Filipino Mongo Guisado is one of my favorite dishes because besides being gluten-free, this dish is hearty, flavorful, and mung beans are a good plant-based protein option. Here's 4 health benefits of mung beans. Here's a simple recipe if you'd like to make this dish at home. For now, I enjoy mom's cooking! Mongo Guisado is commonly served in Filipino restaurants as well.
A vegan version of this dish can be made but without the pork and fish sauce, this mung beans dish lose it's Asian flair and to me becomes a completely different dish.
Traditionally, Mongo Guisado is made with spinach and I've seen some Western versions using kale, but mom made this version using Bitter Melon leaves which I didn't know you could eat.
At one of our local farmer's markets, many of the vendors sell Asian produce and here is what Bitter Melon leaves look like stacked on a farmer's market table. I found a bundle that had a couple small melons on the leaves. See them? They look like lizard scaly pickles.
There are both health benefits and a few health precautions eating Bitter Melon leaves. Mom likes them because these leaves have health benefits for diabetics in helping to lower blood sugar. Bitter Melon leaves also have anti-cancer health benefits.
As far as taste goes, these leaves are bitter indeed. I'm indifferent about Bitter Melon leaves as they make a unique flavor twist on a dish, but the bitterness is definitely an acquired taste.
Have you tried Bitter Melon leaves? What's your experience, and what dish did you eat them in?