Thursday, June 14, 2012

Mung Beans & Spinach Soup (Ginisang Monggo)

It's about 90° F but seriously I am craving for Mung Beans and Spinach soup.
I should have not opened the freezer.
When I saw that pork belly in there,
that was the food that came to mind immediately.
It's been awhile since I've had this dish. 
I think I was still in Los Angeles the last time I had a really good Mung beans soup.

Usually, at some Filipino restaurants,
they cook this dish like they are in a hurry, or they are just too lazy to simmer the darn dish.
How much work does it really entail to simmer??? 

This soup needs to be cooked for at least an hour, simmer to perfection.

For my Vegan friends,
you can make this soup by just adding mushrooms
in replacement of the pork belly.
use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.
Add more garlic, and add bay leaf to add more flavor.

If you haven't heard of mung beans ... I assure you ... you have!
But in a different form, the Beans Sprouts you see and buy from your local grocery stores, come from mung beans. 

Mung beans is very low in Cholesterol, and low in Saturated Fat and Sodium. 
A good source of Protein, Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Potassium, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Manganese Riboflavin, Folate,and Copper . 
The only downside, Calories in Mung beans comes from its sugar content.
But hey, everything has sugar.


1 1/2 cups Mungs beans
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
4 cups water
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium Onion, chopped
1 medium tomato, diced
1 cup pork belly, 1/2 inch cube (optional)
1 cup shrimps, de-veined (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
5 oz. bag Baby Spinach, washed
1 tbsp fice sauce (optional)


  • In medium-high heat ,  onions until softened, in a medium stockpot .
  • Add garlic, and pork belly, sauté until golden brown.

  • Add tomatoes. And shrimps (optional). Cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add mungs beans, and chicken stock.
  • Bring to a boil for about 2 mins.
  • Reduce heat to medium.
  • Cook for 60 minutes adding 1 cup of water every 15 mins.
  • Add spinach, and fish sauce (optional) 5 minutes before turning off the heat.


  • Mungs beans should open up, and tender.
  • Soup should be not too thick, and not too watery.
  • My mother and grandmother use to add shrimps with heads on and with shells. This gives more flavor to the soup.
  • If you can't find pork belly or simply don't like them, you can substitute with ham or bacon. This will give the flavor some smokiness to it. 
  • I grew up with fish sauce so I like adding that flavor to my soup. You don't have to use it.



  1. hey, gghie, if you want your monggo to be more heathier, just use shrimp and delete the pork belly and use the head & skin of shrimp to get more flavor. i make mung beans soup at least 2x a month... its very healthy and filling..

  2. Yes, I think I noted that on my blog.
    I especially love pork belly, that's why I made it using that.
    If you see in my notes after the directions,
    I have mentioned that my Mom and Grandmother
    added shrimps with heads and shell on for more flavor.
    I have noted it as optional because some have shellfish allergies.

    Yes Mung beans, is one of the SUPER Foods besides Quinoa.

  3. I've never heard of Mung Beans, but they sure do look good!

    1. I'm sure you have eaten Mung beans but in the form of Bean Sprouts. Sprouts are from Mung beans.
      It's delicious! It's best with Quinoa Salad too.
      I'll post more Super Foods soon.
      BTW, love your blog.
      My family and I are in Canada a lot, since it's just across the river from us. ;)


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