So, I’ve been staying at home for the past six days, nursing a flu (and a cold and a cough). My body finally gave up on me. I haven’t been sick for years now and I thought it can still take all the stress. I’m blaming everything on the weather; 34 degrees C (about 93.2 degrees F) of glorious summer heat practically envelopes the entire Metro Manila. And it’s still getting hotter!
There’s no comfort in being sick especially during the hot season. The rainy season is more merciful; you can easily find pleasure with a bowl of warm soup or a serving of porridge or a cup of hot something. In this weather, they might be a bit hard to appreciate. But, I still wanted my bowl of soup, so, I came down to a decision and gathered all my strength to get up and prepare my favorite comfort food — Ginisang Munggo.
I love Ginisang Munggo. I used to not like it when I was a child for reasons that I don’t remember, then started liking it when I was growing up. Ginisang Munggo is pure pleasure in a bowl. Although technically it’s a soup, most Pinoys would eat it with rice. It’s the perfect partner for your fried dishes, especially fish. Ginisang Munggo is usually served every Friday (if you know why, let me know by leaving a comment below!), but I’d eat it any day of the week anyway!
There are many ways to prepare Ginisang Munggo. If you can buy chicharon with laman (pork cracklings), you can use that instead of rendering raw meat. You can also make it vegan or vegetarian friendly by removing the pork and/or shrimp altogether and use tofu instead. For the leafy ingredient, I personally prefer malunggay (moringa or horseradish tree) because it’s packed with nutrients. The thickness of the soup depends on your desired consistency; just add more water and adjust the seasoning.
Note: If you have a high level of uric acid, this dish may not be for you. I’m looking at you, Larry.
You will need:
- 1/2 kilo munggo (green mung beans), soaked in water overnight
- 1/2 kilo pork rind or pork belly, cut into small cubes
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 pc medium-sized tomato
- 1 pc medium-sized onion
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 kilo medium-sized shrimps, peeled and deveined, set the shells aside
- 5 cups water
- 1 pc tinapang galunggong (smoked fish)
- 1 cup malunggay (moringa), chili leaves, or spinach
- 1 pc pork bouillon cube
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
How to prepare:
- Render pork in vegetable oil over medium heat until the pieces turn into cracklings. When rendering pork, keep the pan covered as the oil splatters a lot, but stir the pork meat occasionally to avoid burning.
- Set pork cracklings aside. Reduce the oil in the pan to about 1 tbsp. Sauté onion, tomato, garlic, and shrimps. Add drained munggo beans. Cook while stirring for about 5 minutes.
- Add water, bouillon cube, fish sauce, salt, and pepper.
- In a bowl, add some hot water to the shrimp shells and pound them gently until the juices come out. Using a strainer, add the shrimp extract to the soup.
- Simmer while stirring occasionally for about 30 minutes or until the munggo beans are mushy in texture. Add more water if necessary.
- Add the leaves, tinapa, and pork cracklings. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Serve with rice.