Given that mung rhymes with bovine excrement, these beans have not enjoyed much success outside of California. I’m confident this is about to change (so long as the tinned varieties are avoided, along with any inappropriate childhood songs).
Mung are a cheap food, containing a whole library of super-seismic nutrients. Each teeny green bean is a centre of nourishment. Mung may not be as sexy as blueberries or raw chocolate, but they’re sure to keep your brain cells on speaking terms with you. These beans will also help keep your ticker tocking with generous supplies of magnesium, potassium, bioflavonoids and homocysteine-lowering B vitamins. No big deal, unless you’re mortal.
Meaty Mung & Mushroom Burgers
There’s an underground cult fomenting. And I found it. Cosmic food, beautiful people, heady atmosphere – all wrapped up in a private dining room on one of Dublin’s most historic streets. Living Dinners may be gone by the time you read this. It’s a unique pop-up venture showcasing raw foods with a playful twist. And stunning looking staff. It’s only a matter of time before some clever celebrity finds out, and monopolises the head chef’s talent.
Here’s one of the recipes I wrangled out of the pop-up’s creator, Katie Sanderson. They’re veggie burgers that defiantly fill that meaty void. Given our understandable embargo on beef burgers this summer, we’ll be sipping Sangria with these guys. I threw in an extra few mushrooms and capers, but only because I have a deficit in obedience. They worked out well. Mustard, gherkins and Bell X1 obviously compulsory.
1 cup dried mung beans
3 cups seasoned water or stock
3 Portobello mushrooms, chopped up
2 red onions, chopped up
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2-3 tablespoons of tamari soya sauce
½ cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup walnuts
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons capers
A few turns of the salt & pepper mill
Handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
Cook the mung beans in water for about 20-30 min or until cooked. Drain in a sieve and allow to dry for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, get grooving with the remaining ingredients.
Sauté the onions on a low heat in a little olive oil until glassy and translucent. Add the garlic, and stir briskly for 1 minute to avoid it catching the bottom of the pan. Transfer to a plate.
Now sauté the mushrooms with another splash of olive oil. After they have picked up some colour but still have some cooking time add 1 of the tablespoons of tamari and finish cooking. Add to the plate of onions resting on the side.
In a Magi Mix or food processor, blitz the sunflower seeds and walnuts until they look like breadcrumbs. Tip in the remaining ingredients, including the cooked foods. Don’t forget to add more tamari soya sauce. Blitz, taste, and adjust the seasoning to your preference. The mixture will be smooth and easily roll-able. Use an ice cream scoop to measure out the bean pattie, and flatten a little. If the mix seems too wet (which can happen if the beans are overcooked), just add more milled sunflower seeds.
Since everything is already cooked in the burger, it’s more a means of heating it up. Pan-frying on a grill pan is the quickest, and will give those groovy griddle lines across the burger. So too will BBQs. You could also try oven-baking at a high temperature, or placing directly under a hot grill.