In the olden days, monggo (mung beans) is soaked, boiled, mashed then pressed through a strainer to separate the hull. Well, it’s 2009 and I have a blender. I don’t see why the hull has to be removed when they can be cooked to tenderness just as well as the centers of the beans. I’ve cooked monggo countless times, I’ve done it the traditional way, with coconut milk and I’ve used both green and yellow mung beans.
But today… well, don’t I always say that cooking is a never ending learning process? Today, I cooked the best stewed monggo in my entire life. Thick and creamy. And the addition of purple basil and cilantro simply elevated this poor man’s dish to unbelievable heights.
First, to make sure that the mung beans cook into a creamy puree, they are parboiled then mashed in the blender. The mung beans explode into smithereens which shorten their cooking time.
It’s like cooking the dish backward. Instead of boiling and mashing the mung beans, the mashing goes in the beginning of the cooking process.
With the mung beans processed, the aromatics are sauteed to make a flavorful base.
The pork is added and cooked until no longer pink.
The mung beans are poured into the pot and water is added. If you have broth, use it. Broth will make a more tasty stew. Simmer the pork and mung beans together. Trust me, by the time the meat is tender, the mung beans will be too.
Add the vegetables, simmer until they’re done and serve your stewed mung beans.
- 150 g. of monggo (green or yellow, your choice)
- 500 g. of pork with a little fat (I recommend belly or shoulder), cut into small pieces
- 6 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 onion, sliced
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 3 tbsps. of cooking oil
- patis (fish sauce), to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, about half a teaspoonful
- a generous handful of green leafy vegetables — spinach, kangkong (water / swamp spinach) or talbos ng kamote (sweet potato leaves)
- ½ c. of coconut cream (see related entry on how to extract coconut cream or you can use canned coconut cream)
- a small bunch of fresh cilantro
- 4 to 6 purple basil leaves
- Boil the mung beans in about two cups of water for 10 minutes. Pour the mung beans and water into a blender and process as finely or as coarsely as you like.
- Heat about three tablespoonfuls of cooking oil in a pan and sauté the garlic, onion and tomato, stirring often, until the vegetables start to soften.
- Add the pork to the pan and cook until no longer pink.
- Scrape the pureed mung beans off the blender and add to the pan. Pour in about six cups of water. Stir well.
- Add the chilis. Season with patis (fish sauce) and with freshly ground black pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer for about an hour or until the pork is tender. You will need to stir the stew every 15 minutes or so, scraping the bottom of the pan, to make sure that the pureed mung beans do not settle and stick to the bottom.
- When the pork is done, add the leafy vegetables. Simmer for another five minutes.
- Ladle the stew into bowls. Drizzle with coconut cream. Top with snipped purple basil and cilantro. Serve hot.