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Apr 12, 2000 05:17 PM

"Green beans" in Filipino cuisine?

  • j

Today at lunch, I ordered Ginisang Mongo, which was described on the menu as consisting of "green beans, bitter melon, spinach and shrimp". When it arrived it seemed more like lentils, bitter melon, spinach and shrimp; but as I ate it I thought, No, those don't taste quite like lentils. Could it be that they were pips of the legume we call green beans? It seems to me like shucking green beans would be (a) a huge amount of work and (b) very wasteful. If you know what the ingredient in question is, please share your knowledge.

Bonus question: is "bitter melon" actually a melon? It looks a lot like cucumber (which may for all I know be a melon) and has a flavor that knocked my socks off.

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  1. Mongo = mung beans, which are like little green beebees. Not our green (string) beans, just beans that are green. Sounds like a great dish -- where did you eat it?

    Melons, cukes, gourds are all related, biologically I think, hence the melon in the bitter melon.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Alan Divack

      Yup, they're all curcurbits.

      1. re: Barb. H.


        Love that word! The only other time I've seen it used was on page 80 of *Gravity's Rainbow*, one of many food-related passages in the book:

        On he goes, gabbing, gabbing, recipes for preparing beets in a hundred tasty ways, or such cucurbitaceous improbabilities as Ernest Pudding's Gourd Surprise...

    2. see the attached filipino veg link, with descriptions and pictures of monggo and bitter melon, along with volumes of other info, links and recipes.


      1 Reply