Clams and Moringa Leaves Soup With Coconut Milk

Clam and Moringa leaves soup with coconut milk
© Connie Veneracion
  • 25 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: Serves 6

The first time we visited my father after I gave birth to my firstborn, he prepared a clam soup with a generous amount of Moringa leaves. Apparently, there is a belief that eating Moringa leaves stimulates the production of breast milk. Whether there is a scientific basis for such a claim or it is nothing more than old wives' tale, I have no idea.

What I am sure of is that Moringa leaves and clams are such lovely partners. Much later, when we hired a helper who hailed from the southern province of Zamboanga, she remarked that Moringa leaves were often cooked with coconut milk in the barrio where she grew up. 

I thought it was a unique way to cook Moringa leaves. Inspired by that bit of information, I cooked my father's clams with Moringa leaves soup with the addition of fresh coconut milk. The soup that resulted was rich and subtly sweet but without losing the natural flavors of the clams.

What You'll Need

How to Make It

  1. Rinse the clams well. Change the water several times until the drained water is clear and free from traces of sand or silt.
  2. Place the clams in a bowl and cover with tap water. Cover the bowl loosely and place in the fridge for at least six hours. The soaking coaxes the clams to open their shells and spit out any sand or silt inside. Throw out any unopened shell.
  3. Drains the clams and repeat the rinsing process.
  1. Heat the cooking oil in a large pot. Saute the onion, garlic and ginger until fragrant, about two minutes.
  2. Add the Moringa leaves and cook, stirring, until wilted. Most cooks add the Moringa leaves after the clams and water has been added but, depending on the maturity of the Moringa leaves, they can take several minutes to cook. If the clams are already in the pot, they will get overcooked. So, I make sure that the Moringa leaves are almost done by the time I add the clams. I so hate overcooked seafood.
  3. When the Moringa leaves have wilted, add the carrot slices.
  4. Pour in three cups of water. Bring to the boil.
  5. Pour in the coconut milk. Season with fish sauce. When the mixture starts to boil, add the clams. Wait until the liquid boils, count two minutes then turn off the heat.
  6. Add freshly ground pepper and serve at once.