Mung Bean Stew – Who Knew?

I am a huge soup fan.  I am a huge bean fan. I am also, predictably a bean soup lover.  Despite all that, I confess my thinking about mung beans had been hugely limited.  I purchased them in bulk, and used them to make sprouts and more or less left them in the pantry otherwise.  Didn’t sub them out for other beans, didn’t consider putting them in pastry – I know, it sounds totally unlike me, right?  Just goes to show that even those of us who are prone to chronic recipe tampering can get stuck in culinary ruts that limit our ability to experience the truly divine…

Enter a recipe for mung bean stew on Green Kitchen Stories that floated across my radar a few days ago… “Hey, don’t I have some mung beans in the pantry? I meant to sprout them… ” This, my friends is one of those lovely recipes that is incredibly simple and yields stunning, and winter perfect warming results. I’ve left the flavor profile intact, changed the measurements from metric, and made a few adjustments to the method.  This stew is not to be missed, and Green Kitchen Stories is worth a gander – fab photos and great info. Happy bean stew!

Mung Bean Stew – minimally adjusted from Mung Bean Stew on a Budget on Green Kitchen Stories, served family of 4 with a few lunches of leftovers

  • 2 c dried mung beans, soaked in clean water for at least 8 hoursMung Bean Stew
  • olive oil for the pan
  • 1 medium onion, chopped small
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped small
  • 1 t cumin
  • 6 c water
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • at least 3 c cooked rice (I used brown jasmine and the flavor really complimented the stew)
  • 5 large handfuls fresh spinach (I imagine other greens would work here)

If you need to make rice fresh, start the rice first.  Warm olive oil on medium-low in a pan and add the onions.  Sprinkle with a small amount of salt and allow the onions to cook for several minutes (at least 5), stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.  When onions are softened and translucent, add garlic and cumin and cook until fragrant (30 seconds to a minute). Add water, salt and the mung beans and bring to a boil.  Cover and lower heat, simmering for about 30 minutes.

Taste to see if bean softness meets your liking. If the greens you’re using is of a less tender variety (like kale), add it now and cook for a few minutes to wilt in the soup, then add coconut milk, remove from heat, and stir.  If you’re using a tender green (like baby spinach), add the coconut milk first, keeping soup on very low heat, add greens, stir and cook for just another minute to help wilt greens. Serve over warm rice. So warm, so comforting, so nutritious. Delish.

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