Mungo: Mung Bean Soup

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This is another dish where there are as many variations as there are regions in the Philippines. Some prefer it thick some like it soupy. Some like to put different types of vegetables with it. Me, I happen to like mine on the soupy side and I like it best with bittermelon (ampalaya) leaves. I had a couple of bittermelon plants come up in our garden this year, one was scrawny but the other one was lush and full of big pretty leaves. I just had to make this soup to use some of the leaves before the frost beats me to it.

1 cup dried whole mung beans or mungo beans
1 Tablespoon oil
4-6 cups chicken broth or water
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small onion, sliced
1 Tablespoon fresh Ginger, chopped
1 cup tomatoes, chopped
1 pork chop, cut into small cubes
approx. 4 oz. peeled shrimps (I used medium sized, frozen)
Bittermelon leaves (as much or as little as you would like – I used about two cups uncooked)
Fish Sauce, to taste

First wash the mung beans as you would any dried beans and remove any beans that float and anything else that floats up. Drain and pour into double the amount of boiling water. This means for every portion of beans, put twice as much water to boil. In this case, since I am only cooking a cup of beans, I boiled two cups of water and dropped in the beans. Let boil for a few minutes until the beans are soft and some of the water has evaporated. Turn the heat down to low and let the beans simmer until almost all the water has evaporated and it is well cooked. If it is still hard, just add a bit more water and cook longer.

In the meantime, while the beans are cooking, prep the rest of the ingredients. When all is in place, heat up about a tablespoon of oil in a pot and saute’ the garlic, ginger and onions until fragrant. Add the pork and tomatoes and saute’ a little longer, until it starts to dry up and sizzle again. Add a tablespoon of fish sauce, stir in the cooked mung beans, and add four cups of broth or water. Bring to a boil and turn the heat down to simmer for about twenty minutes for the flavors to infuse. When the soup is almost ready, taste and adjust the seasoning. Add the shrimps and the bittermelon and let it cook for another five minutes or so, just until the shrimp cooks through and the bittermelon leaves wilt. Turn off the heat, and serve.

This will probably serve only two. I made a small batch since I am the only one who likes mung bean soup in our house. Especially so when it has bitter melon leaves, which is what makes this dish for me. So this one is for the secret pot too.

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10 comments on “Mungo: Mung Bean Soup
  1. Hungry Gal says:

    I love mung bean soup… but I have never had it like this… It’s always been a sweet dessert soup for me! Looks delicious!

    Hi hungry gal, I like both sweet and savory versions of the mung bean soup but my daughters prefer the sweet one too.

  2. JMom says:

    hi jane, yumm! I wish I had some of your malunggay leaves today. It feels like tinola weather 🙂

    Hi Francesca, ah oo, variety nga ng mungo ang lentils, pero parang flat siya, di ba? Nagamit ko na rin ang spinach before, masarap pa rin! o sigurado yun if lolo liked it. hehe!

  3. francesca says:

    dito sa Pransya, nakalata na ang munggo, red siya, lentilles ang tawag. Niluto ko with hipon and gata and spinach leaves, kasi wala kami ampalaya dito.Huhu.
    Sabi ni Lolo, syarap daw, better than the french cuisine na munggo with hotdogs, lol

  4. Jane says:

    I miss balatong. I haven’t had it for a long time. Like you, I am the only person who eats this at home. Now, I am wondering, maybe I can make one next week, Now that I have dried malunggay leaves to go with it..yum, yum

  5. JMom says:

    Hi sha! how exciting you’re in FLA! wish you were closer to NC I’d drive down to meet you 🙂

    I have to make another batch of mungo soup. The cold weather is slowly creeping up on us. Your crew will probably like this as a starter soup. Probably not filling enough for a meal. I like this served with anything fried.

  6. sha says:

    am sending you lots of love from ft lauderdale… ano kaya mag luto ako ng munggo sa crew ko.. over 1 week na ko dito puro american food…

    maybe tom i will meet up with other filipino and go to the pinoy resto

  7. thess says:

    hay sa wakas, nakuha ko din ang proper URL mo! b4 kasi patalon-talon ako from blogspot muna 🙂

    anyway, naalala ko naman bigla ang lola ko dahil sa yummy munggo mo J! I wonder if spinach leaves works with this?

    a big hello from Holland!!

  8. JMom says:

    Hi Rowena! Good luck on the bittermelon plants. They must be tricky to grow. I have been having the same problem as you for the last couple of years that I’ve tried planting them. I buy a whole pack of seeds and out of the whole pack, I’ve only gotten one plant. That’s the same for both years.

    At least since I am the only one who really eats bittermelon, I guess that’s a good thing. I get just enough every year to sate my cravings 🙂

  9. rowena says:

    Ok, let’s hope this comment doesn’t get swallowed in lost bits and bytes! I try again…..

    I love mungo bean soup (as we kids used to call it!) both thin or thick, with rice and fried fish on the side! But yours looks so good, which reminds me — I hope next year my bittermelon seeds will do something! I planted them all this spring and nothing happened, so I hope it was the seed and just not me. Great memories from reading this recipe, thanks!

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