Tiny and hard as pebbles when dried, mung beans are among the cheapest vegetables one can buy in Asia.
What are mung beans?
Mung bean is a legume. The most common color is green but mung beans come in several colors including yellow, olive, brown, purple and red.
Two ways to use mung beans in cooking
- Simmer the seeds in water until tender and use in savory or sweet dishes.
- Sprout the seeds and cook the sprouts as a vegetable.
How long they should be cooked, and in how much water, depends on the dish they are intended to go into. If intended to be cooked as patties or fritters, they should be cooked in the minimal amount of water. If they are meant to become a soup or a stew, more water can be used.
A few examples of how mung beans are used in savory and sweet dishes.
Mung bean sprouts are cooked as a vegetable
Mung bean sprouts are more popular outside Asia than the dried beans. Grown by germinating the seeds, the sprouts are cooked as a vegetable or, occasionally, served raw as a side dish or a salad.
What does germinating mean? You make the seeds grow roots.
Home grown bean sprouts
My daughter’s effort paid off beautifully. It took five days from germination to harvest. She took photos every 24 hours to document the entire process of growing bean sprouts indoors.
Recipes with mung bean sprouts
Shrimps, bean sprouts and watermelon salad
A light salad bursting with fruity flavors and the surprising tang and umami of Vietnamese fish sauce.
Bean sprouts spring rolls
Bean sprouts spring rolls, or lumpiang togue as they are popularly known in the Philippines, are so named because bean sprouts (togue) is the dominant ingredient in the filling. But that’s not really a strict rule.
Thai green mango salad (yum ma muang)
Sweet and tart with umami lingering in the background, Thai green mango salad, or yum ma muang, relies heavily on the freshest ingredients.
Beef brisket BBQ salad
Thin slices of slow cooker beef brisket BBQ are tossed with bean sprouts and lettuce before nuts are added and peanut dressing is drizzled in.
How to store dried mung beans
In dried form, when properly stored, mung beans can last for months.
First of all, make sure that the dried mung beans are free from moisture. Do not rinse prior to storage. You can do that before cooking.
Take a jar with a tight container, preferably a screw-type cap with a rubber sealer. Pour the mung beans into the jar. Optionally, throw in silica gel. Cover the jar and keep on a shelf in a cool section of the pantry and away from the sun.