Known in Thai as ‘Yo’ Noni is a widely naturalized tree in the tropics, with gastronomical and medicinal uses in various cultures. It is tolerant of extreme growing conditions and can therefore be found in diverse habitats including volcanic and arid beaches in Hawaii and saline soils. The tree bears sizable fruits that are notoriously known for their unappealing smell and flavor when ripe, and are therefore considered by some as famine food.

Other names

  • Morinda citrifolia (Scientific)
  • Indian mulberry
  • Cheese fruit
Noni tree in Hawaii

Culinary use

Although ripe fruits are uninviting unripe fruits can be eaten as vegetables with non of the unpleasant odors. They could be ponded in a ตำ salad similarly to the ponding of unripe papaya in ‘Som Tum’. The leaves of the noni tree are absolutely delicious when cooked in ‘Gaeng Bai Yo’, a coconut based ‘Khua’ curry.

Unripe noni salad
‘Gaeng Bai Yo’, Noni leaves curry

Additional resources

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: