) says:

    Are they sweet when eaten raw? Maybe you can do that Jamie Oliver recipe substituting them over leeks for a pasta sauce. :-)

    I have to get a copy of that recipe and give it to you…

    Feb 24, 2010 | 5:28 pm

  32. iya says:

    we cook this with inihaw na bangus leftovers, camote, and bagoong… my favorite ulam with sabaw on a rainy day! :D~~~

    Feb 25, 2010 | 10:29 am

  33. Footloose says:

    Agree with Millet here, looks like a dead ringer for patola so will be great with meatballs and misua.

    Malungay leaves only turn bitter when over-cooked. Try it in something like caldo verde, applying it like a garnish just before serving and you can induce lactation even in mal-nourished moms.

    Feb 26, 2010 | 12:09 am

  34. acousticpot says:

    MM, i would blanched it and mix it with your ever famous KKKK salad. or sautee it with shrimp, brocolli, french beans and mustasa and top up with sesame seeds

    Feb 27, 2010 | 7:09 am

  35. Kasseopeia says:

    I’d cook it as my mom and lola do: in dinengdeng with sitaw, okra, patani, alucon and upo in bagoong-isda. Served alongside fried galunggong and hot rice! Yum!

    Feb 28, 2010 | 12:58 pm

  36. wil-b says:

    yea. . .I love this as “buridibod” malunggay seed pod stewed in bagoong and tomato thickened with camote :D yumm. . . MM, have you ever tried the younger malunggay seed pods. . . as in really young very thin and still tnder and soft, we call it “marautong” in Ilocos and we usually just blanch it and mix it with bagoong sibuyas and kamatis. . .

    Mar 1, 2010 | 10:29 am

  37. nina says:

    Just curious, what did you end up cooking? :)

    Mar 5, 2010 | 5:19 pm

  38. Maria Isabel Rodrigo says:

    I superlike this vegetable, I can have this for viand for days and days without being fed up, it is very nutritious too. I really love this in pakbet (pak-bhut) with pork para magmantika-mantika ang native ampalaya ang sweetish camote.

    Dec 18, 2010 | 8:57 pm


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