Face it! I am not in Philippines anymore. I can't get my tropical greens at my neighbor's backyard whenever I want.
When bitter melon (ampalaya) leaves, malunggay (moringga plant), alukbati (malabar spinach) or pepper leaves aren't present at asian store around the area I must keep my options open to an alternative local produce in local super markets.
Today I would like to share a Filipino recipe called Ginisang Munggo with Kale (Sauteed Mung beans). If you are unfamiliar of this dish, it is more like in a form of soup. We eat it with a side of steamed white rice and fried mackerel. We treat it as a main dish.
This dish is cooked in different ways in different regions of Philippines. However, this recipe is going to be a mixed breed.
The ingredients are:
1 1/2 cup mung beans
5 oz pork
2 tbsp cooking oil
4 cloves of garlic
1 small onion
salt and pepper
1 tsp fish sauce (optional)
1 tablespoon mashed ginger
1 cup pork rinds
1 leaf of Kale
water (depending on desired consistency you can start with 2 1/2 cups of water)
1. Prep the beans first.
2 ways to soften mung beans
*soak in water of two hours
*boil in water it until it's cooked
= I boiled the mung beans until it's cooked for this recipe.
2. Salt the pork and let it sit for 5 minutes. When beans are done, pour cooking oil on frying pan, sear/brown the sides of whole chunk of pork. It doesn't have to be cooked all the way. Set aside.
+ searing or browning meat achieves Maillard reaction for desired flavor. In my theory, I didn't cut the pork into small cubes was because it overcooks the meat which makes it too chewy.
3. Bring mung beans to a boil, then add garlic and onions and mashed ginger.
+ I chose not to sautee garlic and onions because it brings the stronger flavor of garlic and oinion, such strong aroma my pregnancy cannot tolerate.
4. Put the seared pork into mung bean mixture until it's pale pink in the inside. Bring out from, and let it sit before cutting into small chunks.
+ This way the moisture stays in so you can have a more tender cooked meat.
5. Add your salt and pepper and fish sauce (optional). Season it until you get the desired taste.
7. Turn off your stove and put crushed pork grinds and chopped kale.
**Serve it with steamed rice.
Makes 4 servings
I did not cook this dish the traditional way. I cooked it with what's available in my pantry and fridge and added a twist of changes to experiment a new taste like...
We don't usually put ginger in it. It turns out, ginger flavor complements kale and it gives more asian taste and heat to the dish. I didn't use tomatoes because the alkalinity tends to shorten the shelf life of the dish.
I put pork grinds for more salty fat flavor while pork is used for protein part of this dish.
This may not have achieved a true authentic taste of traditional ginisang munggo, I am happy and satisfied in this experiment and made my very own signature dish which my Midwestern hubby enjoyed immensely.
Have you ever made your own Filipino food with a twist? I would love for you to share it :)