Make Ahead

Mung Bean and Mixed Rice Sweet Congee

March 19, 2011
3 Ratings
  • Serves 8-12
Author Notes

I came up with this recently when my dad had been in the hospital for several weeks because of a broken hip (the second in one year!), then serious heart issues. I flew back home for just one full day to be with him. He was feeling and looking really weak. I watched him dutifully eating his cream of wheat, mixing in non-dairy creamer, butter substitute, and as many sugar packets as they gave him saying “I’ve got to eat to get stronger!” Well, that was enough to send me straight to the bulk bins at Whole Foods. In a hurry I collected the ingredients for this thinking of the Chinese style sweet soups my dad loves, but packed with some protein and fiber. I headed home to cook it up, plus four dozen carrot muffins for my parents and the nurses. I brought it all to the hospital and everyone was happy and grateful to have something other than hospital food. I flew back home shortly after, sad to be leaving but glad that I left something to help nourish the strongest guy I know. - monkeymom —monkeymom

Test Kitchen Notes

Monkeymom has created a powerful bowl of healing. Made for her dad as he needed to build up his strength while a patient in the hospital, this recipe packs in nutrients galore in every bite. Monkeymom's directions are spot on with amounts and cooking times. I did need to substitute barley malt for molasses and added additional grated ginger on the top. I think almond milk would also work very well as another option to the suggested coconut milk. I was delighted with the fresh medley of new flavors, of unusual subtle sweet-sour contrasts, and of slightly soft, slightly crunchy textures. If you eat this, you will probably stay very healthy and very happy! Thanks for providing such good care with this recipe, monkeymom. - Sagegreen —Sagegreen

What You'll Need
  • ½ cup mung beans (they are small and green. Small azuki beans would work too.)
  • ¼ cup black rice (forbidden rice)
  • ¼ cup purple thai rice (any jasmine or basmati rice would be a good substitute)
  • ½ cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
  • 2 slices fresh ginger
  • 1 Tbsp molasses
  • 1/4-1/2 cup brown sugar
  • coconut milk (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Rinse mung beans and black rice. Add 3 cups water and heat to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer on low for 30 minutes. Check once in a while and add water to keep beans submerged.
  3. While the beans and cooking, toast coconut in preheated oven until light golden brown. It browns fast, so be careful and stir occasionally as you toast. Let cool.
  4. Add purple thai rice, ginger slices, and another cup of water and boil for another 15 minutes. Add more water periodically to maintain a soupy consistency.
  5. Continue to cook, adding water as necessary, until some of the mung beans have burst and the rice is cooked through. This may take 15-30 minutes longer.
  6. Add ¼ cup brown sugar, molasses, and the toasted coconut. Taste and add more brown sugar to suit if you prefer.
  7. Serve warm. Dilute with water or coconut milk to your desired consistency.
  8. Note: I like this thick, but many people might prefer it soupy. I really liked it served with slightly salted coconut milk and fresh mango - like Thai sticky rice with mango. Most often this type of congee is served as a dessert because it is very sweet, but it can work as a breakfast.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Happyolks
  • Sagegreen
  • Daphne
  • monkeymom
  • drbabs

Recipe by: monkeymom

My favorite distraction is to cook. Though science and cooking/baking have a lot in common, I'm finding that each allows me to enjoy very different parts of my life. Cooking connects me with my heritage, my family, friends, and community. I'm really enjoying learning from the food52 community, who expose me to different ingredients and new ways to cook.

15 Reviews

Happyolks March 31, 2011
To give the gift of healing and comfort is second to none. This recipe looks as delicious as it does nurturing! I would love to try it!
monkeymom April 1, 2011
Thank you Happyolks! Cooking for someone really is sometimes the only way I know how to help. :)
Sagegreen March 28, 2011
You give us a bowl of healing and comfort in this recipe. It is a wonderfully unusual blend of ingredients, very fresh with just the right amount of sweetness. And I bet your dad got better much faster with this, too!
monkeymom March 30, 2011
Thanks so much Sagegreen! You are so encouraging. I think the sweet bean thing is very asian. My dad is still on the mend. It is a long haul but we are going back to see him this weekend! He'll be happy to see the grandkids.
Daphne March 22, 2011
So sweet that you could go down and make such an impact in 1 day, monkeymom! Glad your dad is on the mend and I think this recipe sounds like such a nice change to my usual steel cut oatmeal, late winter, early spring. I like the idea of using slightly salty coconut milk and mango on top too, will make this for sure!
monkeymom March 30, 2011
Hi Daphne! I hope you like it. I love the mango coconut combo too!
monkeymom March 22, 2011
drbabs, aargersi, gingerroot and hardlikearmour, you guys are the best. Thanks so much for your kind wishes. Dad is getting stronger day by day thanks to my mom's good cooking and watchful eye.
drbabs March 21, 2011
Hi monkeymom, what a lovely recipe. I hope your dad is well soon.
hardlikearmour March 21, 2011
Oh, monkeymom, best wishes to you and your dad!
gingerroot March 20, 2011
This sounds so good and comforting. Best wishes to your Dad!
aargersi March 20, 2011
This sounds great - I bet it helped set your dad on the path to recovery.
healthierkitchen March 20, 2011
this sounds great! Hope your Dad is improving.
monkeymom March 20, 2011
Thanks very much healthierkitchen! He's back at home, thank goodness, and improving.
Fairmount_market March 20, 2011
What a moving story, and thanks for sharing a delicious recipe.
monkeymom March 20, 2011
Thank you!