Green mung beans, originally from India, are about the size of a pea and have an elongated oval shape. Mung beans have a subtle, mild-nutty flavor. They are often mistaken for soybeans, which in contrast are white, somewhat larger, and distinctly more intense in taste. Mung bean sprouts, which are often called bean sprouts, are in fact sprouted mung beans.
Thanks to their mild taste, mung beans are very versatile. They can be eaten in a similar way to rice, used as sprouts for salads or stir-fry dishes, or be ground into flour and used in Asian glass noodles.
From Wikipedia: “The mung bean (Vigna radiata), alternatively known as the moong bean, green gram, or mung Sanskrit मुद्ग / mudga, is a plant species in the legume family. The mung bean is mainly cultivated in Pakistan, India, China, Korea, and Southeast Asia. It is used as an ingredient in both savory and sweet dishes.”
“Mung beans are commonly used in various cuisines across Asia.”
Whole beans and paste:
“Whole cooked mung beans are generally prepared from dried beans by boiling until they are soft. Mung beans are light yellow in colour when their skins are removed. Mung bean paste can be made by dehulling, cooking, and pulverizing the beans to a dry paste.
Although whole mung beans are also occasionally used in Indian cuisine, beans without skins are more commonly used; but in Kerala & Tamil Nadu, whole mung beans (mung beans are called as pachai payaru பச்சை பயறு in Tamil) are commonly boiled to make a dry preparation often served with rice gruel (kanji கஞ்ஞி). Dehulled mung beans can also be used in a similar fashion as whole beans for the purpose of making sweet soups. Mung beans in some regional cuisines of India are stripped of their outer coats to make mung dal. In the South Indian States of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, steamed whole beans are seasoned with spices and fresh grated coconut in a preparation called Usli in Kannada or Sundal சுண்டல் in Tamil. In south and north Indian states, mung beans are also eaten as pancakes. They are soaked in water for six to 12 hours (the higher the temperature, the lesser soaking time). Then they are ground into fine paste along with ginger and salt. Then pancakes are made on a very hot griddle. These are usually eaten for breakfast. This provides high quality protein that is rare in most Indian regional cuisines. Pongal or kichdi is another recipe that is made with rice and mung beans without skin. In Kerala, it is commonly used to make the parippu preparation in the Travancore region (unlike Cochin and Malabar, where toor dal, tuvara parippu,துவரப்பருப்பு is used). It is also used, with coconut milk and jaggery, to make a type of payasam. Soaked Moong (both full or split) called Hesaru in Kannada is one of ingredient in Kosambari a salad.
In Chinese cuisine, whole mung beans are used to make a tángshuǐ, or dessert, otherwise literally translated, "sugar water", called lǜdòu tángshuǐ, which is served either warm or chilled. In Indonesia, they are made into a popular dessert snack called es kacang hijau, which has the consistency of a porridge. The beans are cooked with sugar, coconut milk, and a little ginger.
In Hong Kong, dehulled mung beans and mung bean paste are made into ice cream or frozen ice pops. Mung bean paste is used as a common filling for Chinese mooncakes in East China and Taiwan. Also in China, the boiled and shelled beans are used as filling in glutinous rice dumplings eaten during the dragon boat festival (端午節). The beans may also be cooked until soft, blended into a liquid, sweetened, and served as a beverage, popular in many parts of China.”
“Mung beans are germinated by leaving them in water for four hours of daytime light and spending the rest of the day in the dark. Mung bean sprouts can be grown under artificial light for four hours over the period of a week. They are usually simply called "bean sprouts". However, when bean sprouts are called for in recipes, it generally refers to mung bean or soybean sprouts.
Mung bean sprouts are stir-fried as a Chinese vegetable accompaniment to a meal, usually with garlic, ginger, spring onions, or pieces of salted dried fish to add flavour. Uncooked bean sprouts are used in filling for Vietnamese spring rolls, as well as a garnish for phở. They are a major ingredient in a variety of Malaysian and Peranakan cuisine, including char kway teow, hokkien mee, mee rebus, and pasembor. In Korea, slightly cooked mung bean sprouts, called sukjunamul (hangul: 숙주나물), are often served as a side dish. They are blanched (placed into boiling water for less than a minute), immediately cooled in cold water, and mixed with sesame oil, garlic, salt, and often other ingredients. In the Philippines, mung bean sprouts are made into lumpia rolls called lumpiang togue. In Indonesia the food are often used as fillings like Tahu Isi (stuffed tofu) and complementary ingredient in many dishes such as rawon and soto.”