There’s no way around it, it’s not the prettiest dish to be sure! But when I recently tried this Filipino soup as a means to use up a bag of mung beans in my larder, I was really taken with the satisfying flavours. Spinach and mung beans together are delicious, light and filling and I will definitely be revisiting this soup again soon as we enter further into rainy old Autumn.
I never buy fresh spinach to cook with as I consider it to be unnecessarily expensive when compared to frozen whole-leaf spinach. If I want fresh, I use home-grown spinach beet instead which is very versatile and ridiculously easy to grow! If you aren’t too careful it will self-seed like crazy, in fact we have a self-seeded clump down by the compost heap this year which I’m still harvesting a plentiful supply of lovely young green leaves from.
Unfortunately it’s probably a bit late for autumn sowing now, but consider sowing some spinach beet come the Spring. A classic ‘cut and come again’ type of green, spinach beet is not proper spinach but actually member of the beet family (beetroot leaves have a similar shape.) Just sprinkle the seed into a bed of compost, rake it lightly over and water it in and let it happily take care of itself from then onwards. Find a packet of seed HERE at MoreVeg, for only 50p!
The traditional recipe for Mongo Guisado calls for non-vegan ingredients such as flaked fish and fish sauce but the fish is easily omitted and I’ve used a combination of miso, lime juice and sugar to replace the fish sauce.
To make this dish a more substantial main meal, serve it with a side bowl of cooked rice, as they do in the Philippines.
Filipino Mung Bean and Spinach Stew – vegan
- 1 cup whole dried mung beans
- 5 cups boiling water
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 – 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes, drained
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 1 tbsp lime juice (I used bottled lime juice)
- 1/2 tbsp miso paste OR use 1 tbsp soya sauce
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 bunch (250g / 8oz) fresh spinach beet or chard, shredded OR about 125g / 4oz frozen whole leaf spinach
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the oil in a large, lidded, deep-sided pan. Add the onion and garlic and saute until tender.
- Add the dried mung beans and hot water to the pan. Bring to the boil and put on the lid. Reduce the heat and cook until the beans are tender (about 40 minutes.)
- Remove the pan from the heat and using a potato masher, mash the mung beans into the broth.
- Add the remaining ingredients, replace the lid and return to the heat. Simmer gently until the greens are tender (about 5 – 10 minutes.)
- Season with salt and pepper, and serve with a bowl of plain boiled rice if liked.