Church potlucks are always fun. In fact, my daughter always asks if we could stay for lunch after church. Usually it depends on whether I am able to prepare a dish or not. I brought some Mung Bean stew for church last Sabbath and was pleasantly surprised that a few ladies asked me for the recipe. Since I didn’t follow a particular recipe, I decided to come up with my own, writing down only half of the measurements I did for the church potluck. Growing up, my folks would make different versions of this bean stew, according to what’s available in our fridge. Paired with rice and a couple of fried fish, this is definitely a comfort food in the Philippines.
Green mung beans are available in Asian markets and I have quite recently noticed that health food stores have them, too. There’s the yellow mung beans or split mung beans which is mung beans without the green skin. There’s also the mungo beans which is black lentils. The one I am using in this recipe and is what I am most familiar with is the green mung bean. Mung beans make excellent sprouts that can be used in all kinds of recipes. The beans can be prepared in various of ways, including desserts.
Mung beans are loaded with nutritious vitamins and minerals. Adding legumes as part of one’s daily diet brings significant benefits. Not only is it cheap (2 packages was enough to fill a huge pot and feed many people at potluck), it is also easy to prepare and oh-so-satisfying!
In this recipe, I added kabocha squash, which is one of my favorite vegetables to cook. Since I could not find kabocha in local grocery stores, I often replace it with butternut squash which is quite similar in texture. If you have a garden, plant a few seeds. They’re so easy to grow and they’re really goooood. Also, I added spinach in this bean stew. You may substitute it with some other mild flavored green vegetable although I prefer to use camote tops (sweet potato leaves) and/or malunggay leaves (moringa). These greens are also highly nutritious. This particular Filipino recipe usually calls for pepper leaves. I just happened to have a lot of spinach, so I used them instead. As for the ‘meat’, vegetarian protein which was available in my freezer was an easy choice. You may use fried tofu, cooked meats or whatever flavorful protein you have at home. I advise cooking the meat first before adding it to the mixture. Another thing I want to point out is the Bragg Liquid Amino that I use to replace the fish sauce that’s typical to a lot of Filipino recipes. I completely got rid of fish sauce and soy sauce from my kitchen for health reasons.
One last point to consider is the consistency of the beans. There are those who like mushy beans, I prefer mine to have more texture just because it give me something to chew on. I soak my beans overnight instead of boiling it straight so I can control how the beans will turn out. Soaking will expand the beans and make it soft. And due to the soaking, the cooking time is also shortened. The less time I spend in the kitchen, the better cook I am. 😀
If you have some other mung bean recipe you wish to share with me, drop me a link in the comments below.