How To Cook Monggo Properly

This simple trick will ensure soft tender munggo every time.

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Monggo, or mung beans, may be the underdog of the kitchen staples. It's a tiny green bean that many households only eat when it's Friday or when the season requires something hot and soupy but super hearty, too. The red variety is also the sweet filling of some of our favorite merienda such as some hopia, siopao, and halo-halo.

However, have you ever cooked monggo that was mushy but had a super grainy texture? 

If you did, then you might have made a mistake while cooking the monggo. Did you add salt to the water? Then that's it. 

Your mistake was adding salt to monggo when simmering the beans in water. 

Why is this a mistake? 

Just like corn, monggo should be simmered in just water and the salt should be added when it's already tender. This is because the salt can toughen the monggo's skin just like it can the corn kernel. We suggest you do this instead: add salt when the monggo is already cooked or when the beans have cracked and split. This will eliminate the flat monggo taste and result in a tasty monggo dish. 

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Photo by Patrick Martires
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By adding the salt in the latter stages of cooking, you still season the monggo without making the skins toughen as it cooks, forcing you to cook it longer just to tenderize it without that super grainy texture. 

Here's how to do it: 

  • 1 Pick over the monggo to ensure no stray stones or pebbles are present. Rinse the beans.
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  • 2 Transfer monggo to a pot or saucepan. Add enough water to cover the beans about 1 to 2 inches of water. Place over high heat and bring to a boil, uncovered. Lower heat and simmer for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the beans have cracked or just split.
  • 3 Proceed as the recipe instructs, or season and serve as desired.

Once the monggo has split, this the sign that you have tenderized both the beans and its skin. This is ready for more cooking, whether it's savory or sweet. 

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Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!

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