Killer! In EVERY sense of the word. Trimmings or leftovers from the Zubuchon adventure has Marketman’s brain on overdrive, thinking of new uses for lechon “extras”. This concoction seemed like a natural; instead of pork, why not use lechon legs/feet, which are chockful of flavor and some gelatin still. This turned out so good it will definitely make it into that mythical cookbook I plan to write some day, if I ever get to it. I have written about munggo before, first our cook’s basic recipe here from September 2005, then my first version here with shrimps and shrimp broth and again here done a year ago, then a tapilan (related bean) with coconut milk and batuan recipe here. But this lechon version is what should make most carnivores hearts’ sing… :)
First, make a broth from some leftover lechon feet and ankles, I used two of them, just make sure youo give the toenails a nice pedicure first. Just boil in water for about 1 hour with some onions, leeks, tomatoes, peppercorns then strain and set aside. Next, soften mung beans in another pot with water if you like to do this separately, or you could do it all in one pot. In the original pot (no need to wash it), add some vegetable oil and add the lechon pieces back to brown a bit, then add some sliced onions, garlic and tomatoes and let them saute for a few minutes. Don’t worry if you seem to get a caramelized crust at the bottom of the pan, you WANT that. I also threw in some leeks, chopped chicharon then added some of the lechon broth. Next add the mung beans and lechon broth and cook until tender (if you cooked them separately, this won’t take very long at all). This batch was a bit too soupy and overcooked as I left it to the cook while I ran out to get some malunggay leaves. You can adjust liquid to the desired levels.
To season, I added generous amounts of salt, some good thai patis or fish sauce and freshly ground black pepper. I also added one sliced finger chili or siling mahaba earlier. When it was all looking good (taste several times for seasoning adjustments)j, I threw in some malunggay (moringa) leaves and some talbos ng sayote or chayote tendrils and took it off the heat. Spoon into a serving bowl and top generously with more chopped chicharon.
Oh my goodness. This was absolute heaven in a bowl. I could have easily feasted on this and rice alone. But we had a grilled fish as well, thinking we would be eating healthily at lunch… :) I realize some folks who didn’t grow up with mung beans might find them a bit bland, starchy or muddy… but with all these other things thrown into the pot it was tasty, meaty, flavor-packed and a mouthfull (or several mouthfulls) of goodness. This we will have again and again over the coming year… :)