Serendipity, Thy Name is Munggo Guisado

Sometimes, I get the feeling that the universe is telling me to cook something specific. The chances that I actually get to do it without leaving the house is so rare, I tell you!

Last week I attended a wedding and I got to take home some Spanferkel (aka as Lechon or a whole roast pig). I promptly turned that into the goodness that is Lechon Kawali, one of the fattiest Flipino leftover dishes out there. Boiled, then air-dried lechon belly/skin, deep fried to a crisp.

But I still had crispy leftovers. What to do?

Nothing beats a stew in a cold and rainy day, so I made some comfort food: Munggo Guisado. That is Mung bean stew, which basically is our version of lentil soup.

Doesn’t look like much, but that’s Filipino comfort food right here.

I had a pack of mung beans, so I rinsed and then soaked a cup of that in water for an hour. After that, I boiled the beans for 30 minutes.  Sautée two cloves of crushed garlic and one chopped medium sized onion in three tablespoons of oil I saved from the deep fried lechon. I had some pork chops in the fridge, so I took one slab out and chopped it into 1 inch by 2 inch cubes, and put that in too.

Filipinos eat tomatoes slightly underripe because we like our tomatoes sour, and luckily I just saved some of my tomatoes from the cold autumn air on my balcony. I chopped one of them into quarters, stirred it two to three times, and added the drained mung beans into it.

I saved the stock I made from boiling the lechon and put half a cup of the lechon water into the pot and I let it simmer for 10 minutes on medium-low heat.

I still had a single tatsoi plant and a thai basil plant freezing to its death on my balcony. I harvested those, along with some Italian basil and cilantro leaves. Chopped them to shreds, and shredded the leftover pork from the lechon/Spanferkel. Throw them in at the end, add about a tablespoon of fish sauce, et Viola!

I always add salt and pepper all throughout the cooking process, and not just during one specific time, to get a good layering of flavor. Using leftover oil and lechon stock was amazing, as it echoed the pork that was in the stew.

I ate this with steamed rice. And ate it like a Filipino 🙂


4 thoughts on “Serendipity, Thy Name is Munggo Guisado

  1. That sounds scrumptious!

    I wish I had Thai basil plants I could count on to deliver (or cilantro, for that matter — our plants always die quickly). I had to look up tatsoi on Wikipedia — I’d never heard of it before. What’s the flavor like?

  2. Hi Cliff, nice seeing you here! The best that I could describe it is that it is a blander version of mustard leaves.. It is used widely in Asia as a kind of spinach, and the young leaves can be eaten raw. the great thing about it is that even the stems are tender enough for eating, no need to cut them out. They are a relative of Pak Choi, part of the brassica family (broccoli).

    Really sad to hear about your cilantro/Thai Basil. I was lucky that I had one plant live out of the three that I planted, no problems with Cilantro. Have you tried seeding them in a small greenhouse before re-planting or using soil from a potting mix?

  3. I’m sure it due to the fact that our apartment gets very little sunlight. We’ve got shade on all sides.

    By small greenhouse, do you mean something window-sill-sized? Because that’s about all the space I can I offer any plants!

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