Monggo and Tinapa “Hummus” a la Marketman

We eat a lot of hummus in our household. And I have made hummus with lots of different things mixed in like roasted red peppers, beets, coriander, etc. We have also tried white bean and other versions, but never really thought about mung beans or monggo. I was trying to think of healthier ways to eat classic pinoy dishes and decided to experiment with a monggo or mung bean hummus. A quick google yielded a couple of distinctly western takes on the spread, so I wasn’t being too bizarre. But I didn’t really follow a specific recipe and just boiled up some green mung beans until cooked, but not overly mushy. Into a food processor, I added the mung beans, tahini, salt, pepper, water, some garlic and blitzed that for a minute or two. You really have to whip it up to lighten it, and you need quite a bit of liquid. The results were surprisingly good, if a bit bland for my taste. Maybe if I used a really flavorful vegetable broth instead of water… I was also planning to make a tinapa or smoked bangus dip, but my “aha!” moment was to ditch the tinapa spread, and put flaked smoked fish into the monggo hummus instead. This worked wonderfully. The familiar flavor and a creamy texture of mung bean and the sharp salty hints of smoke and savoriness from the fish. Now I am wondering if I should have used coconut milk somehow as well. At any rate, garnished with more tinapa or smoked fish, some chopped chives and a healthy swoosh of good olive oil and it was a slam-dunk hit at dinner with Canadian friends, who lapped it up.

Still of the pinoy theme but presented a different way, I decided to make a simple tomato salsa to serve with the monggo and tinapa spread. Some dayap from our garden in Cebu, seasonings, olive oil and a bit of red wine vinegar. I didn’t use cilantro or wansoy as I knew one of the guests had an aversion to it. But wansoy would have been better than chopped green onions. This salsa was nothing unusual, but its presentation alongside the other spread was giving me serious pinoy meal vibes, but in a chilled appetizer guise. Had we put finely chopped salted red egg, this would have really been cool and reminiscent of hundreds of similar such meals I would have enjoyed growing up.

We served these dips/salsas with slices of toasted pita bread and everything was consumed in a flash. Even our cook, who sometimes raises her eyebrows at my wacky experiments, said the spread was delicious. If I play with this a bit more, I would have an appetizer dish for the restaurant even… think base of vegetarian monggo hummus, which could be varied with tinapa or even tuyo, or topped with lots of crushed chicharon, or deep-fried lechon flakes or served with other vegetarian salsas and dips. It would be pinoy style ingredients and preparations at heart, but presented in a different way. :)


22 Responses

  1. ooh la la! I had to read this right away after seeing the photo on IG. Now you make me want to throw a dinner party!

  2. If instant dashi is available, a pinch of it can give your mung humus a truly rich taste that
    smoothly harmonizes with the smoked fish.

    I love mung beans in all its guises, as guinisa for my Friday fare, sprouted, as paste for hopia filling. Morphing it this way will kick up the workday into something new and special. Totally in agreement too with cilantro and salted egg with the tomatoes and chicharron as garnishing for the humus, in my case, chicharron as in residue of lard rendering.

  3. Yay!! Love munggo, too. How come it is not green, MM? Must try this one.
    Oh, I just finished reading the post after I put in my comment. Lol. Love spicy salsa. I didn’t know we can get pita bread there. Anyways, will be back home very soon.

  4. MM….if you want to play around with the flavour profile, you can add flavour pastes like Thai green and Thai red curry pastes! Better yet, if you happen to make your Thai curry and have leftover sauce, freeze them and add them to your hummus instead of the water. Lechon flakes as topping.

    You can even portion them and sell them at your outlets!

    Another flavour profile is Malaysian…add Malaysian satay paste or sauce. The variations are endless!

    Vietnamese…make the lemongrass paste I posted before and grill some chicken first or pork. Then save the drippings and freeze. Add the drippings instead of water.

    Korean…make the Ginger Sesame marinade I posted before too and grill some thin cut short ribs and save the drippings too! Top your hummus with black and white sesame seeds and cilantro. Instead if pita, I use those mini rice crackers

  5. O/T Betty Q, Wheat flour for making immaculate white baozi is now available in my area, a Chinese import. I hope it’s not tainted. Imagine that, the granary of the British Empire importing flour. I guess, an update of that age old cliché carrying coal to New Castle.


    What happened to snow bird trip to warm
    climate this time of the year?

    I guess I didn’t do much shopping when I went to your neck of the woods recently! Now have to go back just to get that much sought after flour!

    Thanks for letting me know!

  7. This is an interesting take on hummus and I will try it out–thinking about choices for the fish…perhaps kippers will work?

    BTW if you have not heard it yet, the Splendid Table podcast ran an episode on Filipino food:

  8. kurzhaar, yes kippers would be a good option. Thanks for the link.

