02 Sep2005

Ginisang mongo is a dish I have eaten several hundred times and, I am truly amazed to admit, have never cooked it for myself. amungA classic dish that was almost always served with chicken and pork adobo in our house, this is Filipino comfort food at its finest. It is soupy, great hot or warm, tasty, substantial, rich in protein, possesses a memorable texture and is cathartic to smush into your rice. I am told it is a nearly “fool proof” dish to prepare but this brief side story suggests otherwise… During the late 80’s in Manila when coup d’etats were de rigeur, my father found himself marooned in a Makati village (gated community, that is, not a bunch of nipa huts in some idyllic coconut grove) with just his faithful driver. They decided to stay in the house to “protect” it and since it was beside some minor kingdom’s ambassadorial residence, they felt they could jump the wall and get diplomatic protection if necessary…hmmm.

My father couldn’t boil water if his life depended on it, so his venture into making some ginisang munggo rather than relying on spam or corned beef was a real stretch. I think he said that he popped the beans into a pan and added water, salt and some onions and stirred away over high heat. It was an utter disaster. He never attempted to cook ever again. They ate rice and sardines that the driver cooked. When the rest of the family was told the story (by the driver, of course), we rolled around on the floor in stitches for hours. His biggest mistake? Probably putting a lot of salt into the water with the raw beans before turning on the heat as the salt gets in the way of softening the beans. Here is our cook’s simple recipe for ginisang munggo. Put say 2 cups of dried munggo in a pot and added double to triple the volume of water say, 5-6 cups. Bring to a gentle boil and add water if necessary as it boils and the liquid gets absorbed into the beans. Continue cooking for 30-40+ minutes until the beans soften and there is just a little liquid left in the pot (depends how soupy you like it). Then in another pan, heat up some oil, sauté garlic, onions, tomatoes, some chopped pork or shrimp, and add the mongo. Season with salt and pepper and just before taking off of the heat add some talbos ng ampalaya (bitter gourd tendrils). While this is a great and nutritious dish combined with rice, I like it best when served with adobo. There are so many personal versions of this dish that can include dried fish, other seafood, meat, etc. Others like to soak the beans overnight (what does that mean?! 8 hours? Sunset to sunrise?), hull the beans (are they joking?), etc. I just go for the simplest version. If you balance the flavors right, it is just delicious.

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Jacob's Mom says:

    My four-year old loves munggo especially if it’s masabaw. He sometimes asks to have it for dinner late in the day, like at 5pm when I’m coming home from work. So when I don’t have prior “warning” from him and don’t have the chance to soak the beans overnight, I use a pressure cooker to quickly soften the beans. I’ve had good results with this, it tastes just as if it were cooked the traditional way. We especially love it in winter.

    Sep 2, 2005 | 9:15 pm

     
  2. bogchief says:

    I pump my fist and cheer whenever the cafeteria serves this for lunch. With a cup of rice, it’s as cheap (and yummy) as you can get. Especially with some patis and sili.

    Sep 2, 2005 | 9:26 pm

     
  3. edee says:

    great timing, just had monggo for lunch today,friday kasi eh :)

    Sep 2, 2005 | 9:44 pm

     
  4. Michael says:

    Our cocinera runs uncooked monggo beans through the flat of a cleaver when she pours it into the pot. She says it it weeds out the duds, those beans that don’t get soft, and small pebbles too. I guess they bounce further when they hit the blade and land outside the pot.

    Sep 3, 2005 | 12:00 am

     
  5. joey says:

    This is one of my favorite childhood meals (well, until now actually)! I actually just wrote about it in this Childhood Food Memories meme I did. I love this dish to bits…my brother and I fight over it! I like it with malunggay and I drizzle a bit of sinamac on my portion right before I eat it. Oh yum! Was just thinking about making an attempt (I too have never made it myself, despite my undying love for it) when I pop over here and see your post!

    BTW, your story of your dad, his driver, and the monggo is hilarious!

    Sep 3, 2005 | 1:22 am

     
  6. fried-neurons says:

    Thank you thank you thank you thank you!

