I like to cook. Sometimes my daughter likes to eat.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A riff on Monggo Guisado (Filipino Mung Bean Stew)

There are a lot of foods we don't eat these days because they are so far beyond MZ's tastes: hot Thai curries, pungent Korean and Filipino stews, even omelets for dinner. So last night when MZ had a dinner-hour birthday party and we were completing a massive gardening project, I pulled out a recipe I have been eyeing for months: A recipe from favorite blogger Jun Belen for Monggo Guisado, a shrimp and mung bean stew that seemed to offer the pungency we often crave, combined with a the quick simplicity required.

I modified the recipe quite a bit based on what I had on hand, so I can't really call it authentic. But it absolutely fulfilled the desire for "adult" food and I can't wait for the opportunity to make it again. I served it over steamed white rice, and we liked it so much we had it for breakfast.

Not Quite Filipino Shrimp and Mung Bean Stew

1.5 cups dried mung beans
8 cups shrimp stock or 7 cups water + 1 can fish broth + 2 t fish stock base
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 t shrimp paste (I had Thai shrimp paste in soya oil)
1/4 t chile flakes
1 15-oz can diced tomatoes, drained and tomato water reserved
3/4 pound frozen langoustine, thawed and halved
3 tablespoons fish sauce, more to taste
2 t soy sauce
8 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed
Juice of 1-2 limes

Rinse and sort the beans. Soak the beans overnight or all day in cold water, enough to cover the beans with several inches of water. (This speeds up the cooking process considerably)

Drain the beans and discard the water. Place the beans and shrimp stock or water/broth in a pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until beans are tender, about 30 minutes if soaked.

While the beans are cooking, sauté onion over medium-high heat till just translucent, add garlic, shrimp paste and chile flakes and saute till fragrant, then add tomatoes and cook 5 minutes longer.

Meanwhile, halve the shrimp and squeeze out the frozen spinach. Add the shrimp and sauté until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add shrimp mixture, fish sauce and soy sauce to the beans, stir, and cook for ten more minutes, stirring frequently. Add more water if the stew becomes too thick.

Add spinach leaves and lime juice right before serving. Adjust balance of fish sauce, soy sauce/salt and lime juice as necessary. Ladle into bowls over freshly steamed rice. Great with a nice cold beer.


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