Sauteed Mung Beans (Gisadong Monggo)

Filipino native, this dish is allegedly a “poor man’s dish”(more on this later), in the Philippines, of course; presumably because mongo affords the most protein for every Peso.
The usual vegetable added is bitter gourd or ampalaya fruit. In Cagayan Valley, the ampalaya’s leaves is prefered over the fruit. Mine I used ampalaya fruit and alugbati leaves. I vary sometimes- eggplants are ok, so with squash, and kangkong.

Typical of gisado style in Philippine cooking, there’s that usual half-fried meat sautééd with garlic and unions; and optionally, ginger. Some also use tomato. The monggo beans are soaked overnight (mine I oversoaked and starts to sprout), then sautééd after the spices. The whole things is brought to boiling until it turns to a really thick soup. Then the veggies are added. Simple actually.

That “poor man’s dish” description I did not make up. Read this.

Made me shake my head. The Philippines, a POOR COUNTRY, and there’s a POOR MAN’S DISH? Whoever wrote that, who are you my friend? A rich man in the land of poor? Man, we’re still third world no matter what. Stop that belittling of other man’s food. It’s not the material that goes into the food, it is how much you savor and appreciate how much blessing you recieve each day.

Poor man’s food or poorer man’s food, or even poorest man’s food, it staves off my hunger. It affords me good nutrition, and I acquired in a decent way. I’m not ashamed of it. In fact, back in the farm, I ate tons of these among other beans.

My mother also made sweet treats out of monggo beans, boiled, with molasses or red sugar. Poor man’s snack then? Mind you, the rich Taiwanese people cook monggo beans that way and they love it.

Like this:


Now what?

Let me make a prophecy: Monggo will stay as important part of Filipino diet for more generations to come, until the people who call it poor man’s dish are all dead, gone and forgotten. Ha!


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