Monggo Guisado – Filipino Mung Bean Stew with Shrimp and Kale

There are certain dishes that take me back to when I was a kid and this recipe is one of them. It’s a simple stew consisting of mung beans, a small green bean native to India and popular in the Philippines for sweet and savory dishes. Mung beans are also where bean sprouts grow from. My mom would always add shrimp and leafy greens or bitter melon to the pot. I had some kale greens on hand which tastes just as delicious in this stew.

You also don’t have to pre-soak the mung beans which makes this recipe much easier. I like this stew a little creamy so I cook it a little longer, but cook to your desired consistency. For a vegetarian option, just omit the shrimp and fish sauce. Monggo guisado is typically served with smoked fish and tomatoes or steamed rice.

Saute onions, garlic and tomatoes. Add mung beans and water.

Add shrimp and cook for about 10 minutes. Then add greens.

Filipino Mung Bean Stew Recipe

  • 1 cup dried mung beans
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 5 cups water
  • 1-2 tablespoons fish sauce (patis), or salt to taste
  • 1/2 pound shrimp, cleaned with shell or no shell
  • 1 bunch greens, like spinach or kale (optional)

    In a large pot over medium-high heat, sauté garlic and onions in oil for about 3 minutes. Add chopped tomatoes and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the mung beans and water. Stir and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to a simmer and cover pot. Cook for about an hour or until mung beans are soft to your liking. Add more water if the stew is too thick. Add shrimp and fish sauce to the pot. You may need to adjust the fish sauce to your taste. Stir and cook for about 10 more minutes, until shrimp is cooked through. Stir in greens right before serving. Serve with steamed rice.

    Total Time: 70 minutes
    Yield: 6-8 servings
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    24 Responses to “Monggo Guisado – Filipino Mung Bean Stew with Shrimp and Kale”

    1. Susan Tang November 3, 2011 at 9:57 am #

      Want! I need to find the beans and patis in our neighborhood. Any idea where to pick them up> I have all the rest, including the kale. :0)

      • Barb November 3, 2011 at 10:10 am #

        Hey Susan! You can find them at Union Market or Whole Foods and Asian stores should carry them. I’ve had my patis for a while since you don’t have to use much and I always stock up on mung beans because I make this dish about every other week 😉

        • Susan Tang November 3, 2011 at 10:37 am #

          Awesome. I’ll go to Union in a couple of hours and get moving.

    2. Michelle November 7, 2011 at 8:37 pm #

      This is totally motivating me to finally cook the mung beans I’ve had in my pantry forever…

      • Barb November 7, 2011 at 9:04 pm #

        Haha, awesome Michelle! Let me know how it turns out.

    3. The Feed November 8, 2011 at 5:14 pm #

      Great post! Got to you via foodgawker. Check out The Feed – We are a new food content platform to submit your work – submit a post to generate more traffic and awareness to your site.

    4. April May 1, 2012 at 10:16 pm #

      It is in the making right now! Can’t wait to try it. I just didn’t have the fish sauce on hand. I love mung beans! I usually make it the same way using garlic, onion, tomatoes and mung beans but the difference is I add cooked pork or short ribs and once done add some coconut milk. So I am excited to try it with shrimp and spinach. Going to try it with and without coconut milk.

      • Barb May 2, 2012 at 9:55 am #

        Hi April – Can’t wait to hear how your mung beans turned out 🙂 My mom adds pork or bacon when she makes it too. I never had it with short ribs or coconut milk before, so I must try. It sounds great!

    5. Kimberly July 8, 2012 at 10:21 am #

      I love this dish! I’m going to share it with my Lola, she bought some kale on accident and doesn’t know what to do with it. Do you make pinakbet, too? Discovered your site yesterday – fantastic!

      • Barb July 8, 2012 at 10:09 pm #

        Thanks so much, Kimberly! I use any greens I have and mix it in, so good! Let me know what your Lola thinks. Yes I love pinakbet, my mom makes it a lot. I’ll have to post a recipe soon 🙂

    6. Angie Majeed October 6, 2012 at 9:32 am #

      Made this a couple of days ago and it was delicious. It tasted better and better every day. I put a lb. of shrimp and put spinach instead of kale but followed the recipe exactly otherwise. Thank you so much. I can’t wait to make it again soon

      This is one of my favorite Filipino dishes and I didn’t think I could ever make it. My husband and daughter loved it. Thanks.

      • Barb October 6, 2012 at 4:39 pm #

        Thanks for your comment! So glad your family enjoyed it 🙂 Oh, and you reminded me to make this soon, got me all hungry!

    7. Cynthia April 24, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

      Thank you for sharing this. This is one of my favorite dishes that my MIL makes for me. She uses pork belly & pork rinds. I’m happy to find a healthier version!

      • Barb April 24, 2013 at 5:00 pm #

        Same here, Cynthia! My mom adds ham or bacon sometimes. Thanks for commenting, I’m glad you found my page 🙂

    8. hitokirihoshi October 24, 2013 at 8:17 am #

      your pictures are enticing!!!

      I picky when it comes to vegetables but if munggo guisado is the viand. no question ask, i’ll all i want.

      Maybe i should add this in my wishlist.. to cook mung bean stew.


      • Barb October 24, 2013 at 8:29 am #

        Salamat 🙂 Thanks for the nice comment.

    9. Gemma January 10, 2014 at 12:49 pm #

      My mom made this with coconut milk. So delicious. I’m going to make it tonight but I’ll be using spinach since I don’t have any kale on hand.

      • Barb January 10, 2014 at 1:18 pm #

        Hi Gemma – Spinach will go perfectly instead of kale. I’ll have to try coconut milk next time, it sounds so good!

    10. Brenda January 26, 2014 at 5:13 pm #

      I like your recipe, it’s so simplified. I’m going to
      make it tonight but I’ll be adding some cubed
      kalabasas squash I like how it adds a little
      sweetness to soups.

      • Barb January 26, 2014 at 5:58 pm #

        Hi Brenda – I think I’ll add some next time, that sounds delicious!

    11. pinky August 31, 2014 at 4:14 pm #

      I am making mung bean stew for our potluck. I have kangkong and spinach for the greens. I also have tuna meat in a can and shrimp. I have coco milk too. Migh as well add lemon grass and ginger… should taste good. I made stew 2 weeks ago with same ingredients but without monggo and coco milk. I had malunggay though. Twas good! Just sharing. Pls check my website.

      • Barb September 3, 2014 at 8:59 am #

        Sounds great, Pinky! I actually made this recipe last night for my husband and I, we crave it often 😉 Will check out your site…

    12. Genie November 17, 2014 at 6:39 pm #

      I am so happy that you posted the recipe in exactly this way. I don’t often get to make Filipino dishes(still searching for the nearest longanisa purveyor) and this makes me miss my mom’s tinapa.

      • Barb November 17, 2014 at 10:56 pm #

        Hop you enjoy the recipe, Genie! 🙂

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