When my late dog Bear was alive, I used to cook him a brown rice and mung bean dish. One day after I accidentally overcooked the mung beans I posted on Facebook asking my friends for something to do with them. Luckily my sister’s childhood best friend, Lisa, responded that she would make a Filipino dish called Mungoo. She gave me rough directions and here’s what I came up with.
Don’t let the simplicity of the ingredients keep you from making this tasty dish. There’s some kind of synergy going on here which makes it much more than the sum of its parts. Of course, I pressure cook the mung beans but you can just cook them on the stove top and then go on to make the dish. I consider mung to be one of the most digestible beans so I hope that if you’ve never tried them, you will now.
This recipe appears in my cookbook The New Fast Food but even though 2 revisions, somehow the directions didn’t all make it into print. (Ah the joys of publishing). The up side: you get the full recipe and some photos to go along with it.
1 tablespoon oil (optional)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, sliced
2 1/2 cups cooked mung beans or 1 cup dry, cooked
1 cup diced tomatoes or 2 small to medium tomatoes, diced
Juice of 1 lime
2-3 cups fresh baby spinach
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium high heat or use a dry nonstick skillet. Add the garlic and sauté for a minute but don’t let it brown. Add the onion and sauté it for 5 minutes or until it’s translucent, adding a tablespoon or two of liquid to prevent sticking if necessary. . Add the cooked beans and the tomato and cook for another few minutes until the tomato is incorporated. Add the lime juice and spinach. Cook until the spinach is wilted. Add salt, to taste. Serve hot.
Notes; when I accidentally overcooked my mung beans, which are just fine in this dish, I added a teaspoon of curry powder to them after cooking.
If you don’t spinach but have baby bok choy, slice the stems and leaves. Add the stems to the pan when you add the onion and add the leaves at the end, cooking until wilted. It’s equally as tasty as the original version.
Even though I tell you not to soak the mung beans and pressure cook them for 6 to 8 minutes, I did presoak and only pressure cooked them for 3 minutes. For 1 cup dry mung beans soaked overnight, I added about 2/3 of a cup of liquid for cooking.