Mouthwatering munggos

By Michelle Domocol
Back to Inflourish: Cebu Blog

December brings the planting season for my favorite munggos. This magnificent bean is the base ingredient for my favorite foods–tinunuang ng munggos, sotanghon, hopia, and halo-halo. Munggos (Vigna radiata or mung bean) is used in many regional dishes around the Philippines.

Different baranggays and households have their variations but the base vegetables in each munggos stew is similar. Whether its meatless tinunuang munggos or served with buwad bolinaw, baboy, with shrimp, there are vegetables that complete the dish. The added vegetables are usually:

ampalaya leaves (bitter melon)
kamatis (tomatoes)
spinach
alugbati (malabar spinach) and/or
kamunggay (moringa)

Photo 1. Vegetables added to Munggo dishes: (clockwise from top left) ampalaya, kamatis, spinach, alugbati, kamunggay
Photo 2. Munggo bean seeds

All these vegetable ingredients can be planted in December. But’s let’s focus on the star vegetable: Munggos. Here are some general growing guidelines.

  1. Choose a garden site with at least six hours of direct sun and high humidity. Make sure your plots are free of any competing weeds.
  2. In a raised bed or farm plot, add 2 inches of compost to the soil. Plant the seeds 1-inch deep (Photo 1). Each seed should be 2 inches apart from each other. Create rows about 24 inches apart. Alternatively you can broadcast your seed. Pour the seeds into a bowl. Grab a handful of seeds. Spread the seeds along the ground in an even layer. Make sure you cover the seeds with a 1-inch layer of soil.
  3. Water your young munggos weekly. During the rainy season, you don’t need to water as often. And as it grows older it will need less water and because drought tolerant. Make sure you water the roots instead of the leaves to prevent any fungal growth. Make sure the soil is most but not soggy or waterlogged.
  4. Harvest your mung beans when the pods about 5 inches. Ripe pods are fuzzy with a brownish or black color. Remove the entire bean vine. Then hang it upside down in a dry shed or room. Place a banig, fabric or newspapers under the munggos vines to catch the beans. You can remove the rest of the beans once the pods are completely dry.
  5. If you want to store fresh mung beans place them in a referigerator. Use them for 2-3 days. You can also dry them completey. Spread fresh beans on fabric or banig and remove any excess moisture. The dried beans can be stored for years in air-tight container.