Mung Bean Salad

June 19th, 2008  | Category: Beans and Legumes, Salad, Turkish Cuisine, Vegetarian

Mung Bean Salad

The above mung bean salad wasn’t actually included in the original “San Francisco on The Bosphorus” menu. Instead, I planned to prepare another traditional salad called Gavurdagi, which is usually served at kebab restaurants. A small Mexican restaurant on Columbus Street (crossing Chestnut) that we used to visit with colleagues for lunch on a regular basis was the inspiration.

They would always bring a complimentary bowl of tortilla chips accompanied by three different salsas while we anxiously waited for our burritos. Gavurdagi salad is very similar to a Mexican salsa. Finely chopped cucumbers, tomatoes and onions suddenly transform into a delightful spicy salad with the addition of red pepper flakes, sumac, olive oil and pomegranate molasses. I always order it along with a lahmacun before my main course at a kebab restaurant.

But later on, when mom mentioned that mung bean salad would be much more interesting to readers, I happily agreed. I also have to admit that her choice is much more in sync with the menu.

In Turkey, a salad that is made from any type of dry bean (usually white) with the addition of onions, flat leaf parsley, sumac, olive oil and vinegar is called a “piyaz” (pee-yahz). The dressing is made from olive oil and red wine vinegar and piyaz is traditionally garnished with hard boiled eggs and black olives. We enjoy it especially as a side order next to a plate of grilled meatballs.

The below recipe is very close my mother’s original. I just like to add more scallions and mint than she does. There are two tips for a great piyaz. First, the beans should be cooked just until tender. Janet made the recipe numerous times at her home and adjusted the cooking time as well as some ingredients accordingly. I guess the mung beans over there need less time to cook. It might be wiser for you to follow her version of the recipe if you live in the US. Her version can be found here (scroll to the bottom). I am including my version of the recipe below.

The other tip is to make sure the beans are completely dry before you combine them with the dressing. I recommend drying the beans between paper towels after a thorough draining process.

Mung Bean Salad 2

Hope you enjoy the recipe!

Mung Bean Salad 3


Serves 4


  • 1 cup (215 grams) dry mung beans
  • 1 bunch scallions, trimmed and sliced thinly (about 1 cup, 300 gr untrimmed weight)
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh mint, washed and chopped finely (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, hard boiled for garnish
  • 16 black olives, pitted for garnish


  1. Place the dried mung beans in a large bowl of water and let soak overnight. Drain.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add mung beans and boil for 10 minutes.
  3. Drain the mung beans and repeat the process with a fresh pot of boiling water, this time for 7 minutes.
  4. Drain mung beans and rinse under cold water. Drain well and place in a large bowl.
  5. Add scallions, mint, olive oil, vinegar and salt and toss to combine.
  6. Divide among serving dishes, garnish with hard boiled eggs, black olives and fresh mint leaves.
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  1. 1 - Meeta on June 19th, 2008

    Oh absolutely lovely. I love my legumes and a salad like this is a welcome addition. Nice!

  2. 2 - Szerelem on June 20th, 2008

    This is something I would actually make. I love mung salads and at home they are eaten really often – for any of the three meals (yeah, even breakfast!). Sometimes my mom even stir fries them. This one is a bit different from the sorts I usually have at home but it sounds delicious.

  3. 3 - Amanda on June 20th, 2008

    I love that area around SF. Chesnut street and Columbus has so many things to taste and try. There is this cool new vegan restaurant called Herbivore (I think) that you should try next time you are in SF.

  4. 4 - Silvia on June 20th, 2008

    absoloutely fantastic thanks a lot for the recipe and the stunning photos!!

  5. 5 - Marona on June 20th, 2008

    So any beans will do? I was thinking of making some “Bean Salsa” for dinner tonight and I’ve got some black beans soaking happy together 😉 waiting for me to cook them. But after your recipe and your picture I’m not quite sure about the salsa thing… now I’m more in a pee-yahz mood 😉

  6. 6 - Siri on June 20th, 2008

    Love the simplicity of the salad. I soaked some mung beans inspired by ur post! 😀 …tmrw – Mung Bean Salad it is!


  7. 7 - Fearless Kitchen on June 20th, 2008

    This looks wonderful! I have a few occasions coming up where this would be a perfect accompaniment.

  8. 8 - Cynthia on June 21st, 2008

    I have some mung bean and have been thinking of something other than dhal or rice and peas to make with them. Thanks for the idea of the salad.

  9. 9 - Christie @ fig&cherry on June 21st, 2008

    Gorgeous – so healthy and tasty. Great shot too!

  10. 10 - Helen on June 21st, 2008

    What a beautiful salad. I love the simplicity of the recipe and I also love the bowl that you served the salad in – gorgeous colours.

  11. 11 - Vegeyum Ganga on June 21st, 2008

    Would you believe, I made a mung bean dal today! It is so unusual to see whole mung beans used. Then I was browsing through my fav food sites and you had cooked a mung bean salad. I will be making this someday soon. thanks!

  12. 12 - Tony on June 21st, 2008

    that salad sounds really refreshing (especially since I love putting mint in salads)! I love the red bowl you presented it in, too

  13. 13 - Lisa on June 23rd, 2008

    Gasp! Mung beans, olives and eggs. I’m well nourished today, but suddenly, I want to eat. First class recipe this is.

