Cheap and healthy, the mung bean is the solution to s t r e t c h i n g the budget. It can be eaten as a soup or main dish.

This recipe serves 6 persons.


  • 3/4 cup mung beans– soak in water for 1 hour and drain
  • 200 grams pork belly – sliced into ½-inch by 1-inch bits
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 10 garlic cloves – peel and leave whole
  • 1 whole onion – coarsely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf (laurel)
  • 8 cups water or chicken or pork broth
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sautéed shrimp paste or 3 pieces finely chopped anchovies
  • 1 pork seasoning cube (Knorr)
  • salt to taste – start with ½ teaspoon
  • 1 cup baby spinach leaves or talbos ng ampalaya (bitter melon shoots) or malunggay leaves


  1. Using a 10 cup saucepan, sauté garlic and onion with oil, over low-medium flame, until the onion is translucent.
  2. Add shrimp paste and stir for 1 minute.
  3. Drop in the pork belly and continue sautéing for 3 minutes.
  4. Add the mungbeans and mix.
  5. Pour in water and add bay leaf and pork seasoning cube.
  6. Simmer over low fire until the mung beans and pork are tender.
  7. Season with pepper and salt.
  8. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
  9. When almost ready to serve, mix in the baby spinach leaves.
  10. Serve.
  11. Also goes well with steamed white rice.