Balatong/ Monggo Guisado (Sautéed Mung Bean Soup)

  • 1 cup monggo (mung beans)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 small white onion
  • 2 pcs. small tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ lb. pork, diced
  • 2 tbsps. patis (fish sauce)
  • 1 tbsp. hibi (dried shrimp)
  • 4-5 cups water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a handful of dahon ampalaya (bitter gourd leaves)
  • crushed chicharon (pork cracklings), for toppings (optional)
  • 2 tbsps. cooking oil

  1. In a heavy-bottomed pot, bring the water to a boil. Add the mung beans and cook for about 40 minutes or until the beans are soft and mushy. Using a huge colander, separate the mung beans from the liquid. Set aside the beans and the broth.
  2. In a large saucepan. Heat the cooking oil. Sauté the garlic and onion. 
  3. Add the pork and fish sauce. Continue to cook until the pork turns light brown.
  4. Add tomatoes and cook until wilted.
  5. Add the dried shrimp and stir well to combine.
  6. Gradually add the drained beans and sauté for about 2 minutes. Pour the broth and simmer over low to medium for about 8 minutes or until the desired thickness of the soup is achieved. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Add the bitter gourd leaves and remove from heat. Keep covered for 3 more minutes to cook the leaves with the residual heat. Top with crushed chicharon and serve with plenty of steamed rice. Enjoy!

**Number of Servings: 6

  1. If hibi is not available, you may substitute dried anchovies or tinapa flakes (smoked fish flakes).
  2. If there is no bitter gourd leaves, boost your greens by adding anything from spinach, watercress or malunggay (moringa leaves). Along with the leaves, bitter gourd fruit can also be added.
  3. Chicharon or pork cracklings are just optional but you can add crispy fried bacon as an alternative.