Zero Waste Kitchen: A Recipe for (Don’t Laugh) Mung Bean Bread

Zero Waste Kitchen: A Recipe for (Don’t Laugh) Mung Bean Bread

Have we got all of the sniggers out of the way? Great. Yes, mung bean bread sounds a little… well, silly. It was my sister who first raved about it to me, and what can I say? I laughed and dismissed it. Mung bean bread?

Then, several months later, as I was lamenting what to do with all the mung beans in the pantry, she said again – make mung bean bread.

And I did, and it was delicious. So delicious that it has now become a staple, in fact.

I wanted to share the recipe with you because not only is it delicious (and good for you, and very affordable – mung beans are one of the cheapest legumes), but because it is always fun to do interesting things with regular ingredients.

Food is always an education. There’s always something new to learn. And when we learn, it is always fun to share.

The bulk stores are packed full of curious ingredients, which we often don’t buy because we have no idea how to cook them. Or we buy, and make the one recipe we know.

I’ve actually never cooked with mung beans before this. I sprout them, to make beansprouts. So making bread from mung beans was a revelation to me.

I think it serves as a great reminder to never judge food by its appearance (or a recipe by its name), and to always be willing to try new things.

And with that… mung bean bread!

Mung Bean Bread: A Recipe

This recipe is adapted from one by Jasmine Hemsley from her cookbook (which my sister owns and loves). I’ve chosen fresh ingredients over dried, missed out a few things with unpronounceable names – I decided if I didn’t know what they were, they weren’t worth including! – and tweaked how I prep it.

You’ll need to soak the mung beans for a good while before you make the bread (I’ll cover this in a sec), but once the soaking is done it’s pretty quick from there.

Ingredients:

  • 250g mung beans (sometimes called moong beans)
  • 1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped rosemary
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 120ml warm water
  • 1/2 tsp bicarb/sodium bicarbonate/baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Method:

First, place the mung beans in a bowl and cover with plenty of water, and leave at room temperature. They will start to swell pretty quickly. Soak the mung beans like this for at least 24 hours – when you start to notice little bubbles of gas, change the water. I soak mine for closer to 48 hours.

Next, drain and rinse and then place is a blender. Bonus points for picking out the unsprouted still-hard beans – there will be a few. Add finely chopped garlic and rosemary, and blend until a paste.

Now pre-heat the oven to 180°C. I use a silicone loaf tin and muffin cases which don’t need lining or greasing, but if you’re using regular bakeware (a round 20 cm tin or a loaf tin are ideal) line with paper or grease to the max.

In a separate bowl, mix together the warm water, olive oil, salt and bicarb. Finally, add the lemon juice – it will fizz as soon as it is added. Stir quickly, pour into the blender and mix with the mung bean paste. Pour the mix into the prepared baking tins and pop in the oven.

Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is golden.

This bread tastes best straight from the oven and within the first 24 hours, but will keep for 3-4 days. Serve warm, but store in fridge after the first day.

A Variation: Adzuki Bean Bread

I pretty much believe that recipes exist to be tweaked and experimented on. I was really keen to see if something similar to mung bean bread can be made with other types of beans.

Adzuki beans are little red beans a bit larger than mung beans. It turns out, they take far, far longer to soak. Mine took 4 days to sprout. On the plus side, their sprout success rate is was 100%, so no picking the hard ones out.

Aside from increasing the soaking time, the other ingredients and timings were unchanged. The resulting bread had a glorious purple hue.

As with mung bean bread, tastes best on the first day, but will keep for up to four days.

Now I’d love to hear from you! Do you have any go-to mung bean recipes? If so, I’d love to hear them! What about any – it-doesn’t-sound-like-it-should-work-but-it-does recipes? Hit me with the weirdest (in a good way) things you’ve come across. Or, if your stuck with an ingredient, let’s see if we can come up with some ideas. Share your thoughts below!

