Mung Chicken Curry... The Way You'll Love It

I originally created this dish last year when I introduced myself to the Mung Bean. It was purely by accident that I came across  these cute little army green beans, as I was actually searching for those other cute little army green beans, the lentils. So, without having a clue as to what to do or how to cook them, I grabbed a package and forgot all about the lentils. I had a good feeling that this was either going to end in disaster or fingers crossed, a triumph.

My curiosity got the best of me and as soon as I got home, I got on the internet and decided to research my little find. Reading that the Mung Bean was mainly cultivated in South Asia, I decided to stay in that region of the world and use the combination of ingredients indigenous to the area. And so, I got out my coconut milk, curry powder, and chicken, and proceeded to start my journey down the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Well, I was not disappointed with the result. Out of my experimentation came a wonderful dish of delightful mixes of flavors and textures that I had not previously been exposed to. For its simplicity, I crowned it Mung Chicken Curry.

Now I want to share this wonderful dish with you so that you may partake of the unique flavors that I first experienced last year. Let me introduce the characters in this culinary act:

4 large chicken thighs, fully skinned and all excess "yellow" fat removed
3/4 cup of Mung Beans (make sure to check for little pebbles carefully, as in all small beans)
1 large red onion, diced
1 1/2 cups celery, chopped
1 1/2 cups carrots, chopped diagonally about 1/4 inch thick
6 garlic cloves, cut in halves or left whole
3 green onions, chopped
1 3/4 cups chicken stock
1 can coconut milk (about 14 oz.)
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon curry powder (preferably the rust color as opposed to the mustard color)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
16 oz. package of SE Asian noodles (Chow Mein Noodles or the curly type Chow Mein) You may use rice
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil

Spray a large frying pan (10 inches diameter at bottom and at least 3 inches deep) with cooking spray and coat the bottom with all the vegetable oil. Heat on medium high heat. Sautee the chicken thighs until golden, remove and set aside. In the same pan, reducing heat to medium,  add all the fresh vegetables and sautee until onions are translucent. Add the sesame oil and Mung Beans, mix well. Allow to cook a few minutes then add the chicken stock, salt, and pepper. Mix well so all ingredients are well incorporated. Next, add the curry powder and be sure to stir well so that all the powder dissolves completely. Your sauce should be showing a golden rust color. Cook for about 5 minutes. At this time, if you think you need a little more liquid, you may add 1/4 cup more chicken stock; however, I don't think you'll need it. Reduce heat to medium low and continue to cook for 10 more minutes. Now add the coconut milk and blend all ingredients together, bring back to a slow boil.

Finally, add your chicken, turning and coating it, reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for about 30 to 40 minutes, stirring with a spatula every 15 minutes and turning the chicken. Continue to slow cook for about 10 more minutes. Your Mung Beans should be fully cooked. If not, cook for another 10 minutes. Once cooked, shut heat and bring a pot of water to boiling and cook your noodles for about 6 minutes or until cooked al dente (cooked through but still firm). To plate, add a chicken thigh in the center, ladle some sauce and Mung Beans over it, and in a swirling motion, place the noodles all around the edge of the plate. Serve hot and enjoy :)


For a meatless rendition of this dish, substitute Yukon Gold potatoes for the chicken and the noodles. Use large potatoes and boil with skin on until cooked. Cut them in quarters length wise and place 4 quarters on each plate and ladle the sauce and Mung Beans over them. You will need to increase the amount of Mung Beans to 1 1/2 cups and the chicken stock to 2 1/4 cups. The rest of the ingredients can remain the same.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the vegetarian version. My son is vegetarian, and I'm always looking for ways to convert recipes while retaining the 'yummy' factor. :)