Ginataang Monggo

by Kiko Matsing

This is Filipino comfort food that is very easy to make. Boil a pack of monggo (mung beans) until they turn soft (about 15-20 min). In a separate pot, stir fry minced garlic (4 cloves), onion wedges (1-2 bulbs), and sliced ginger (thumb-length). Add one can of coconut milk, let it boil, and add the shrimps. (Here, I prefer using those large, unpeeled, and uncooked ones for flavor.) Let it simmer until the they turn orange (about 5-10 min).

Drain the monggo, and add immediately to the shrimp in coconut milk. Stir the pot until everything is thoroughly mixed. Add tomato slices and leafy greens. For the latter you can use fresh spinach, or get one of a variety of cooked, frozen greens from the Filipino store, such as dahon ng sili (hot pepper leaves), dahon ng malunggay (horseradish leaves), or dahon ng ampalaya (bitter melon leaves), for a more authentic dish. Salt to taste.

When stored in the fridge, the mung beans take up the water and turn pasty. Just add more water and salt (season) before microwaving to recover the soup-like consistency.