Recipe #42: GINISANG MUNGGO (Mung Bean Soup)

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.

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 I 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 pork 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.

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Recipe #22: MINATAMIS NA MUNGGO (Sweet Red Mung Beans)

This recipe brings back a lot of childhood memories in my hometown Malabon. The friendly sorbetero (ice cream vendor) would roam around the neighborhood enticing the kids for a daily afternoon treat of everyone’s favorite cold dessert.

Dirty ice cream maybe just a dime a dozen, but there’s nothing dirty in it. And in the town where I grew up, it was served with something extra special. Ice creams are smothered in Sweet Red Mung Beans or Minatamis na Mungo — a great topping more delectable than mallows, chocolate syrup, or sprinkles.

Minatamis na Mungo is one of my family’s favorite local delicacies. Aside from being a topping for ice cream, it’s also one of the ingredients in Halo-halo, a filling or palaman in breads and hopia, or even as a partner of suman. And guess what, it can also be eaten as it is!

If you like buying Minatamis na Mungo preserves in bottles, I’m telling you now that this one tastes a hundred times better. Adding it as a topping on ice cream may not be very common in other places in the country, but I’m sure you will also enjoy this yummy treat especially during the summer season.

The recipe below is my mother’s who loves local delicacies. Enjoy!

Ice Cream with Sweet Mung Beans (Munggo)

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