Mung beans are a great ingredient to explore. They’re incredibly versatile, nutritious, and quick to cook. A favorite way to use them is in this creamy textured mung bean dip. Swap in mung beans for the chickpeas you would use in a traditional hummus — that’s the basic idea. You see the mung bean dip here next to a tangle of just-baked whole wheat pita strips topped with shallot oil (leftover from this), crispy shallot bits, fresh chives, and za'atar. So good. I enjoyed this bowl with one of my favorite cooks, Tina Dang.
Mung Bean Basics
Look for mung beans (tiny, bright green) in the dried food bins of natural food markets, Whole Foods, and the like. It’s not mandatory to soak them prior to cooking. Although, you can sprout them in the day or two prior to using, if you plan ahead, for added nutritional boost. Then proceed with the recipe as written. Below you see the mung beans after a round in the food processor.
In the days that follow, leftover mung bean dip is spread on thinly toasted bread, topped with ripe avocado (and more za'atar). And with the last of it, I like to thicken it up with some breadcrumbs and a bit of egg. Shaped into little patties, they’re wonderful pan-fried.
Toasted Pita Strips
I include my method for making these toasted pita strips (below) along with the mung bean dip recipe below. It's nested into the base of the recipe.
More Mung Bean Recipes
More Dip Recipes
Mung Bean Dip
Took cook the mung beans cover about 1 cup of dried mung beans with an inch or so of water. Boil until tender, 20 minutes or so (usually), and drain off any extra water. Add more water if needed along the way.
- 1 1/2 cups / 7 1/2 oz cooked mung beans
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 cup / 120 ml tahini
- 1 large clove garlic, peeled & smashed
- 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- ~1/3 cup water
- To serve (any or all of the following): shallot or olive oil drizzle, fried shallots, minced chives, zaatar, baked pita strips*
Start by adding the mung beans to a food processor and pulse until a fine, fluffy crumb develops, really go for it - at least a minute. Scrape the bean paste from the corners once or twice, then add the lemon juice, tahini, garlic, and sea salt. Blend again, another minute or so. Don't skimp on the blending time, but stop if the beans form a dough ball inside the processor.
At this point start adding the water a splash at a time. Blend, blend, blend until the hummus is smooth and light, aerated and creamy. Taste, and adjust to your liking - adding more lemon juice or salt, if needed.
Serve with as many of the following as you like: shallot, lemon, or olive oil, fried shallots, chives, and/or za’atar. It's great with toasted whole wheat pita or naan chips.*
Makes about 2 cups.
*Cut (or tear) whole wheat pita bread (or naan bread) into strips, wedges, or chunks. Toss well with a few glugs of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt. Arrange a single layer on a baking sheet and bake at 350°F until deeply golden, tossing once or twice along the way.