The leaves of the marunggay (moringa oleifera) or marunggi, as Ilokanos fondly call it, can be prepared in a variety of ways. Foremost, it is a basic, even vital, ingredient in the inabraw or dinengdeng potpourri of veggie leafy greens, shoots and tops and pods and fruits.
Or, as a solo marunggi broth perfect for a nutritious igup or labay.
I love it also as a leafy topping in my instant pancit mami.
It is also inevitable as a leafy mix in sauteed pinablad (boiled) a balatong (mung beans) and other dried beans/legumes or any other pusi like kardis, patani or parda. It's also a preferred garnishing in tinola a manok if sili or paria leaves are scarce.
And of course, as a salad or kinilnat as simple as itself, slightly boiled or blanched and dipped in bugguong with some tomato slices or a perres (squeeze) of calamansi. Or dressed, drenched with bugguong.
I love marunggi salad and I want it fast, quick, express that my fancy way of blanching it is that I just dip it whole, stalks with leaves intact, in a boiling water for a minute or two, season it, garnish it, and then enjoy it, as it is, again, with the stalks serving as a convenient "stick" to to hold it to your eager mouth, and consume the sumptous leaves right away with your steamed rice.
Ahh, the simplicity, the versatility and the Ilocano frugality of it all... What a gastronomic bliss!
(Originally blogged June 30, 2009)