If you need an affordable and healthy mung bean substitute, look no further! I’ve gathered some of the best ideas that’ll work in your favorite dishes.
The nutritional and flavorful benefits of mung beans have made them gain popularity in my diet.
Don’t stress if you can’t find mung beans because there are plenty of other options! Many of them can reach comparable goals.
I’ll share some mung bean substitutes, that I love to use, in this article. Read on!
Table of contents
What are mung beans?
Mung beans (green gram, maash) are a kind of legume commonly seen in Asian cuisine. These little green beans are often recommended by nutritionists as a healthy snack for body weight management.
The mung bean protein is a great substitute for animal proteins. It includes all nine of the necessary amino acids, making it a complete protein.
Mung beans taste like a cross between almonds and peas—nutty and earthy.
Depending on your taste, mung beans can be cooked in several ways.
They’re often cooked whole or split in Indian dal. Mung bean noodles, a popular Asian food, are made from ground mung beans.
Mung beans come in a variety of flavors and purposes. Examples:
- Whole green mung beans: the most popular form, are used to produce dal, soups, and stews. They taste nutty and firm.
- Split mung beans: Whole green mung beans that have been hulled and split in half. They produce dal and other creamy recipes faster than whole mung beans.
- Yellow mung beans: Like whole green mung beans, but yellow. They are sweeter and used in desserts.
- Sprouting mung beans: Whole green mung beans produced for sprouting. Salads, sandwiches, and other raw foods employ them.
- Mung bean noodles: Asian cuisine uses mung bean noodles made from ground mung beans. Soups and stir-fries employ their slippery texture.
Mung beans are popular due to their convenience and accessibility. They provide flavour, texture, and nutrients to many recipes.
5 best mung bean substitute ideas
Let’s explore my top mung bean substitutes!
- Chickpeas: super nutritious idea
Chickpeas (garbanzo beans) are healthful and tasty. Their mild, nutty flavor compliments various meals in many cuisines. Chickpeas are abundant in protein, fiber, and other minerals, making them a nutritious choice and weight loss food.
Chickpeas can replace whole or split mung beans in curries, salads, stews, and dips. They come canned or dry. Canned chickpeas save time but have more salt than dried ones.
Hummus, a Middle Eastern dip prepared with mashed chickpeas, tahini, garlic, and lemon juice can stand in for savory mung bean paste.
Falafel, a deep-fried ball of ground chickpeas and seasonings, can replace mung bean falafel.
I love using chickpeas a lot! So I turn to these chickpea alternatives whenever I find myself in a bind.
- Lentils: variety of colors
Lentils can replace the mung bean flavor in many recipes. Protein, fiber, and other nutrients make lentils a healthy option. Red, green, brown, and black lentils are available, so can select the ideal one for your recipe.
Red lentils: popular mung bean substitution because they cook in 15-20 minutes and have a creamy texture that works well in dal, soup, and other dishes. Their mildly sweet flavor compliments many spices and herbs.
Green lentils: have a firmer texture and a somewhat earthy flavor, making them a fantastic complement to salads, stews, and other heartier recipes. These take 30-40 minutes to cook but don’t go mushy like red lentils.
Black lentils (beluga lentils): tiny and gritty. They keep their form when cooked, making them ideal for salads, grain bowls, and other solid foods. They cook for 20–30 minutes without soaking.
- Adzuki beans: sweet option
Adzuki beans are a common ingredient in Japanese and Korean cuisine. They’re smaller than mung beans but have a comparable nutty taste and creamy texture.
Adzuki beans are a great source of protein, fiber, antioxidants, and other minerals. They can be used in sweet dishes like red bean paste, a filling for many Asian sweets, or savory ones like bean burgers or dips.
Anko, a delicious red bean paste used in Japanese desserts like mochi and dorayaki, is one of the most popular adzuki bean foods.
Anko is a delicious substitute for mung bean paste. To my delight, I was able to successfully bake anko cookies. They turned out delicious!
- Black beans: versatile replacement
Black beans are an excellent substitute for mung beans in many recipes. Their deep, earthy taste and solid texture hold up nicely in soups, stews, and salads. Black beans provide protein, fiber, iron, and other elements for a balanced diet.
Soup, rice, and dip made with black beans are common in Mexican, Caribbean, and South American cuisines. They complement vegetarian dishes like chili, tacos, and burritos wonderfully. If you’re experimenting with Latin American cooking, you should also try these masa harina alternatives!
- Soybeans: a hearty legume
Soybeans can replace mung beans in many recipes. Protein, fiber, and other nutrients make soybeans a nutritious legume.
Soybeans are bigger and firmer than mung beans and need longer to boil. Your recipe may also call for canned or dry soybeans.
Soybeans are one of my favorite ingredients for veggie stir-fries. They’re hearty in texture and can stand up to strong seasonings.
Best alternatives to mung bean sprouts
Mung bean sprouts are young plants that emerge from mung beans. Sprouts are long, slender, and crunchy. They’re manufactured by soaking and germinating dried beans.
Mung bean sprouts are popular throughout the Asian market. Korean, Vietnamese, and Chinese cuisines use them for their mild flavor. Salads, stir-fries, and soups all benefit from their crunch and brightness.
Recipes can employ numerous mung bean sprout substitutes. I’ve described some of them in my article on fresh bean sprout alternatives.
To discover your best substitute for bean sprouts, consider using these options:
- Alfalfa sprouts
- Soybean sprouts
- Bamboo shoots
- Water chestnuts
- Bok choy, or Chinese cabbage (discover bok choy substitutes here)
Mung bean substitute FAQs
Mung beans are also known by their scientific name Vigna radiata. Other names for bung means are green gram, maash, and moong. In India and Pakistan, mung beans are called moong dal.
Yes, mung beans are legumes. They are part of the Vigna family.
Yes, mung beans are highly nutritious. They’re rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.
Snow peas taste and feel different from bean sprouts. Snow peas have a sweet flavor, while bean sprouts are nutty. However, they can provide a similar crunch and freshness in some dishes.
Some mung bean flour substitute options include chickpea flour, rice flour, and wheat flour.
Mung beans are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, plant-based protein and fiber. The consumption of mung bean on a daily basis has been shown to help lower cholesterol, avoid heart disease and stroke, and maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
You can use canned sprouts instead of fresh bean sprouts, but they won’t retain their crunchy texture.
Black mung beans, sometimes called black gram or urad dal, are little black beans commonly used in Indian and Southeast Asian cooking.
BOTTOM LINE: As seen, mung beans have various culinary uses. These mung bean replacements are worth trying whether you want a similar texture or flavor or something fresh.
Chickpeas, red lentils, adzuki beans, black beans and soybeans are nutritious and tasty additions to your favorite dishes. Use one of these substitutions if you can’t locate mung beans or want to try something different. No regrets!
I hope you liked my ideas! Share your favorite mung bean recipes in the comments!