Mung Bean Cooler

Mung Bean Cooler

In Chinese medical tradition, the sweetened broth from a simple mung bean soup is prized as a therapeutic cooling beverage for the hottest days. This cooling beverage is a time-honored healing recipe that’s still prepared by many Chinese American moms for their kids on the hottest summer days. It clears internal heat, balances qi, and helps the body to dispel toxins. While Americans are eating more dried beans and legumes, such as chickpeas, white beans, and lentils, they have been slower to embrace mung beans. These small, round green beans are yin, sweet, and valued for their ability to cool the blood and balance qi.

Serves 4

1/2 pound mung beans

2 tablespoons raw sugar

Rinse the beans, put them in a soup pot, and cover with 5 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.

Add the raw sugar and cook for 30 minutes longer, until the beans are soft.

Traditionally, the beans are strained from the broth and the broth is drunk separately as a cooling beverage.