Friday, 8 March 2013

Chinese Green Mung Bean Soup

The Chinese believe that everybody's body is a combination of the 'yin' (cold) and the 'yang' (hot). The Chinese have a habit of drinking a bowl of cold sweet mung bean soup everyday. It is a 'cold' (yin energy) dessert which can cool down your system during the hot weather.

Beans are naturally rich in protein, fiber, good carbohydrates, calcium, phosphorus, iron and vitamins.

According to traditional Chinese medicine, these tiny green beans, when made into soup or congee is able to expel toxins from our body! As the mung beans are the 'yin' (cold), they help greatly in dispelling internal heat, promote urination and relieve hot weather ailments and rashes!

I am a 'yang' person. I get heaty very easily. Just 2 minutes under the scorching sun, and I will feel as though I am a dragon, breathing fire out from my mouth. I will get ulcers. And I will feel as though a great, big ball of fire is inside me, burning me from inside out. Even my eyeballs feel as though they are on fire!

Before the anaphylaxis attack, I could eat all sorts of food. Ginger included. A dish cooked with ginger would induce a sore throat the very night!

Thus, I would go for all sorts of 'cooling' food to cool my body down.

This is one of the dishes that helps me 'cool down'.



1. 250gm of dried mung beans
2. 1 cup of sago
3. Approximately 6 litres of water
4. 1 1/2 cup of soft brown sugar


1. Soak the mung beans in hot boiling water for about 1/2 hour. Alternately, you could soak it overnight in the fridge.

2. Rinse the mung beans.

3. Pour the 6 litres of water into a large pot. You could use a pressure cooker, or slow cooker. I used my multi-purpose electronic rice pot which has the soup function.

4. Add the mung beans and sago into the pot.

5. Boil on high heat for 1/2 hour and medium low for the next 1/2 hour.

6. Stir it and add the soft brown sugar.

7. You can continue to boil it until the beans have softened and broken up.

8. You can either serve it hot or allow it to cool to room temperature. You can even chill it in the fridge and have a cold dessert!

Bon appétit!

Note: Many people add screwpine leaf or pandan leaf to this dessert. They tie the leaves into a bundle and throw it in and boil it together with the dessert. This plant is known as the 'vanilla of the east'. It will give this dessert a very aromatic smell. That being said, I do not know whether it has salicylates or not. Be careful if you wish to experiment with it.


  1. I've never heard of sago. Interesting. I would think adding sugar to the beans would negate the cooling effect since sugar is inflammatory which would cause heat.

    I'm supposed to eat/drink cooling things, too. Easier to do during the summer when so many fruits are ripe.

    1. I've never heard of sugar to be the cause of heat! Interesting point to read up on. Sago dessert is yummy!

      Read here:

    2. Sago is tapioca, I'm pretty sure. Mung bean soup was mentioned as a remedy for the heat during an NPR story about the heat wave in Shanghai. I did a search for a recipe, and was surprised to find that the soup is sweet, not salty? Is there a salty mung bean soup recipe that's good for the heat? Thanks for the recipe.

    3. Though the appearance of both of them are similar, sago comes from the middle part of the trunk of the sago palm. Where else, tapioca comes from the tuber of cassava or manioc crop.

      I have never tried a salty version of the mung bean soup. Maybe you could try and see how it tastes. Good luck! :)

  2. From what I've read, white sugar can be inflammatory but brown or rock sugar is cooling. That's why they use brown/rock sugar for these soup. Like someone else said, if u use white sugar, it'll taste slightly sour and sour is a sign of heat/inflammatory. (Rock sugar is a form of brown sugar)