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Ginisang Munggo (Monggo) - Filipino Style Mung Bean Soup

Ginisang Munggo - Mung Bean Soup

I am not picky with food. I also love eating at turo-turo (eateries) here in Dubai. Of course, I don't expect to find the same taste and presentation or ingredients in the food I eat at these eateries as the ones I cook at home. Budget meals are budget meals but a healthy meal made less healthy by adding unhealthy ingredients for the taste is not in my book.

Ginisang munggo for example is a very healthy Filipino soup dish. Versatile dish. It can be pure vegetarian or loaded with protein. The one I ate at the eatery was overloaded with chicken skin. I had to fish out the chicken skin off the soup while I was eating. It's probably fine as a garnish but not as one of the main ingredients. I cannot take it. Fine, enough of the rant. Haha.

Ginisang munggo (mung bean soup) is one of my daughter's favorite soup dishes. Mine too. She pours heaps into her steaming rice and is happiest at the dinner table so it has to be here on the blog.

So how do I cook my ginisang munggo, the healthier version?

Ingredients:
250 grams of mung beans
1 block of firm tofu (fried and sliced into squares set aside)
200 grams of pork belly sliced into small cubes (prawn can be an alternative, also nice with tinapa)
1 medium size tomato chopped
1 red onion sliced
4 cloves of garlic crushed
1 broth cube for flavoring (optional)
1 bunch of spinach washed and chopped in two (talbos ng ampalaya or bulaklak ng kalabasa or alugbati will do if nasa Pinas ka)
1 liter of water
4 tbsp olive oil (normal cooking oil is fine too)
salt and pepper to taste

This is how I cook it

1. In a cooking pot, add the beans and pour enough water to cover the munggo plus add a little more
2. Simmer until the beans are tender (30-35 minutes) add water as needed, don't let it dry up, and set aside. You know it is ready when the beans split, look soft and pulpy
3. In a separate pot, add pork cubes and water, and simmer until the pork cubes release oil or are almost in the frying state. We want that caramelization in the pork as it adds a nice flavor to the dish plus since you boil the pork, it will be tender
4. Add olive oil to the pork and saute the garlic, onions, and tomatoes with it.
4. Pour cooked mung beans into it, stir, and add more water if the mixture is too thick.
5. Put the broth cube, and fried tofu, and simmer for another 5 minutes. 
6. Add the spinach, salt, and pepper to taste. Simmer another 5 minutes and it is ready.

Ginisang munggo should not be too thick or too watery. It must have a balance. I omit the fish sauce but you can always add a tablespoon for that umami taste.

If you like it pure vegetarian, just omit the pork and the broth cubes. Salt and pepper should be enough.
If you like it loaded, you can add prawns and pork rinds as well.

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