Times are strange, and resources are becoming scarce. In Malaysia, the Movement Control Order that began as 2 weeks, then stretched into 2 months, has affected everyone’s finances, mine included. I’ve been cutting down on food items I consider as ‘luxury’ like nuts and plant-based meat substitutes, and I’ve been shopping mostly at the local markets to not only save money but to also support local farmers and small-time shop owners.
As one type of dried bean that is readily available in most local markets, mung beans are cheap, easy to work with and don’t require pre-cooking. Just a simple overnight soak will soften their texture and help to unlock their incredible bank of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals like Manganese, Copper, Magnesium, Folate and Vitamins C and K.
You might be wondering about the protein content. Compared to some other beans like lentils and chickpeas, the protein percentage of mung beans is not all that hype-worthy when you’re soaking them and starting the sprouting process (1 cup gives you about 3 grams), like in this recipe. The protein content actually doubles when you cook mung beans without soaking, BUT you won’t have easy access to the nutrients I mentioned earlier. So which would I generally prioritize, Protein or Nutrients? Considering that I get three chances a day to optimally nourish my body, and doing so on a a varied whole foods plant-based diet where I can get protein from basically everything anyway, I’d always pick nutrients.
The appliance you’d need in this recipe is a food processor. I wouldn’t blend the mixture too much – just enough for the mixture to still have texture, but being able to hold itself together when you press a small amount in between your fingers. But if you over-blend, don’t worry. It just might release more moisture from the beans which means you may need to add a little more dryness in the form of coconut flour.
The coconut flour is what keeps the patty together when you start molding it. I find that almond flour also works fantastically – and if you feel like it, toasting your almond flour lightly in the oven before using it adds a slightly more savoury element to the patties. If you’re not particular with gluten, you could also substitute with oat flour, which you can easily do by whizzing rolled oats in a blender until close to powder-fine.
If you’re roasting your pumpkin seeds at home, I often do it in an oven at 170 degrees Celsius for 25 minutes, turning them every 8-10 minutes. Raw is also doable. If you don’t have pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, crushed walnuts or any other kind of other roasted nuts you have on you would work too. The oils released from processing will help with the binding too. How well the mixture holds together without egg or an egg substitute is really quite remarkable. I’d press about 2 heaped tablespoons in between my palms to make a patty. This method for me makes 8-10 patties. If you have a patty maker/ burger press, that would help in making your patties more uniform and would help in cooking them evenly, but it’s not necessary.
If you don’t have garlic and/or onion powders, replacing them with fresh garlic and onion would add a lot of moisture to your patty mixture. I would use half a small onion and 2-3 cloves of garlic, and bump up the flour measurement, adding in anywhere between 4-6 extra tablespoons.
These uncooked patties can be made in advance and stored in a freezer for a few months. But they never stay in MY freezer for long. And they can go from the freezer straight into the pan, no defrosting needed.
You know what I said about a patty makers and not having one? I actually find it to be a blessing in disguise. It creates uneven cooking and you know what? In this case it’s GREAT. These patties can technically be eaten raw, and cooking them not so well in some places means that the nutrients there will be better preserved.
These patties are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside with a mild, palatable flavour. Once done, you can eat them straight up as a snack…
Or layer them up with bread or buns and other veggies and sauces of your choice, for an exciting at-home gourmet burger experience!
The subtleness of the mung beans go well with any flavour you set it up with. You can go full-on western with mustard, ketchup and/or barbecue, or in this case, I made an Asian-inspired chunky dressing made of roasted garlic, miso, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, agave nectar and sesame seeds.
Can something so good be this easy? Hell yes. And I know you’re at home. Get crackin’.
Easy Mung Bean Patties
Making use of pantry staples and the ease of preparing mung beans, these delicious patties are a breeze to assemble, quick to cook, and are also safe to eat raw or dehydrated. Ideal for kitchen beginners and a great project to do with kids!
- 1 cup mung beans soaked for 8 hours or overnight
- 1/2 cup coconut / almond flour (replace with oat flour if not gluten-free)
- 4 tbsp toasted pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- Cooking oil
- Step 1 Place all ingredients into a food processor and blend or pulse for 20-30 seconds until the mixture is well-incorporated and still slightly chunky.
- Step 2 With your hands or a burger press, mould your patties. If using hands, you can make them into kid-friendly mini patties – about a heaped tablespoon each.
- Step 3 Pack into a small airtight container to freeze, or If cooking right away, heat your cooking pan with a thin layer of cooking oil – a few millimetres thick.
- Step 4 Fry your patties for about 2 minutes on each side until golden brown. If frying mini-patties, reduce this time according to their size.
- Step 5 Line a plate with a paper towel to soak up excess oil. Transfer patties from pan onto plate and allow to cool for 5 before serving or burger building.
- Step 6 Uncooked patties can stay frozen for up to 2 months.