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Most people are familiar with black, pinto, or kidney beans, chickpeas and lentils. But what about mung beans? If you’re thinking, “Moo-what beans?” then it is time to get acquainted.

The mighty mung bean, (also known as moong beans,) are small green legumes that grow in pods. Mung beans have been cultivated for thousands of years in India, China, and Southeast Asia. When sprouted and cooked, mung beans have a hearty and wholesome flavor. Mung beans are packed with protein, potassium, fiber, magnesium, and B vitamins. Mung beans are also a good source of vitamin C.

Although mung bean sprouts are commonly found in grocery stores, many cuisines also use whole, cooked mung beans, as well as mung bean paste to make curries, soups and salads. Mung beans can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.

In the Kitchen

Sprouted mung beans cook quickly. In less than five minutes, you can either stir fry or steam them. After stir-frying or steaming, try adding some flavor.


Basic Mung Bean Stir-fry 

Cooking methods:

Stir-fry: in a hot pan, add 2 tsps oil (I like cold pressed oils such as coconut or sunflower)
Steaming- In a hot pan, add 1/8 cup water & sprouts and stir for 2-3 minutes until the color of the bean becomes more translucent
Blanching short-cut: Bring water to a rolling boil in an electric kettle or on the stove. Place mung beans in a large mixing bowl. Cover completley with boiling water and let sit for 3-5 minutes until the beans become translucent. Drain water, rinse beans with cold water and use as desired.


Basic flavoring: 
– 1 cup cooked mung beans
– Lemon or lime to taste (sour element)
– Salt to taste
– Chili to taste (you can use either fresh chopped chilies or red chili powder)

Add-ons: (you can add all of them or select a few)

1/4 cup chopped red onion (red, yellow, or green)
1/4 cup chopped tomato
1/4 cup roasted peanuts
1/4 cup crushed corn chips
1/4 cup chopped cucumber
2-3 tsps extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped mint

You can eat the basic recipe asiti is or toss any or all of the add-on suggestions. The add-ons make it more complex and interesting. We eat this dish typically as an afternoon snack, but I also will serve this with lunch as a side dish or have the basic recipe with my eggs.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and I look forward to your comments 🙂
– Manju

Further Reading