Classic Filipino Monggo Recipe (Mung Bean Stew)

Monggo (also Munggo, Mongo) is one of those dishes that I hated as a child, but learned to love as I grew older. 

Okay, a little bit about its main ingredient - the Mung bean. Widely used in Asian cooking, this bean is so versatile it can be eaten in different stages of its growth - whole beans, mashed beans, short bean sprouts, long bean sprouts. It comes in different color varieties, of which I've encountered three: red, yellow and green. It is mixed not only in savory dishes, but also for desserts (ice cream, pudding, hopia).

Just like most Filipino dishes, (Ginisang) Monggo is cooked differently in some parts of the country. I've seen this cooked with coconut milk in the Visayas, so you can only imagine how it can vary elsewhere. 

This recipe is what I believe to be the classic Tagalog version. We like to switch the traditional Ampalaya (Bitter melon/gourd) shoots (leaves) with Malunggay (Moringa) leaves just because the Ampalaya can be too bitter for the young ones.

Classic Monggo

Prep time: | Cook time: | Total time:

100g Mung beans soaked in water for 1 hour and drained.
1 1/2 cup smoked fish (tinapa), separated from bone.

200g Ampalaya shoots (leaves)
2 medium native tomatoes sliced
1 Medium red onion, sliced
2 Cloves garlic, crushed
Cooking oil

1. Boil the pre-soaked-and-drained mung beans in 3-4 cups water. The beans are ready when the meat is soft. I prefer the overcooked beans - skin off with its meat scattered and all.
2. On a separate pan, saute garlic, onion, tomato and fish scraps.
3. Transfer the sauteed ingredients onto the boiling beans.
4. Let boil for about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Throw in your choice veggie - Ampalaya shoots (leaves) or malunggay leaves (Moringa).

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