Sapala, Fresh Corn Moinmoin


Save the silk

Stock the cobs

Blanch the leaves

Eat the corn

{What to do with the whole corn}

Because corn is in season. And because I tried it last year and told myself I would make it again. Similar to the Mexican tamale…Except tamales are made with masa – corn meal that’s treated with lime and turned into meal or paste while this is made with fresh corn. In Yoruba, it is known as Sapala and in Igbo, Ikpakpala.

The first time I made it, I added lots of curry leaves which gave it a distinct clove flavour. It was overpowering if tasty with the dried shrimps and crayfish that went in the mix. This time, I’ve gone with my besto – scent leaves. Nchanwu. Efirin.

And I’ve gone with using the corn, the whole corn – well almost – using the husks as wrappers.


The result my friends is stunning.


All of the freshness of the season, in creamy corn.

Wrap in blanched corn husks, banana leaves or cupcake moulds, then steam and voila – beauty.

{How to wrap corn meal/ dough/ batter in husks}


How am I eating it? With sauteed prawns and scent leaf dip and a spoonful of Chili Beer sauce and a tall cool glass of something.

Corn MoinMoin
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
742 calories
91 g
140 g
20 g
61 g
4 g
845 g
583 g
30 g
0 g
14 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 742
Calories from Fat 176
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 20g
Saturated Fat 4g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 7g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 140mg
Sodium 583mg
Total Carbohydrates 91g
Dietary Fiber 10g
Sugars 30g
Protein 61g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 2 cups fresh corn
  2. 1/2 large onion, about 3/4 cup
  3. 1 hot chilli pepper, to taste
  4. 2 tablespoons ground crayfish
  5. 4 large scent leaves
  6. 3/4 cup chicken stock
  7. 2 tablespoon chicken fat
  8. 1/2 cup blanched fresh corn kernel (optional)
  9. Cooked/ smoked flaked fish (optional)
  10. Salt, to taste
  1. Combine all the ingredients, save for the blanched fresh corn if using and salt and blend till a smooth paste is formed
  2. If using, stir blanched corn kernels and fish into mix with pinch of salt. Taste - you should taste the salt but not in an overpowering way
  3. Wrap/ set in moulds - corn husks, moinmoin leaves, moinmoin tins/cupcake molds work well too.
  4. - If using corn husks, a steamer works well. Place wraps in steamer and use as directed
  5. - If using Moinmoin leaves, make packets, place in large pot and add water to cook
  6. - If using molds, you'll be 'water-bathing them'. Set a single layer at the base and let water come up about 2/3rds of the way up the sides. You could add a second layer - offset from the first for balance
  7. It is ready when the mixture is solid, usually around 30 - 40 minutes depending n the size of the wraps. Don't worry if it is still soft as they firm up as they cool down
Kitchen Butterfly

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