    I remember our cook used to add some chicharon, to supplement the pork fat that she rendered to start the “gisa”.

    Sep 3, 2005 | 3:54 am

     
  7. Maricel says:

    Parts of Nueva Ecija and Bulacan and I think Bicol too, add finely chopped “usbong ng sampalok” to this dish. Slightly different but just as good.

    Sep 3, 2005 | 7:29 am

     
  8. Bubut says:

    we’re using bagoong alamang instead of salt and malunggay if talbos ng ampalaya is not available. A regular Friday dish.

    Sep 3, 2005 | 8:30 am

     
  9. may ann says:

    me, everytime we have no stock of meat I used chorizo de bilbao and it’s also delicious with kamungay

    Sep 3, 2005 | 10:48 am

     
  10. Wilson Cariaga says:

    i remember one version of this dish, the beans are cooked without the skin. . . also yummy and looks more appetizing. . . i also remember this dish is also yummy with tinapa flakes instead of pork or shrimp. . .hmmmm this makes me hungry. . .

    Sep 3, 2005 | 10:49 am

     
  11. may ann says:

    I have a question nga pala. Ano nga po pala ang dapat gawin para maging malapot ang resulta ng ginisang mongo kc gustong-gusto ko ang malapot?

    Sep 3, 2005 | 11:01 am

     
  12. Mila says:

    I’ve always wondered if you could add lentils and other varieties of beans to monggo and still come up with ginisang monggo. I think the closest cousin I’ve seen overseas is black beans cooked with hamhocks. Love it with rice too.
    In China, we had a sweet version of this, weird, but good. Red beans and mung beans cooked in a sugar solution, then you either eat it hot with milk or cool it overnight and then eat it with milk.

    Sep 3, 2005 | 2:03 pm

     
  13. Marketman says:

    May ann, to thicken the sauce, take some cooked beans and smash them up and return to the liquid. The starch in the bean will naturally thicken the rest of the dish. Start with just a half cup and add more if you want it thicker. I like the variations of stuff that people add…bagoong, patis, chicharon, chorizo bilbao, sampaloc, malunggay, etc. fantastic! And you don’t get this too often in a restaurant!

    Sep 3, 2005 | 2:04 pm

     
  14. grace says:

    Mila, hi. your comment on how they make it in china reminded me how i used to eat monggo. when i was little i used to eat monggo with condensed milk. my mom would get me a portion before they add the salt and por/shrimp/alamang. it was only in my teens that i started to appreciate ginisang monggo.

    Sep 3, 2005 | 2:28 pm

     
  15. Dia says:

    oh, this dish is a favorite of mine, too. kung ito ang ulam, nakakailang servings of rice ako. masarap talaga, e.

    Sep 3, 2005 | 6:24 pm

     
  16. Nick Nichols says:

    Ginisang mongo – what can I say? Once again, MarketMan, you’ve hit on one of the culinary pleasures I so miss from Manila and just too lazy to make in the U.S.

    Sep 4, 2005 | 7:30 am

     
  17. belle says:

    This brings back memories of my lola. We usually add kuchay/chives with this when I was young. Its also a great combination with paksiw na bangus.Heavenly!!!

    Sep 4, 2005 | 4:09 pm

     
  18. Kai says:

    I once ordered lentils at Top of the Citi, and it came out like ginisang munggo, which I’d prefer anytime!

    Sep 5, 2005 | 9:37 am

     
  19. Gigi says:

    Oh my God. I love ginisang monggo and I insist that only dahon ng ampalaya be used for it! My deadly version is to eat it pa with chicharon cut to the size of gravel (apart from what is mixed in the soup). Talk about heavenly texture counterpoint!

    Sep 6, 2005 | 9:14 am

     
  20. may ann says:

    Thank you Mr. Marketman.

