The Mighty Mung - 9th March 2013

Post date: 14-Feb-2013 01:59:12

My sister hates peas. So when I saw a poster about a “pea party” hosted by an interesting sounding chap called NormanLovesSoup, it really made me laugh.

I wondered if we might also do a pea-themed evening, but I really couldn’t work up any enthusiasm about pea and ham soup. And what about dessert? Then I remembered some Malaysian dessert recipes that included “green pea flour”. Actually, it’s not the same pea they’re talking about, it’s Mung Beans.

Now we’re cooking. Mung beans are quite something. Super-healthy, like all legumes, they're mainly protein not carbohydrate - so you can eat to your heart's content and not feel too guilty. They originated in Mongolia and spread throughout Asia. Apart from being the smallest bean in the legume family, they are incredibly versatile. Have you ever had glass noodles? They’re made from mung. The clue is in the name, “bean thread”. How they’re made and why they’re transparent is beyond me. Bean sprouts? Mung bean shoots. My mum used to grow them in the airing cupboard on kitchen paper when we lived in Abu Dhabi and couldn‘t buy anything Chinese, so I have intimate knowledge of them - I can almost smell them now. Those sprouted bean mixes, supposedly so healthy for you - got a good helping of mung. The Indians love them too - one of the best dals I cook is a Moong dal from Gujarat. This “green gram“ is apparently highly prized in Ayurvedic medicine. And it doesn’t even stop there - peel them and grind them up with sugar, and they make tasty fillings for mochi-type Malaysian Kuehs.

Now you’re going to think I’m really mad. So - do you dare join my world of food mania? I recently tried out a really excellent Vietnamese glass noodle recipe that will be the star of the party, but I think we can really go the whole mung here.

Red Tortoise Cake or Ang Ku Kuih... stuffed with sweet mung bean paste

On the menu will be:

Thai spring rolls with glass noodles and dipping sauce

Kong Namul (Korean bean sprout salad, which dates back to the Three Kingdom period)

Moong Dal - a delicious dal recipe from the mother of a Gujerati friend

Gado Gado - a Javanese vegetable salad with a very tangy dressing of shrimp paste, tamarind and peanuts

Oyster pancake with bean sprouts (speciality of Fujian province in China) - this is amazing, and have you ever had cooked oysters?

Vietnamese glass noodles with pork, prawn and peanuts

Sprouted mung bean salad

Ginisang Monggo - a Filipino recipe with prawns

Ang Ku Kueh - “Red Tortoise Cakes” steamed glutinous rice cakes stuffed with sweetened mung bean paste. Guilt-free, there's no fat!

Kachang Hijau - (literally: "grean peas") an Indonesian soup-dessert cooked with, you guessed it, mung beans, coconut milk and palm sugar. Delish!

Cost will be £45 of which £35 will go direct to Medecins Sans Frontieres.

Please mail us with bookings on

We will be teaching a lesson based on this menu on Friday 15th March, cost will be £50 including a donation to MSF, for more details click here. Come and learn delicious and healthy low-carb recipes!