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Mung Bean Soup - Sabaw ng Munggo with Bacon

This is the soup meal I reach for whether it’s winter or a lazy summer day. A bowl of savory monggo or mung beans is a perfect comfort meal for our family. It has one of the highest protein contents as far as beans are concerned. Plus it is one of the most affordable vegetable dishes to make. Pre-soak the beans, then soften them via a slow simmer. Sometime before dinner, saute the mung beans quickly. Like most Filipino dishes, this is best poured on a mound of steamed white rice. The addition of tomatoes and bok choy made it even more delightful. The crumbled bacon on top was the piece de resistance for all. This recipe was slightly adapted from “The Adobo Road” Cookbook by Marvin Gapultos. The dish below serves 4  as a side or starter served with rice.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried, find in Asian markets monggo or mung beans
  • 8-10 strips bacon
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable or corn oil
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 whole chopped onion
  • 2 medium chopped tomato
  • 1 inch peeled, sliced in slivers fresh ginger
  • 8 to 10 cups soup stock vegetable or chicken
  • 1 Tablespoon from Asian markets patis (Filipino fish sauce)
  • 2 cups coarsely shredded bok choy or Chinese cabbage
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • for serving boiled white rice

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, pre-soak the monggo/mung beans in water for about 30 minutes. The water should be enough to cover the beans.
  • Transfer the water and mung beans to a medium stock pot. Have enough liquid to cover the beans (add more water or else vegetable or chicken soup stock if desired). Over medium high heat, bring this to a boil, then adjust the heat to a low. Simmer and cook for about 45 to 50 minutes till monggo is soft. Add more water if liquid evaporates. The beans should soften while immersed in liquid. Stir the mung beans every now and then so they do not stick to the bottom of the stock pot. Some beans may even pop open in the process. When soft and cooked, set aside till ready to saute.
  • Pre-cook the bacon strips for 8 to 10 minutes in a skillet over medium heat. When cooked, drain bacon strips on parchment paper or paper towels to remove excess oil.
  • Use a different medium stock pot. Over medium high heat, add the vegetable or corn oil. (Or you may use the bacon drippings if desired).  Saute the garlic, onions and fresh ginger. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes till onions soften. Add the tomatoes and patis (fish sauce). Continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes till tomatoes soften.
  • Add the boiled monggo together with the liquid. Add more soup stock (vegetable or chicken) to the stock pot. Simmer for about 10 minutes for flavors to blend. Toss in the chopped bok choy pieces and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more. Season with salt and black pepper.
  • Crumble the cooked bacon and sprinkle it on top of the monggo. Serve with boiled white rice.
  • Ingredient tip: Monggo/mung beans are packaged (dried) in plastic bags and can be found in Asian markets. Keep them in a dry, sealed container in the pantry.  If bok choy or Chinese cabbage is not available, use fresh spinach.
  • Cook's comments: if you're wondering how one cup of (dried) mung beans can make 4 servings, well it can. Once boiled, the monggo/mung beans expand and plump up. If an all-vegetable monggo soup version is preferred, omit the bacon, chicken soup stock and fish sauce. It will be just as hearty and flavorful with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and vegetable soup stock.
  • *"Let's Lunch" : This is my entry for the month's 'Let's Lunch' bloggers event, a virtual food potluck among a group of amazing food writers, authors, bloggers and chefs. January's theme is : 'grief bacon' or anything you reach for in times you need the most comfort.
  • For more recipes follow us on Twitter using the hashtag #LetsLunch or find our board on Pinterest.

If you want to see the rest of our #LetsLunch blog posts, here's a round up by host Rebecca Siegel:

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