  14. 14 - robin on June 23rd, 2008

    That egg in there is just so enticing! And mung beans are just wonderful. Thanks for this recipe, Cenk!

  15. 15 - Linda on June 24th, 2008

    Great recipe, thanks. I actually been in the restaurant and I loved it!

  16. 16 - Kaykat on June 24th, 2008

    Delicious! I love the combination of mung and olives, but I’ve never tried the egg part – now you’ve got me hooked 🙂

  17. 17 - Sorina on June 25th, 2008

    It look’s to good to be through I am definitely going to try this

  18. 18 - littlem on June 26th, 2008

    Pity I didn’t find this recipe the other day! It would have gone well with the lahmacun we attempted.

  19. 19 - Christine on June 29th, 2008

    Hey:) I stumbled over your blog, googling “biscotti”, and what a find! I’m very glad to have found this – your blog is awesomely inspiring. I can’t wait to explore some more 🙂

  20. 20 - joey on June 30th, 2008

    Mung beans (monggo) are an integral part of our diet over here but we usually have it a certain way (like a soup/stew)…this sounds so refreshing and totally new to me! I love it! Thank you for sharing this recipe 🙂

  21. 21 - Mansi on July 1st, 2008

    I make a similar salad, except with an indian touch..I use tamarind chutney as dressing, and also add other sprouted legumes! your version looks enticing too Cenk!:)

  22. 22 - steamykitchen on July 2nd, 2008

    I grow the mung bean into bean sprouts!!!

  23. 23 - White On Rice Couple on July 7th, 2008

    Thank you for this amazing recipe! I just love mung bean and have never tried it in a salad such as this before! I am so appreciative of your dish. Thank you again!

  24. 24 - Husnorah on July 30th, 2008

    Hmm, that’s a good idea, I have some mung beans at home, I brought it from Uzbekistan( where originally I am from) I thought in Turkey they dont sell/eat mung beans.Thank you for the idea, I will make it.
    In Uzbekistan we used to make a mung bean soup Moshho’rda and Moshkichiri kind of risotto (mung bean with rice).

  25. 25 - BULGUR & COD « Fusion Cuisine: Improvisation and Innovation on October 24th, 2008

    […] I’ve come up with a lovely mung bean recipe at Cafe Fernando at I surely advise you check it […]

  26. 26 - Parisa on November 25th, 2008

    thanks for that recipe, it was a really nice treat! i love the mung beans

  27. 27 - ahsen on April 17th, 2009

    bir ?ark?y? hat?rlatt? bu salata bana; let’S make some salad today…diye ba?layan:)

    yummy salad and yummy blog;)

  28. 28 - rotosh on August 25th, 2009

    Because I saw Nigella’s photo on top , she reminded me of her programs on Fatafeat channel.I liked your programs and I missed you and did not see it regularly from that time . Your simple ways , your smiling and funny comments on your life events .
    feel happy if you send me on my website .

  29. 29 - Annie on September 27th, 2009

    mm… never thought of using mung beans for salad, something new for me to try . As a chinese, I recall mung beans are usually used for dessert or appetizer. I really enjoy reading through your blog. Great site!

  30. 30 - Lotka on December 26th, 2010

    So, I tried making these. I boiled the lentils for 10 minutes the first time and drained (at this point the were perfect, but I thought I’d follow the boiling instructions). So, I drained the first boil, and set the lentils aside (which were still cooking, because I didn’t stop the reaction by rinsing with cool water yet).

    The second boil sadly opened up many of the lentils. I think 10 minute boil in a very large pot is enough, if you like your lentils ‘whole’.

    Tasty though. Next time I’ll boil them less.

  31. 31 - Meenakshi on October 14th, 2011

    You know, in Hindi (the most widely spoken language in India) piyaz means onion! I also make an Indian version of this salad with some fresh cilantro and some chaat masala. Must try your version, the olives, egg and red wine vinegar will give it a richer taste!

  32. 32 - Cenk on October 16th, 2011

    Meenakshi – And I must try yours!

  33. 33 - Sharyn on July 21st, 2012

    Exactly what I was looking for, and so easy! This will be my first time cooking dry mung beans, but they’ve been staring at me in the cupboard 🙂 I love any type of legume in a salad! I may add some rice too.

  34. 34 - Ashraf on April 9th, 2013

    Cooking is my second love. My first love is language. I am a writer/columnist of Urdu. Urdu is Turkish word. Moong is Moong in Urdu and in lot of Pakistani languages. Even chinese call it Moong. And you know what is “piyaz”, it is onion in Urdu and in lot of other languages of Indian subcontinent.Even in Persian (Farsi)it is piyaz. One dish is caled ” do (pronunciation is like though)piyaza” means with two onions.
    I was searching for conversion and I stumbled upon your site it took away my breath. Now I am subscriber and regular visitor.

  35. 35 - Leanne Monaghan on January 27th, 2014

    Being a recent convert to mung beans, I love the look of this salad and will certainly try it. I’m living in Istanbul but have yet to come across a shop that sells mung beans. Can you recommend where I can buy them in this never-ending city?

  36. 36 - Cenk on June 16th, 2014

    Leanne Monaghan – Check out the supermarkets like Migros, Makrocenter or Carrefour.

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