Looking for an easy and very affordable stew that can feed an army? This mung bean recipe is one of my favorites. While growing up in the Philippines, my grandmother used to cook this dish every Friday and serve it with rice and fried fish. As for me, I prefer to eat it as is.
When I first learned that our family needs to be wheat, egg, dairy and soy free, this dish was one of firsts that came to my mind. With just simple basic ingredients, this recipe can easily be converted to suit any diet. It is packed with protein and makes use of whatever meat you have on hand. You can even use fish or tofu (if your diet permits).
2 tbs. canola oil
1 tbs. minced garlic
1 medium sized yellow onion sliced
1 cup tomatoes (chopped)
1/2 pound pork chunks (1 inch cubes). You can also use shrimp or bone in chicken thigh meat
1 bag 400g green mung beans (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 quarts chicken stock (Feel free to use beef or vegetable stock)
4 tbs fish sauce (or you can use Salt. Just start with 1 tbsp and add according to your taste)
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 bags spinach
1. Heat canola oil in a dutch over or big stew pot. (medium heat)
2. Saute garlic, onions and tomatoes for about 3 mins or until the tomatoes becomes mushy. Make sure to keep on stirring to avoid burning.
3. Add pork or chicken. Brown meat about 5 mins. (If you are using shrimp, add it at step 8)
4. Stir in mung beans and saute for about 3 mins.
5. Add stock. Cover with lid. Increase heat to high and bring to boil.
6. Once it started to boil, lower heat and simmer for 20-30 mins or until the beans are tender.
7. Season with fish sauce ( or salt) and ground black pepper. Start with 2 tbsp fish sauce or 1 tbsp salt and taste before adding more. Remember most stock has some added salt already.
8. If you are using shrimp or fried tofu (if you are not allergic), add it at this point. Stir until shrimps turn pink.
9. Add spinach and mix the stew. Cover and turn off heat.
10. Wait 5 minutes before serving. The heat of the stew will cook the spinach making it soft but not mushy.
- The key to this stew is adding flavor. So make sure you use a good brand of stock or if you can make your own, the better.
- I find that using bone in meat produces a richer flavored dish.
- Fish Sauce can be found in the Asian Aisle of most groceries. It is also readily available at the Asian Market. If you have soy allergies, make sure you read the label because some brands (the cheaper ones) tend to have additives. Don't be afraid to try it. Though it smells really fishy, it adds a really nice flavor to dishes. If you like to taste it purely, dip a finger on it and lick it. I don't recommend using a teaspoon because it's like salt water. A little goes a long way.
- The dish will thicken if you save it for later. Yes, you have to refrigerate the leftovers. Just add some water to lighten the consistency when you reheat it.
Try it and let me know what you think. Have a great Saturday!