Mung bean porridge – Bubur Kacang Hijau
Mung beans are hip again and can be found everywhere. In the vegan kitchen, they are used a lot. Have you ever eaten mung beans? Probably! Because they are bean sprouts. Or better put: mung beans are the beans where bean sprouts are grown from. Here I’ve made you a mung bean porridge recipe or in Indonesian: bubur kacang hijau.
Every month I make a favorite dish for one of Dutch Indo magazine Moesson readers. Through facebook fans let me know which dish they would like to have the recipe for. I research and experiment and create an accessible and authentic recipe as possible.
This month I got a question from the drummer of the (Indo) band The Street Rollers: Buddy Woudenberg. He told me that his mother used to make porridge that he loves: bubur kacang hijau. He no longer has the recipe, but he would like to make it again himself.
Makingmung bean porridge is not difficult, but due to the pre-soaking of the beans, it needs some planning. The beans have to soak for 12 hours.
Mung Bean Porridge recipe
This mung bean porridge recipe is enough for 4-5 portions and ready in 1 hour and 10 minutes (without pre-soaking).
- 175 dry mung beans
- 50 grams gula Jawa
- 50 grams regular sugar
- 100 ml coconut milk (or more as a sauce for serving)
- 5 pandan leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 450 ml of water
- 10 cm fresh ginger root
Pre-soaking the beans is important otherwise it will take too long before they are done. I let my 175 grams soak for 12 hours.
They grow a lot bigger after 12 hours in water. Above you see the same amount of beans!
Now we can get started. The beans can be placed in the pan. I add 350 ml of water. Not all the 450 ml of water because we need the last 100 ml at the end. I use the water in which the beans have been soaked and add more until it is 350 ml.
I have peeled my piece of ginger and thawed my pandan leaves so I can make a knot in them. This way they sit well between the beans. I use 3 leaves for the beans.
Pandan leaves I buy from the freezer at an Asian food store. They are super tasty coconut-scented leaves that come from a special palm. Pandan is widely used in desserts, but also in savory dishes. For example to wrap around chicken breast and stew it in coconut.
I also get gula Jawa at the Asian store. Gula Jawa is sugar from Java that is extracted from the nectar of the palm flower. It is sold in hard discs. I just did not have enough so I added a block of ordinary palm sugar to make it 50 grams. There is also 50 grams of ordinary sugar.
I notice in many kacang hijau recipes that they do not use the full 100 grams of gula Jawa, but add half the amount white sugar. The porridge will otherwise become too dark.
The half teaspoon of salt can be added and the lid can go on the pan. I bring the beans to the boil and then turn the gas down so that it can simmer very quietly. Occasionally (once every 10 minutes) I stir everything so it can not stick to the bottom.
It starts to smell tremendously delicious in the kitchen! The intention is that the beans become tender and that takes quite a long time.
In the meantime, I warm up the coconut milk with half a cup of water (my coconut milk is quite thick).
I add two pandan leaves and a pinch of salt into the coconut milk and warm it up. When I see a few bubbles (it boils), I stir everything and turn the gas off. I let my coconut milk sit with the lid on. The pandan leaves had the time to give off their amazing flavor.
Simmer for 50 minutes
Back to the beans. After 50 minutes I see during a stirring session that some beans start to lose their skins.
Most of the moisture has been absorbed or evaporated and the pandan leaves have lost all their sturdiness.
Now the rest of the water can be added (100 ml). Now in the last 10 minutes, the beans can really turn into a porridge and not become too dry.
For the last few minutes, I continue to stir everything on medium heat. The extra water starts to evaporate and lots of beans lose their skins and start to break.
Now I taste (carefully because it is blazing hot!) Everything has become nice and tender, even the skins.
Rest for 2o minutes
I turn off the gas and let the porridge rest for a while, about 2o minutes. It is still too hot to eat and that makes the porridge even more porridge.
I scoop the beans into a large dish and pour over the re-heated coconut milk. Most beans have still retained their shape, but are buttery tender. I love that I still see what I eat. Do you want them even mushier, then just boil a little longer.
We add small amounts is smaller bowls to eat from. The porridge is quite heavy, but delicious. These mung beans are sweet beans now. The flavor of the pandan is everywhere just like the Javanese sugar. The salt is very important. That brings out the taste of the coconut and the sugar.
Buddy Woudenberg you are absolutely right. This is enak!
It is the perfect food for cold winter days, but also delicious for a warm tropical summer. Especially then your body needs good nutrition to cool. I will certainly make this more often.