My modern version of Sabaw ng Munggo is slightly similar to the classic recipe from the 19th century during the time of Jose Rizal.
Serves 2 to 4
monggo or mung beans - 1 cupwater - for pre-soaking beansvegetable oil - 2 Tablespoonsonion - 1 whole, choppedgarlic - 2 cloves, mincedfresh ginger - 1/2 teaspoon, mincedtomato - 1-2 pieces, slicedpork shoulder - 200 gms., fat trimmed, sliced in 1-inch piecesorganic vegetable broth - 4 to 6 cupsbagoong (shrimp paste) - 1 Tablespoonfreshly-ground black pepper powder - 1 teaspoonboiled rice - for serving
In a medium-sized bowl, pre-soak mung beans in water for about 30 minutes.
In a medium-sized stockpot, over medium high heat, boil the monggo/mung beans in water enough to cover beans. Allow to simmer for about 40 minutes till beans are soft. Drain liquid.
In the same medium stockpot, over medium heat, add the vegetable oil . Saute the onions, garlic, ginger and tomatoes. Then add the slivers of pork. Cook pork for 5 to 8 minutes till it browns. Add the softened mung beans.
Blend the ingredients well with the mung beans. Add the broth and shrimp paste or "bagoong". Season with black pepper. Cover and bring to a boil. After it boils, lower heat and continue simmering for five minutes more.
Add the spinach leaves and cook for 1 to 2 minutes till leaves are soft.
Serve warm with a large bowl of steamed jasmine white rice.
COOK’S COMMENTS: Munggo or Mung Beans can be found in most Asian groceries or large, major supermarkets. They are tiny, green round to oval-shaped beans, packaged in plastic bags. The Philippine shrimp paste or "bagoong" is also available in Asian groceries. If preferred, substitute fresh shrimps for the pork slices.
*Most Filipino recipes of Munggo Guisado use ampalaya green leaves which resemble spinach and add an interesting contrast to the sautéed soup meal. Here in America, I substitute spinach leaves instead.