    Footloose, that really white flour is amazing, I have only had access to it once here in Manila… I’m sure someone carries it considering how much siopao we eat.

    betty q, yay, you are around, and yes, with inspiring options on the spread… I definitely have to experiment further!

    farida, the beans started out olive green, but it’s just the skins with the color. Once cooked and blitzed, you get the more starchy khaki color. I haven’t tried yellow mung beans yet but I would imagine the results would be similar…

  9. Learnt something new from the Kurzhaar- provided link. Our word for vinegar, suka is from the Sanskrit ashoka. Can’t confirm, never been curious with Sub-continental matters other than curry. Read all the comments as I am wont to do. The commenter questioning Amy Besa’s suggestion that soy sauce is not an original native flavour counters it with why is it that all the adobo recipes encountered on line include soy sauce. His mention of America’s Test Kitchen’s adobo version, was what really cracked me up.

  10. Presumably many other Indian words have made their way around the globe. A friend says that the word for pickles “achaar” (and variations thereof: “atsar”, “atchar”, etc.) is used widely in South Asia and elsewhere in Asia (and even the Dutch use “atjar”, presumably from colonial Indonesia). We have had “achara” (I think that was the spelling) served to us in Filipino restaurants. This was a vinegary pickle made with papaya and carrots, and definitely not as spicy as the Indian achaars that we’ve had.

  11. Here are a few more Filipino food words in addition to achara that you mentioned, traceable back to Indian antecedents:
    kare-kare from curry, a stew
    puto from puttu, steamed rice cake
    bibingka from bebenca, baked rice cake

    Our word for vegetable sautée, gulay, may be, in all likelihood also of Indian descent. There is a festive glutinous rice dish with pieces of chicken or frog’s legs cooked with coconut milk and flavoured/coloured with fresh turmeric called bringe (bring-heh) erroneously believed (by many Filipinos) as a native take on paella but is actually an Indian derived dish.

  12. Footloose, I miss these exchanges, so interesting… and yes, when I ever suggest bibingka to have been derived from bebinca, everyone just looks at me like I landed from Mars… :)

  13. I learned from my Indian boss way back that they call ‘Atis’ as ‘Sita-fel’, ‘fel’ meaning fruit in Hindi. ‘Atis’ is ‘Sita’ spelled backwards.

  14. Back in my hometown, pospas is what we call goto (rice porridge with tripe) when enhanced with chicken pieces instead of tripe. Here is Hobson-Jobson’s definition of Pish pash “a slop of rice-soup with small pieces of meat in it, much used in the Anglo-Indian nursery.”

    Our mungo, the original topic of this post, is obviously from Indian munj too although mung beans is practically international English now as curry, chutney, kedgeree and mulligatawny. Succotash and pemmican though are Indian only in the First Nation/American Indian sense.

  15. If only for these kinds of back and forth, I regret not having kept my blog more active for the past year or two… I find the instant gratification and 3-second attention span of many millennials to be increasingly irritating. How will younger folk fare when the depth of their interests goes only 8 months back, rather than millennia. I suppose every generation has its improvements and coping mechanisms, I just hope I am being simply fuddy duddy about all of this.

  16. May I say I miss the more active version of your blog? At home, neither of us does much with social media–primarily for privacy reasons, living in the US (with one of us reminding us of the stark difference in privacy protection between the US and Europe). And these exchanges that delve into areas of history and anthropology and linguistics are among the most interesting of all.

    Catching up on podcasts, I ran across another on on Filipino food:
    I must admit that I have never eaten Filipino food in this way, but I have had both Indian food (rice as the base) and Ethiopian food (injera as the base) served in a similar fashion.

    I think Filipino food has had considerably more attention over the past two or three years, at least in the US. Restaurants like Bad Saint in DC are gaining national notice, magazines like Saveur are covering the cuisine. The NY Times “Hungry City” column is written by a Filipino American, Ligaya Mishan, who is one of the best food writers around at the moment, with a poet’s touch to her descriptions. All very good to see.

  17. MM, bettyQ , Footloose, kurzshaar, a big virtual wave! From monggo and hummus blog post that became a conversation piece for this interesting morning “tertulia”…just loved it.

    BettyQ, your ideas are endless! So glad I visited this morning.

  18. My Christmas Eve dinner was takeout from a Southern Indian place next to my neighborhood. Sambar and Idly, a sumptuous vegetable stew with steamed rice cakes. Often I thought to myself of going to a potluck and bringing idly under the guise of puto and no one would be the wiser. I think of sambar and dal as the Indian version of mungo minus the pork and shrimp. A nearby tindahan noticed an uptick in Indian clientele looking for malunguay and banana leaves and at the same time, another customer from Kerala was chatting me up at the turo turo counter asking me about the ‘curry’.

    Speaking of millennials and recent developments in Filipino food: httpss://

  19. Hi, have just come a cross this post.
    Re hummus, i add wasabi, red beets and canned red cabbage. Separately, of course. The ones with red beets and red cabbage have a lovely pinkish tint. The supermarkets here have a sweetish version with dates.

    Re Indian words in our language, there’s “asukal” which has its primary root in the Sanskrit “sharkara” which then morphed into the Persian “shakkar”, Arabic “sukkar”, Latin “succarum” to our present-day sucre, azucar, sugar, etc. One of the buildings I once visited for work in Mumbai was called Sakhar Bhavan (“sugar house”). Noticing its similarity to “sucre” led me to trace the root of this word.



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