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Monggo Guisado with Malunggay, Squash and Sardines

The classic Monggo Guisado is a popular Filipino all-in-one vegetable dish that can be a side or main course served with rice. I added wholesome ingredients like malunggay (moringa) leaves, kabocha squash cubes, and sardines to the saute. It was a hearty, and refreshing change after the holidays. This is an Asian in America recipe by Elizabeth Ann Quirino.
*I shared how to cook this in 2 alternative ways: either on the stovetop or the Instant Pot.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time55 mins
Total Time1 hr 25 mins
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Vegetables
Cuisine: Asian, Filipino
Keyword: Monggo Guisado Malunggay Squash and Sardines
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 12kcal
Author: Asian in America - Elizabeth Ann Quirino


  • 1 stockpot, large; for cooking stovetop
  • 1 medium-sized bowl
  • 1 Instant Pot multicooker; for high pressure cooking (option 2)


  • 1 cup dried monggo (mung beans)
  • 3 cups water; for pre-soaking monggo
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 whole onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled, minced
  • ½ teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 whole large fresh tomato, sliced
  • 1 cup kalabasa (kabocha squash) cubes
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 Tablespoon bagoong (shrimp paste)
  • 1 cup frozen malunggay (moringa) leaves
  • 1 can (4 3/8 oz./ 125g) sardines in olive oil; about 4 pieces, drained
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

For serving:

  • steamed rice


To prepare monggo (mung beans):

  • In a bowl filled with water, soak the dried monggo beans for 30 minutes.

To boil the monggo and kabocha squash:

  • In a stockpot, pour the water used for soaking. Add the monggo and cubed kabocha squash.
    Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Keep covered and continue cooking for 35 minutes till monggo and squash are soft.
    Reserve the water for the saute. Remove both vegetables and water from the stockpot and set aside.

To saute the Monggo Guisado :

  • After removing the water and vegetables, use the same stockpot. Dry the inside with paper towels.
    Over medium-high heat, add the vegetable oil. When oil is hot enough, saute the onions, garlic and ginger. Add the tomatoes. Saute till soft.
    To the stockpot, add the boiled monggo and squash cubes.
    Pour 1 to 2 cups broth (water reserved from cooking).
  • Add the b.agoong (shrimp paste) and blend ingredients. Continue cooking for 8 minutes more, on low heat, for flavors to set.
    Lastly, add the malunggay leaves and blend with the rest of the vegetables.
    Season with ground black pepper. Top with the sardines.
    Serve warm with rice.

To cook Monggo Guisado in the Instant Pot (option 2)

  • Soak the dried monggo beans in a bowl with 3 cups water for 30 minutes.
    Preheat the Instant Pot by selecting the Saute function on the keypad.
    When the inside pot is hot, pour the vegetable oil. Saute the onions, garlic and ginger. Add tomatoes and saute till soft.
    Click Cancel to turn off Saute.
    Combine the monggo, squash, and 3 cups water beans soaked in. Add 1 cup of water to the mixture. Add the bagoong. Season with black pepper.
    Close and lock the lid. Set the valve to Sealing.
    Select Manual + High Pressure + 15 minutes. When cooking is done, do a quick release. Carefully open the lid.
    Add the malunggay leaves. Stir and return cover. Allow residual heat to cook the leaves for 5 minutes.
    Unlock and open the lid. Add sardines to the top of the monggo.
    Serve warm with rice.
    *Note: It takes 17 to 20 minutes for the Instant Pot to preheat before High Pressure cooking time begins. For more information, consult the manual.

Cook's comments:

  • Dried monggo (mung beans) and the bagoong (shrimp paste) can be found in Asian markets or online sources.
    When cooking, monggo beans tend to absorb the liquid quickly. Watch the stockpot or else the monggo can burn if liquid is totally gone. Be mindful of this and add 1/2 to 1 cup more of water if liquid starts to evaporate.


Serving: 100g | Calories: 12kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 940mg | Potassium: 2mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 501IU | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 1mg