Munggo Guisado (Filipino Mung Beans Stew)

by Denielle B

Today, I want to share my recipe for a Filipino dish that’s not as well-known, but super satisfying! It’s called munggo (or monggo) guisado, or Filipino mung beans stew. The great thing about this recipe is that you can use either the regular stove-top method, or use the Instant Pot in a pinch!

To be honest, I never really appreciated munggo when I was a kid. I assumed everything that was meant to be healthy couldn’t possibly taste good. I was also a significantly pickier eater then than I am now. But as I continue my series of re-discovering various Filipino dishes from my childhood, I’m appreciating them more now as an adult with an experienced palette.

Like munggo, for example. Munggo guisado, or mung beans stew, is very hearty and comforting. Some folks prefer it thick, while others opt for a more soupy version. Personally, I’m partial to the rich, stew style, loaded with generous chunks of tender pork. And like most Filipino dishes, this is best served with rice!

The mung beans in this dish are not only delicious but also incredibly nutritious. I didn’t realize how nutrition-dense they were until I started reading more about them while developing this recipe. Apparently, they are packed with protein and fiber, and other essential vitamins and minerals. Additionally, mung beans are known to boost digestion, aid in weight management, and even contribute to lower cholesterol levels.

munggo (mung beans stew)

Super easy to make

What I love most about this dish is how easy it is to make. It doesn’t take too many ingredients, but the depth of flavor you get is incredible. Start by lightly seasoning the pork pieces with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a medium-heat pot. Once the oil is hot, fry the pork until it turns slightly golden on each side, which should take about 3 minutes. Set the pork aside.

In the same pot, sauté the chopped onions and tomato until the onions become slightly translucent, and the tomato releases its juices, approximately 2 minutes. Add the minced garlic and sauté for an additional 30 seconds. Return the browned pork pieces to the pot and pour in the fish sauce. Mix everything well, even though it may have a strong odor initially; rest assured the final dish won’t taste as it smells. Allow the pork to simmer in the juices for about a minute, then add the dried mung beans. Ensure all the mung beans are coated in the fish sauce and juices, and let it sit for another minute or two.

Add water and broth to the pot, stirring to combine. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, covering the pot with a lid. Let it simmer for 45 minutes. After this time, check if you need to add more broth or water. The consistency should resemble a stew, not as thick as chowder but not as thin as chicken noodle soup. There should be enough liquid to pour over rice. Keep in mind that the beans will continue to absorb liquid as it cools and if stored in the fridge overnight.

Check the seasoning. If it’s too salty, add more water. If it needs more flavor, season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the spinach until it wilts slightly, about 1-2 minutes. Serve with rice!

Pressed for time? Try it on the Instant Pot!

Want to make this munggo dish, but don’t have too much time? You can try making it on the Instant Pot! First, put the Instant Pot in Sauté mode and heat up the 2 tbsp of oil. Once the screen of the Instant Pot reads, “Hot,” brown your pork pieces on all sides, then set aside. Sauté the chopped onions and tomato, just like you would in the regular stove-top cooking method. Then, add the minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Continue the steps of putting the pork back in, adding the fish sauce, and then adding the mung beans. Cancel the Sauté function.

Then, add the water and broth to the Instant Pot, stirring to combine. Put the Instant Pot lid on and put the steam release knob on the lid in the Sealing mode. Set the Instant Pot to the Soup/Broth mode, setting the timer to 10 minutes. Once the munggo is done cooking, let the Instant Pot do a Natural Release for 5 minutes. After that, carefully move the steam release knob from Sealing to Venting to do a Quick Release. It’ll take a little less than 5 minutes for all the steam to get released.

The only caveat to using the Instant Pot for this dish is that the resulting consistency may not be as “stew-y” as the stove-top version. If you’re worried about that, you can use 2 cups of water instead of the 3 cups in the recipe. You can always add more liquid after it cooks if you need more “soup.”

munggo (mung beans stew)

Munggo Guisado (Filipino Mung Bean Stew)

Serves: 4 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 5 voted )

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried mung beans
  • 1/2 lb to 3/4 lb pork shoulder or boneless country style pork ribs, sliced into small bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1.5 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups beef broth or chicken broth
  • 2 cups spinach
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Lightly season the pork pieces with salt and pepper. Heat up 2 tbsp oil in a pot on the stove on medium heat. Once the oil is hot enough, fry the pork until each side is a bit golden brown -- would take about 3 minutes total. Set aside.
  2. In the same pot, sauté the chopped onions and tomato until the onions turn a little translucent and the tomato has released its juices, about 2 minutes. Add in the minced garlic and sauté for an additional 30 seconds.
  3. Add the browned pork pieces back in the pot. Then, add the fish sauce. Mix everything together -- it's going to smell a little funky, but I promise that the resulting dish won't taste the way the fish sauce smells. Let the pork simmer in the resulting juices for about a minute, then add the dried mung beans in. Keep mixing everything together so that all the mung beans are coated in the fish sauce and all the juices. Let that sit for about a minute or two.
  4. Pour the water and the broth in the pot and stir everything. Let it come to boil, then lower your heat to medium low and cover your pot with a lid. Keep it simmering for 45 minutes. 
  5. After 45 minutes, check to see if you need to add another cup of broth or water. The consistency should be like a stew -- not as thick as chowder, but not as loose as chicken noodle soup either. There should be enough liquid to pour onto rice when you're eating. Keep in mind that the beans will also continue to suck up liquid as it cools down. And if you have leftovers to store in the fridge overnight, it will soak up more liquid then too.
  6. Check the seasoning. If it's too salty, add more water. If it needs more seasoning, just add salt and pepper to taste. Then, stir in your spinach until it wilts a little -- should take about a minute or two.
  7. Serve with rice!

Notes

Pressed for time? Try it on the Instant Pot!

Want to make this dish, but don't have too much time? You can try making it on the Instant Pot!

  1. First, put the Instant Pot in Sauté mode and heat up the 2 tbsp of oil. Once the screen of the Instant Pot reads, "Hot," brown your pork pieces on all sides, then set aside. Sauté the chopped onions and tomato, just like you would in the regular stove-top cooking method. Then, add the minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  2. Continue the steps of putting the pork back in, adding the fish sauce, and then adding the mung beans. Cancel the Sauté function.
  3. Then, add the water and broth to the Instant Pot, stirring to combine. Put the Instant Pot lid on and put the steam release knob on the lid in the Sealing mode. Set the Instant Pot to the Soup/Broth mode, setting the timer to 10 minutes.
  4. Once the munggo is done cooking, let the Instant Pot do a Natural Release for 5 minutes. After that, carefully move the steam release knob from Sealing to Venting to do a Quick Release. It'll take a little less than 5 minutes for all the steam to get released.

The only caveat to using the Instant Pot for this dish is that the resulting consistency may not be as "stew-y" as the stove-top version. If you're worried about that, you can use 2 cups of water instead of the 3 cups in the recipe. You can always add more liquid after it cooks if you need more "soup."

Did You Make This Recipe?
How did it go? Tag me on Instagram at @hungrylittleasiangirl.
munggo (mung beans stew)

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