Mung beans

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Mung beans
Hulled mung beans

Mung Beans are dark, olive-green small round beans. They are yellow when the skin has been removed.

They are a classic sprouting beans, but can be cooked like other pulses. Boil for 30-40 minutes until soft. When cooked, they are sweet and slightly nutty and earthy in taste; their flavour is stronger than most lentils.

To sprout beans:

Put 2 tbsp of mung beans in a sieve and rinse with warm water until clean. Then tip the clean mung beans into a sprouter or clean jar and cover with water. Cover neck of jar with muslin and secure with an elastic band. Turn the jar upside down to let out the excess water. Store in a warm, dark place, rinsing and draining the sprouts at least once per day. They will be ready to eat in 4-5 days and will keep fresh in a fridge for 3-4 days after that.

Or make a mung bean salad.


Beans last for a good length of time, but do toughen with age, so buy in smallish quantities. If you buy in bulk, check for dirt and insects as these are not uncommon and should be anticipated. Store somewhere dark and cool, and free from potential insect contamination.

Further reading

  • Christian, G. (2005) Real Flavours: the handbook of gourmet & deli ingredients, Grub Street. ISBN 1904943209.
  • Stobart, T. (1981) The Cook's Encyclopedia: ingredients & processes, Harper & Row. ISBN 0060141271.