    Sep 10, 2005 | 9:22 am

     
  21. Jean says:

    May Ann
    Kung gusto mo na malapot pa yon lagyan mo na ng sliced na OKRA yummy na yummy ang resulta nyan. OH my goodness na gugutom nanam ako sa kakabasa sa post ninyo. Mungg bean is my fave dish. Super mouthering heavenly dish…fist time l cook for my Canadian husband and He like’s it very much nang hinggi pa ng second plate lol…syempre happy then ako and proud of our pinoy dish. *MUNGG BEANS with OKRA* AWESOME!!! tomorrow again for dinner. :)

    Nov 17, 2005 | 9:59 pm

     
  22. rampau says:

    MM Have you tried the Munggo soup at Le Soufle? It’s Delish. Do you know their secret? I tasted a hint of curry.

    Dec 8, 2005 | 10:52 pm

     
  23. alilay says:

    i use my rice cooker in boilin the munggo, so i don’t have to make bantay umaapaw pag napalakas yung apy eh mahirap maglinis ng stove.

    Feb 13, 2006 | 3:04 pm

     
  24. Boo says:

    Hello MM! Your blog is making me hungry!!! Torture! I don’t easily have access to malunggay leaves here in London, so I make do with a few spinach leaves in my munggo. Not the real thing, but times like that call for me to make do with what I can get my hands on. Of course I make sure I fry my pork belly ala lechon kawali, then mix that into the dish, if chicharon is not available.

    Aug 14, 2006 | 9:13 am

     
  25. goldie says:

    sarap naman ng pinag uusapan nyo..magluluto nga kami ngaun nun kaya pag open ko dito, tamang-tama ang mga tips nyo..heheh..thanks for the help..

    Aug 23, 2007 | 12:22 pm

     
  26. Girlie says:

    Ginisang monggo, thats my favorite dish with malunggay leaves and chicharon. samahan mo pa ng pritong isda, yummy. This dish is my husband favorite too but I have to put separate for him with shrimp lang as baboy is prohibited for arab.

    Nov 14, 2007 | 7:35 pm

     
  27. tiffy says:

    i liked it with galungong.. i wonder if i could put dahon ng sili instead?? i ask my husband what kind of leaves they would put in ginisang munggo, then he confidently answered dahon ng sili hahah.. i dont know if he’s right..

    Jul 7, 2008 | 1:42 pm

     
  28. Marketman says:

    tiffy, I have never tried it with dahon ng sili, but I suppose it would work. Different provinces include different kinds of leaves, so it isn’t a highly unusual suggestion…

    Jul 7, 2008 | 1:55 pm

     
  29. emmanuel mallari, jr. says:

    Ginisang munggo partner with paksiw na bangus (if not,piniritong bangus or daing na bangus). Piniritong GG is also a good partner.

    Kapampangan mash boiled munggo in bilao sometimes kinakatas sa katsa bago igisa.

    What I do not understand is why ginisang munggo on Fridays?

    Jul 18, 2008 | 3:28 pm

     
  30. Tricia says:

    Good Fridays, tradition na sa amin ang ginisnag munggo sa Nueva Ecija

    Jul 25, 2008 | 12:41 am

     
  31. Marge says:

    After reading some of the comments, I wonder what could be the story behind serving ginisang monggo on Fridays? The canteen in our office does that too. Don’t get me wrong, I love ginisang monggo with lots talbos ng ampalaya, that’s why I always look forward to having lunch at our canteen every Firday :)

    Oct 11, 2008 | 12:50 pm

     
  32. Nerissa says:

    munggo with dahon ng ampalaya is the best & also tinapa,liempo & chicharon if dahon ng ampalaya is not available ampalaya tidbits is also delicious add on to our ginisang munggo.

    Oct 28, 2008 | 5:18 pm

     
  33. Jade says:

    This is the recipe I am looking for. Just the simple one. I used to cook it, pero nakalimutan ko na. :D Thanks!

    Nov 12, 2008 | 6:16 pm

     
  34. Joy says:

    I think the priniciple behind having ginisang munggo on Fridays is the abstinence from meat during the Fridays of Lent that Catholic Filipinos observe. Ginisang munggo in its simplest form is mainly a vegetable dish. Take out the pork fat, etc. and it’s a hearty yet “meat-less” dish to serve to abstaining family members.

    But then again, this is just what I think. Hehe.

    Dec 18, 2008 | 5:12 am

     
 

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