One-Pot Wonders

Mung Bean and Shrimp Soup (Ginisang Monggo)

March 18, 2011
1 Ratings
  • Serves 4 to 6
Author Notes

I'm not sure, but I think only Filipinos combine beans with seafood. Mung bean soup with flakes of smoked fish is a favorite comfort dish, as is this version, made with tiny dried shrimp. It's very dark green, with a texture similar to split pea soup. Most, if not all, the ingredients can nowadays be found in regular grocery stores. - betteirene —betteirene

Test Kitchen Notes

This recipe is easy to follow and the results are a delicious soupy stew reminiscent of split pea soup or an Indian dal. But this is not like any split pea soup I've ever had, because although you're adding frizzled bacon at the end, the predominant flavor comes from the dried shrimp and fish sauce. I went a little light on the fish sauce at first, but after tasting, ended up adding even a little more than betteirene suggests. I was thinking that although it might change the nature of what is supposed to be a humble dish (betteirene described it in a food pickle as Filipino "poor man's food"), it would also be tasty with some small, fresh shrimp added at the last minute. I served it over rice as betteirene advised me is traditional, but it would be delicious and plenty hearty on its own. - healthierkitchen —healthierkitchen

What You'll Need
  • 1 1/2 cups dried mung beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup salt pork or thick-sliced bacon, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons small dried shrimp
  • 1 tablespoon (or to taste) fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup ampalaya (chili leaves) or 2 cups spinach, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Place the rinsed mung beans in a 4-quart stock pot or Dutch oven; pour in enough water to cover the beans by one inch. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat over medium high heat, then lower the heat and let the beans simmer for a half hour. Remove from heat and set aside for one hour. The beans will continue to swell as they absorb water during ths rest period.
  2. In a heavy saute pan, fry the pork pieces over medium heat until they are very crispy and golden and have rendered all their fat. With a slotted spoon, transfer the pork to a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Saute the onion in the rendered pork fat over medium heat until transparent. Add the garlic and stir. Spoon off excess fat and discard. Add a ladle of cooking water from the mung beans and deglaze the pan. Stir the onions and garlic into the pot of mung beans. Add the dried shrimp and stir. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn heat down and simmer for an additional 20 minutes.
  4. Season mung bean soup with fish sauce. Taste, and add salt and pepper as desired. Stir in the ampalaya or spinach and simmer for 5 more minutes. Ladle into bowls and top with fried pork. Serve immediately

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • betteirene
  • healthierkitchen
  • soleilnyc

5 Reviews

soleilnyc December 31, 2011
Kamusta, betteirene! These winter months are making me crave munggo! Just thought I'd point out above that you indicate ampalaya (chili leaves). Ampalaya is a bittermelon and goes wonderfully in munggo, but is definitely not chili leaves. My mother loves hers with that bitter taste. Might I suggest malunggay (moringa) or gabi (taro) leaves?
betteirene March 30, 2011
The photo is beautiful! In fact, it looks better than any version I've ever made. Growing up, all my kids ate bean or pea soups, but with this one, half ate it, the other half made peanut butter and jelly. Hmmm. . .wonder if the non-eaters would have liked it if my version looked like yours.

In the 50s, when it was impossible to find ethnic foods out side of big cities, my mom used fresh shrimp, which would turn rubbery and chewy because she liked her shrimp that way--overcooked. At private homes and in restaurants, more and more Filipinos have been steering clear of dried shrimp and are using fresh shrimp nowadays, and they're wisely adding it near the end of the cooking time. I think those salad shrimp would be a fine addition.

I'm glad you had fun with this.
healthierkitchen March 26, 2011
Hi betteirene - planning to make this tomorrow. The bulk bin advised soaking the mung beans overnight - do you do that?
healthierkitchen March 28, 2011
Put up a photo of my results - feel free to delete. I thought it was delicious - I was wondering if you ever add fresh shrimp. I have some of those little salad ones frozen and was thinking of adding some in to the leftovers.
healthierkitchen March 18, 2011
this sounds great and different from anything I've ever made. Looking forward to giving it a try!