Munggo or Ginisang Munggo for some reason has been associated as Friday food. I really don't know why but my take is since Filipinos are mostly Catholics (and meatless dishes are strictly observed in the olden days), munggo is a common and an easy meal to prepare - without the meat. I myself, came from a family of strict Catholics - religious parents and grandparents (where I grew up with) not to mention a grandfather and a grandmother who is a priest and a nun respectively.
Living in an extended family home, eating is second nature and always in accordance with the Catholic practices such as eating meatless meals on a Friday. (No kidding, we did this when I was growing up). Probably, my generation will agree that Ginisang Munggo is a staple food on Fridays and even school canteens serve this only on a Friday - ask them why, they don't know either.
Well, let's leave that to historians to find out why. Nevertheless and regardless of why this meal is a Friday meal, I love munggo! I can eat this for days (not only Friday) and I could say I have mastered the art of cooking our family version of this dish. But mine diverted from the meatless one. I like to put some guilt in it. Chicharon!
Here's how I do it.
Ginisang Munggo (Sauteed Mung Beans)
2 cups mung beans, soaked overnight
2 gloves garlic, crushed
1 medium onion, chopped (I recommend using red onion)
2 medium ripe tomato, chopped
2 Tbsp shrimp paste (bagoong)
2 cups pork rind (chicharon)
2 pcs green finger ginger (siling panigang)
2 cups bitter gourd sprouts or moringa (malunggay)
fish sauce (optional)
oil for sauteing
5 cups of water
Discard remaining water from the soaked mung beans. Bring to boil in low heat with 3 cups of water.
Occasionally stir to prevent it from burning and sticking on the the pan. After about 15 minutes or when the mung beans are soft, turn off heat and mash as much as you can to produce a paste-like consistency. Set aside.
In a separate casserole, heat oil and saute garlic. Let it brown then add the onions. Once transparent, add tomatoes. Add a pinch of salt to soften tomato faster.
Add shrimp paste.
Saute for another minute.
Add in the munggo beans and 2 cups of water. Stir and simmer for 15 minutes.
Taste and add fish sauce if needed. Add green pepper.
Bring in chicharon and simmer for another 5 minutes or until liquid is reduce into half. We want to produce a thick soup.
Once you achieve the desired consistency (soup is holding on to the back of a spoon), put in your greens, make a quick stir. Cover and turn off heat.
Best served with steamed rice and fried fish.
I recommend using a shrimp paste which is not too salty. I used Barrio Fiesta's bottled bagoong (regular).
Soaking the mung beans cuts the cooking process in half. If you weren't able to soak them, it is okay, just boil them a little longer.
And so, why do you think this dish is considered a Friday food? Let me know your thoughts...I'll be waiting and let's crack this mystery once and for all :-)