Freeman Cebu Lifestyle

Hot monggo soup

Carlo Rivera - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines – There’s a popular practice in the Philippine countryside to serve monggo soup to participants of a communal activity that requires physical strength. A good example is when, in the old days, the men in the community were tasked to move a whole house from one location to another. The widespread belief in the monggo soup to boost physical power persists to this day in many parts of the country.

Monggo Soup consists of mashed pre-boiled monggo beans cooked with spices and water. Several enhancements have since been made to the basic recipe, owing to the ingenuity of those assigned in the Pinoy kitchen in using whatever other ingredients are available. One variation uses coconut milk instead of plain water. Another adds meats and vegetables to the dish.

Following is a Cebuano recipe of Monggo Soup that uses coconut milk or “tunò”:

Tinunoang Monggos


• 1 cup mashed pre-cooked Monggo beans

• 2 1/2 cups coconut milk

• 2 1/2 cups water

• 1 tbsp Garlic, crushed

• 1 bulb Onion, sliced to several pieces

• Cooking Oil

• Salt

Cooking procedures:

1. Heat cooking oil in a wok or pot to sautee garlic and onion until brown.

2. Put in monggo beans, mix into sautéed spices, and simmer for 3 minutes.

3. Add water and let boil.

4. Add the coconut milk, stirring a bit, for consistency.

5. Add salt to taste.

This recipe serves 3 to 5 persons.

The above recipe may be considered as a little enhanced already. The most basic Monggo Soup does not even require the spices to be sautéed in oil prior and only plain water is used.  The mashed pre-cooked monggo beans are simply added to boiling water, stirred a bit, the crushed spices added, and then salt is added to attain the desired taste.

In areas where vegetables are abundant (right from backyard gardens), vegetables are often added, especially alugbate, kangkong and malunggay. Among the coastal communities, smoked or dried fish are added, as well. In the same manner, small chunks of meat or chicken may also be used.

There’s another variation that makes use of a generous amount of kalabasa (quash) to the mix. Still another variation tops the soup with crushed chicharon (pork rind crackling) upon serving. Monggo soup is best served hot.

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