Ginisang Munggo or stewed mung beans is a traditional recipe in Mother L’s kitchen and in most Filipino households. Munggo (mung beans) are abundant and cheap in most parts of my country and stewing is one easy way to cook it. Most Filipinos take it as a viand, i.e., eating it with rice. However, it can also be good as an appetizer. While I had lived outside my home country for long, I had learned to eat ginisang munggo as it is – without rice.
Ginisang munggo is healthy – from its main ingredient to its protein and vegetable partners, especially bitter gourd (if you can take the taste!) Some use ampalaya leaves to give the dish it the aroma, and avoid the bitter taste of ampalaya. For me though,something seems missing as I prefer the real character of the vegetable than its leaves.
My own kitchen is rich with comments, suggestions, requests from my husband and kids resulting to a lot of revisions and, therefore, giving birth to a number of versions from one single recipe. This dish had undergone a number of experimentation: removing the ampalaya to begin with, and adding different vegetables. Below is now my version of the Filipino’s basic ginisang munggo.
As I already said, it is cooked similarly but with at least 3 more vegetables, and without the ampalaya. In my household, bitter gourd is discriminated (except by me), so it is not seen in any of my recipes except ginisang ampalaya (stewed bitter gourd) where it becomes the main character in the dish and yes, you guessed it right: eaten only by yours truly!
Here is the recipe for basic ginisang munggo. On the other hand, to share with you it’s rebirth because of my complaining hubby and kiddoes, I cut up available veggies from the refrigerator and/or pantry (carrots, zucchini, green beans, sweet potatoes, pumpkin) and add them almost after I added the mung beans, stir them once, and leave them to simmer till the vegetables are done.
- 2 cups pre-boiled munggo
- 3 tbsp cooking oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium-sized onion, diced finely
- 1 small tomato, diced
- ¼k, shrimps, peeled and deveined
- 1-2 cups water
- 4 tbsp patis
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Slices of half a n ampalaya
- Sautee garlic, onion and tomato -- in that order, with a distance of about half a minute each.
- Add shrimps and stir till they are pinkish in color.
- Add munggo, water, salt, pepper and patis and simmer. Add ampalaya slices then turn the heat off immediately.
- You can use any variety of lentils instead of ampalaya.