Saturday, June 8, 2013

#136 Mung Bean and Spinach Soup

I ate a lot of Mung beans growing up in the Philippines, we call this dish  Ginisang Monggo or Munggus (Mung Bean Soup), it is cooked with vegetables like malunggay, yellow squash, bittermelon and  meat or dried fish. Here in the US, I learned how to make and  eat it with just very few vegetables and I like it better. The flavor of the Mung  bean is delicious enough, it is high in protein and so I feel that adding meat is unnecessary. I make this simple dish with just garlic, onions and spinach. Very simple yet delicious and highly nutritious! 
Yield: Serves 6 or more

3 cups of Mung Beans
6 cups of water, or more
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 stalk green onions, chopped
1/2 tsp ginger powder
3 cups of chopped fresh spinach leaves
2 teaspoons vegetable or chicken base
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Boil and then simmer 3 cups of Mung beans in six cups of water, adding more water when needed until cooked. Cooked mung beans will crack and has a soft texture. (see pic below) It should absorb most of the water when cooked, make sure you turn the heat off as soon as it is done.
  2. In a separate large saucepan, heat olive oil, then add garlic until brown, add onions.
  3. Add the cooked beans (undrained).  Add the vegetable base, ginger powder and let it boil at once. Reduce heat, stir in the spinach, until it is well mixed in with the beans. Turn the heat off and cover.
  4. Serve warm, salt and pepper to taste.

The mung or moong bean (also known as green gram or golden gram or pesalu in Telugu) is the seed of Vigna radiata, has been grown in India since the ancient times, and mainly cultivated in India, China, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Burma, Bangladesh, Laos and Cambodia, but also in hot and dry regions of Australia, Africa and Southern America. Mung beans are commonly used in Chinese cuisine, as well as in the cuisines of Burma, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Philippines, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Indonesia, Nepal, Vietnam, and other parts of Southeast Asia. Read more about Mung beans from Wikipedia
How healthy is Mung Bean? It is very low in fat, high in dietary fibers, protein, iron and magnesium. It also contains vitamin C, calcium and vitamin B6. This is why it is one of my favorite foods. It can be used for desserts too! Will post a sweet dish made of Mung bean soon.

This super healthy dish made of mung beans, spinach, olive oil and garlic. Delicious too!

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