How to Make Mung Bean Bread (and Adzuki Bean Bread) from Treading My Own Path | Zero Waste + Plastic-Free Living | Less waste, less stuff, sustainable living, eco-friendly choices. Plant-based recipe, gluten-free bread, what to cook with mung beans, moong recipe, homemade, plastic-free cooking, zero waste kitchen, zero waste cooking, reducing trash in the kitchen, dairy free baking. More ideas at https://treadingmyownpath.com

30 Responses to Zero Waste Kitchen: A Recipe for (Don’t Laugh) Mung Bean Bread

  1. Brilliant Lindsay. thankyou. I have 2 jars of these beans languishing in my pantry bewildering me with what to with them next. And how special to serve up purple bread….that should start an interesting conversation with folks who think I am a bit of a nutter with my health and zero waste choices. thanks

  2. This sounds perfect! I can’t tolerate wheat, but bought gluten free bread is highly processed and not that healthy either. We eat a lot of pulses and I think I will like this A LOT
    Will let you know how I get on ( in a couple of days)

  3. I have lived in Bali for over 30yrs and the Balinese make a lovely mung bean breakfast porridge. I think it’s simply soaking then cooking the mung beans in water till tender with fresh pandan leaves if you can get your hands on them (or vanilla if you can’t) then adding some fresh coconut milk, palm sugar, and a pinch of salt.

    • I’ve been making mung bean porridge actually Caroline but with the mung dahl (so split and skins removed, they are also yellow in colour). Mine has ginger and turmeric in it. I keep seeing things about pandan leaves recently. I wonder if I can track down a plant!

  4. Hi Lindsay,
    Thanks for the recipe, I was thinking it would be more like a bread that you slice and use as a sandwich base or pop in the toaster but I see you cut it into wedges, how do you serve and eat it? Fi

    • Hi Fiona, it’s probably more like a loaf or a cake than a bread, except it is savoury so still works as a vessel for toppings like avocado or hummus. I slice if I make a loaf tin version, or wedges if in a cake tin. I toast the slices after the first day, it tastes best warmed up.

  5. I’ve just tried your recipe, I’ve changed the rosemary for thyme and added some parmesan cheese. The taste is amazing and the top is nice and crispy. However the bottom part stays very soft. Have you had the same problem?

    • Hi Sascha, yes it does tend to be stodgier at the bottom. It is better when using a round wide metal tin (because the resulting “cake” is flatter to start with and also metal heats the base), and worst when using a silicone loaf tin. But I like the ease of using the silicone. I’ve also made in cupcake cases (silicone) and they work better – plus you get “extra” crispy topping to filling ratio! Hope that helps!

  6. Bean making something like this for years (since the 60s!) with whatever legume I happened to have in the pantry. But I see it as more of a meat loaf substitute than a bread. If you whizz the lemon juice with the bean paste, rather than incorporating it i the liquids, you get a better lift because the acid hits the bicarb a little later in the process. Always have the oven hot and the tin lined before you mix the acid and bicarb. You can mix some nuts or seeds in too, play around with herbs and spices, or for a non vegan version add cheese and/or eggs – or even left over chopped cooked meat for the omnivores. And for Sascha – in all these years the bottom still tends to be a bit soft, or the top dries out a little. On the oil question it’s a bit dry if you don’t have a fat of some kind in there, and grinding nuts or seeds as part of the mix doesn’t quite seem to cut it. Think falafel rather than a moist loaf.

    • Thanks for sharing all your tips, Kathryn! I will give the lemon-in-with-the-beans thing a go. I’ve actually been really tempted to play with cardamon and ginger, although I’m not convinced that will go with avocado. But maybe! Do you have any good flavour combinations you recommend?

  7. I made this a couple of days ago. I used coconut oil instead of olive, and was quite heavy-handed with it; I baked it in two silicone loaf pans and when it was done, turned them out as soon as I could touch the pans, to help the loaves dry out. The loaves were quite thin, more like a slice, which was fine for my purposes. I wanted to know if the bread freezes, so I cut each loaf into three pieces and put them in the freezer in a Tupperware tub. They defrost fine in a small container in the fridge, and then I cut them down the middle like a burger bun and pantry them to warm them. Great with Nuttelex and Vegemite, and tomorrow I’m going to treat myself and have one with some homemade baked beans.

  8. ~ Wow, sounds very interesting and nice :D Think I might do a smaller batch for breakfast muffins <3

    I usually soak my mung beans until they are soft, then I fry them with oil and garlic, and other spices – the variation is infinitive :) And I sprout them and eat as a snack, or have in salads, or have them in my home made carrot stake <3
    Love them, and IΒ΄m sure IΒ΄mma Love this bread also :)

    Thank you so much for sharing :) ~

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