...because you thought Sweden was Switzerland!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Beans, beans, the musical fruit

Beans, beans, the musical fruit.
The more you eat, the more you toot.
The more you toot, the better you feel.
So let's eat beans for every meal!

I'm always excited when I see "exotic" ingredients in Sweden that I know from childhood, like Lee Kum Kee mixes, chinese mushrooms, and most recently, mung beans.

Now, I've got a lot of childhood memories about mung beans. Mom would boil the mung beans over a long time, and before turning the whole lot into a savory stew, she would reserve some of the cooked beans and serve it as a sweet snack with sugar and milk. These were really refreshing on dark rainy days. Recently, I found out that this sweet mung bean soup wasn't actually a Filipino concoction, but a Chinese one. My classmate Cao Kai explained to me how the Chinese variant was served cold, and how, according to Chinese medicine, the soup had a cooling effect on the body. Around the time of the SARS breakout, before people knew that SARS was an airborne disease, rumors spread that the cold mung bean soup could even drive the disease from the body by restoring the balance between heat and cold.

Well, what do we know about its SARS-curing properties? The only thing I know is that, if you eat a lot of mung beans, you'll suddenly be reminded of that old childhood nursery rhyme above.

Kai's advice is to soak the beans in water overnight (which is how they do it) so that they become really soft. Then you should cook them over low heat with a lot of water for 1 to 2 hours. I didn't do the soaking part, and after an hour of cooking, the beans could have turned out a little softer, actually. I guess we found out the hard way that Kai's advice is to be followed next time:

Go figure!

Petri's comment in the Tranås entry: I notice you left out pictures of the olfactory offenses committed by two anonymous persons...

My reply: Varsågod! (Swedish for: "Here you go, you're welcome!")

P.S. Don't take revenge!
- From Joy and Marcus

See Tags: Food


Blogger aka Cheryl said...

why was he making faces? i didn't get the joke, hahaha.

1:34 PM

Anonymous Esther Garvi said...

I think you would love the hanza bean, Joy!

10:34 AM

Blogger Ahoy! said...

Cheryl: Are you crazy?! Anyhow, if you still don't get it, let me eat some beans when we next see each other and see if you don't make faces yourself ;-)

Esther: I like beans, but I can't eat so much of them. I don't think I've ever seen a hanza bean (except for in your blog), but there's always a first time!

7:20 PM


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