Add spice and breathe new life into your ginisang togue (sauteed mung bean sprouts) ginisang togue (sauteed mung bean sprouts)

Okay, so the weather is still scary. It feels darn strange to say that since typhoons and storms are a way of life in this country and I’ve lived here all my life. But given the worse-than-usual experiences during the last couple of years, Ketsana and Washi just to name two, it’s hard not to get a bit paranoid when strong rains and winds refuse to abate. One of the windows of my study fell off earlier. Unhinged, literally, because of the strong winds. I should have kept it shut but it gets stuffy with all the windows closed, so…

Anyway, rains and winds notwithstanding, everyone still has to eat. For Speedy and me, it was a light-on-meat, heavy-on-vegetables and strong-on-flavors late lunch. This dish was pretty much adapted from the sambal kangkong that we had over the weekend. Flavored with traditional Southeast Asian aromatics like lemongrass, ginger and chilis, it really breathes new life to the run-of-the-mill ginisang togue (sauteed mung bean sprouts) that seems to be in the repertoire of every Filipino cook. ginisang togue (sauteed mung bean sprouts)

Recipe: Spicy mung bean sprouts


  • 100 g. of pork belly, sliced thinly then cut into thin, thin strips no more than a quarter of an inch wide
  • 1 large red onion, peeled and diced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, crushed and peeled
  • 1 tsp. of finely minced lemongrass
  • 2 tbsps. of vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp. of grated ginger
  • 1 heaping tbsp. of sambal oelek (or use 2 to 3 finely chopped bird’s eye chilis)
  • 1 tsp. of tamarind paste
  • 1 tsp. of sugar
  • patis (fish sauce), to taste
  • 2 c. of mung bean sprouts, rinsed and drained
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • a large handful of spinach leaves


  1. Heat a wok or frying pan. Lightly brush with oil. Add the pork and cook over high heat, stirring often, until lightly browned. Add about a teaspoonful of patis and a quarter cup of water. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for about ten minutes. If the pork has been cut really small, that’s all the time it’ll need to cook thoroughly.
  2. Meanwhile, grind the onion, garlic and lemongrass to a paste (I used a food processor).
  3. Uncover the pan. If there is still liquid in it, turn up the heat and continue cooking until quite dry.
  4. Pour in the rest of the vegetable oil.
  5. Add the onion-garlic-lemongrass paste, grated ginger, tamarind paste, shrimp paste, sugar, sambal oelek (or chilis, if that’s what you’re using) and about a teaspoonful of patis. Cook gently over medium heat until the mixture separates from the oil. At this point, the mixture — including the pork — would have turned a deep brown.
  6. Add the carrot sticks to the pan. Cook, stirring often, for a minute.
  7. Add the spinach and mung bean sprouts. Cook, tossing continuously, for another minute or just until the spinach is wilted and the mung bean sprouts soften a bit. DO NOT OVERCOOK.
  8. Serve hot.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 20 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 2

You may also like...

The Author

Hello, my name is Connie Veneracion. I cook, I shoot, I write. But I don't do the laundry. I don't like housekeeping very much either... (more about me)

8 Responses

  1. Angela Ubaldo says:

    You need to keep your windows and door closed when strong winds are expected ie hurricanes/typhoons and tornadoes. The wind that goes inside can lift the roof off your house . Just an FYI – I live in a “hurricane alley ” My neighbor’s roof and ceiling slammed into our house during a hurricane .

  2. natzsm says:

    I just can’t get enough of mung bean recipes. Aside from it being one of my favorites, it is almost always available anywhere and I like that its price does not fluctuate to much like other vegetables.

    Lalo ngayon, ALL other vegetables seem to be getting expensive again and it is not even close to December yet.

  3. Thanks, Angela.

    Natzsm, vegetables are always expensive during typhoons (1 piece of saging na saba for PhP3.50 — wow!). Either the farms are inundated or, if they’re not, transportation is expensive because few will brave the weather.

    • crisma says:

      That’s right Connie. And to add to that, the vegetables that get so expensive in times of typhoon are the leafy greens– yung mga madaling mabulok or those that get wilted easily. Let’s just hope that if their prices skyrocket during these times, they’d also find their way down some time when the weather is fine. And as they say “weather weather lang yan.”

      • Considering that the typhoon season will last until the “-ber” months, from experience, the prices will just keep rising culminating on Christmas and New Year. Unless matigas ang gobyerno sa price control.

        • crisma says:

          Haayy naku, we’re not even voicing a prediction or a pessimistic view, Connie. We’re speaking from experience and we know that this is bound to happen. “Unless matigas ang gobeyerno sa price control”? Hmmm, asa pa tayo? :(

  4. evelyn says:

    Shrimp paste is not in your list of ingredients but is listed in the procedure. Is it an essential ingredient or can we do away with it?

Stay updated via social media!