Mung beans are cooked by boiling. Unlike other dried beans, mung beans have a faster cooking time. Whole mung beans take only around 45 minutes to cook, while the cooking time for split mung beans is only around 20 to 30 minutes.
Also known as moong or green gram, mung beans are a staple in Asian cuisine. The mung bean is a member of the legume family, and it is endemic and cultivated in China, India and in Southeast Asia. Mung beans are also grown in hot regions of Southern United States and Southern Europe. Rarely cooked on their own, mung beans are often used as an ingredient in savory dishes and sweet desserts.
In the U.S., whole mung beans can be purchased in Southeast and East Indian specialty food markets. Mung beans stripped of their outer coating are called dal and are mainly used in Indian cuisine. When stored in a dry, sealed container, mung beans can last indefinitely for several years but the usual practice is to consume them within a year after purchase.
In some Asian dishes, particularly Chinese and Southeast cuisine, mung beans are sprouted before cooking by soaking them in water.