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Monggo Guisado with Malunggay, Squash and Sardines

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We needed a wholesome change to our meals after the holidays, so I cooked Monggo Guisado with Malunggay, Squash, and Sardines. This was a pretty simple dish to make.

When cooking with monggo, one needs to plan ahead. Pre-boiling the monggo beans takes about 35  minutes for it to soften to a nearly mushy, soft texture. You can tell the boiled monggo beans are ready to be sautéed once you sense the earthy aroma of the beans coming from the simmering stockpot. However, to make life easier, I have found ways to cook monggo in the Instant Pot multicooker/pressure cooker. I have an easy recipe in my cookbook Instant Filipino Recipes. And I also shared how to on this post. 

Here in America, I buy a large bag of dried monggo from the Asian market. It is convenient to have around all year long. Knowing I have a bag of monggo in my pantry assures me we have vegetables I can cook any time. The dried beans stay on the shelf long enough for me to get a good mileage out of it. One bag of about 2 to 3 pounds can yield many simmering bowls of monggo guisado.

After cooking, you won’t be able to resist the sautéed aromatic  monggo mixture  with garlic, onions, tomatoes and bagoong (shrimp paste) combined with the soft cubes of kabocha squash, and silky malunggay (moringa) leaves. Add the salty sardines on top and you can thank me later. Pour everything on a mound of steamed rice and you will know what sheer comfort truly means.

Monggo Guisado with Malunggay, Squash and Sardines

The classic Monggo Guisado is a popular Filipino all-in-one vegetable dish that can be a side or main course served with rice. I added wholesome ingredients like malunggay (moringa) leaves, kabocha squash cubes, and sardines to the saute. It was a hearty, and refreshing change after the holidays. This is an Asian in America recipe by Elizabeth Ann Quirino.
*I shared how to cook this in 2 alternative ways: either on the stovetop or the Instant Pot.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time55 minutes
Total Time1 hour 25 minutes
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Vegetables
Cuisine: Asian, Filipino
Keyword: Monggo Guisado Malunggay Squash and Sardines
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 12kcal
Author: Asian in America - Elizabeth Ann Quirino


  • 1 stockpot, large; for cooking stovetop
  • 1 medium-sized bowl
  • 1 Instant Pot multicooker; for high pressure cooking (option 2)


  • 1 cup dried monggo (mung beans)
  • 3 cups water; for pre-soaking monggo
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 whole onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled, minced
  • ½ teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 whole large fresh tomato, sliced
  • 1 cup kalabasa (kabocha squash) cubes
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 Tablespoon bagoong (shrimp paste)
  • 1 cup frozen malunggay (moringa) leaves
  • 1 can (4 3/8 oz./ 125g) sardines in olive oil; about 4 pieces, drained
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

For serving:

  • steamed rice


To prepare monggo (mung beans):

  • In a bowl filled with water, soak the dried monggo beans for 30 minutes.

To boil the monggo and kabocha squash:

  • In a stockpot, pour the water used for soaking. Add the monggo and cubed kabocha squash.
    Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Keep covered and continue cooking for 35 minutes till monggo and squash are soft.
    Reserve the water for the saute. Remove both vegetables and water from the stockpot and set aside.

To saute the Monggo Guisado :

  • After removing the water and vegetables, use the same stockpot. Dry the inside with paper towels.
    Over medium-high heat, add the vegetable oil. When oil is hot enough, saute the onions, garlic and ginger. Add the tomatoes. Saute till soft.
    To the stockpot, add the boiled monggo and squash cubes.
    Pour 1 to 2 cups broth (water reserved from cooking).
  • Add the b.agoong (shrimp paste) and blend ingredients. Continue cooking for 8 minutes more, on low heat, for flavors to set.
    Lastly, add the malunggay leaves and blend with the rest of the vegetables.
    Season with ground black pepper. Top with the sardines.
    Serve warm with rice.

To cook Monggo Guisado in the Instant Pot (option 2)

  • Soak the dried monggo beans in a bowl with 3 cups water for 30 minutes.
    Preheat the Instant Pot by selecting the Saute function on the keypad.
    When the inside pot is hot, pour the vegetable oil. Saute the onions, garlic and ginger. Add tomatoes and saute till soft.
    Click Cancel to turn off Saute.
    Combine the monggo, squash, and 3 cups water beans soaked in. Add 1 cup of water to the mixture. Add the bagoong. Season with black pepper.
    Close and lock the lid. Set the valve to Sealing.
    Select Manual + High Pressure + 15 minutes. When cooking is done, do a quick release. Carefully open the lid.
    Add the malunggay leaves. Stir and return cover. Allow residual heat to cook the leaves for 5 minutes.
    Unlock and open the lid. Add sardines to the top of the monggo.
    Serve warm with rice.
    *Note: It takes 17 to 20 minutes for the Instant Pot to preheat before High Pressure cooking time begins. For more information, consult the manual.

Cook's comments:

  • Dried monggo (mung beans) and the bagoong (shrimp paste) can be found in Asian markets or online sources.
    When cooking, monggo beans tend to absorb the liquid quickly. Watch the stockpot or else the monggo can burn if liquid is totally gone. Be mindful of this and add 1/2 to 1 cup more of water if liquid starts to evaporate.


Serving: 100g | Calories: 12kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 940mg | Potassium: 2mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 501IU | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 1mg

Notes on Nutrition: The nutrition information provided  in the recipe links is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.

Copyright Notice: Hello, Friends! Please DO NOT LIFT OR PLAGIARIZE Asian in America recipes on this blog,  my original recipes, stories, photos or videos. All the images and content on this blog are COPYRIGHT PROTECTED and owned by my media company Besa-Quirino LLC by Elizabeth Ann Quirino. This means BY LAW you are NOT allowed to copy, scrape, lift, frame, plagiarize or use my photos, essays, stories and recipe content on your websites, books, films, television shows, videos, without my permission. If you wish to republish this recipe or content on media outlets mentioned above, please ASK MY PERMISSION, or re-write it in your own words and link back to my blog AsianInAmericaMag.com to give proper attribution. It is the legal thing to do. Thank you. Email me at [email protected]

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