This Spicy Mung Bean Salad will knock your socks off! Made with honey roasted carrots, pan-fried halloumi, and a spicy dressing, this vegetarian mung bean salad is perfect as a side dish or a main.
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Oh hello there, it's me, your friendly internet mung bean-obsessed nutrition lady, here with your new favourite mung bean recipe.
What's that, you say? I couldn't possibly top the stupendously delicious Mung Bean Curry that lead you here in the first place? Well, that may be true, but I honestly think this Spicy Mung Bean Salad is a pretty strong contender.
If you're having a hard time picturing mung beans being good for anything other than sprouting in your desk drawer, I urge you to open your mind to the possibility of a gloriously spicy bean salad tossed with honey roasted carrots, cubes of pan-fried halloumi, a judicious amount of cilantro, and a fiery dressing that will knock your socks off.
These are not bland, 1970's brown corduroy-wearing, hummus eating mung beans (although I must say, my Mung Bean Hummus is delicious). No, my friend. These are 2020 mung beans. They've got no place to be except for freaking delicious.
Just go with it.
What's in this mung bean salad?
Pretty sure I gave most of it away in the first section, but officially, here's what you need:
- Mung beans --> Related: How to Cook Mung Beans.
- Carrots --> We're going to roast 'em up!
- Honey --> For a touch of sweetness.
- Halloumi --> Brining that salty, chewy deliciousness.
- Cilantro --> And lots of it!
- Olive oil --> For making a spice oil.
- Garlic --> Obviously
- Seeds --> We're going with cumin, caraway, and fennel seeds.
- Chilli flakes --> Bringing the heat.
- Apple cider vinegar --> Bringing the acidity
- Salt and pepper --> As usual.
You're going to need a l'il frying pan for making the spiced oil, and a bigger frying pan for the halloumi. I used my Air Fryer to make the carrots because it's so fast and easy (related: Air Fryer Carrots), but you can totally oven roast them too.
Otherwise, just a bowl for mixing everything up and a nice platter for serving.
How do you make this recipe?
There are detailed instructions in the recipe card at the end of this post, but I'll also talk you through it step by step. With pictures!
Step 1: Start by preparing the carrots. You want them peeled, sliced on the diagonal, and tossed in a mixture of olive oil and honey. Sprinkle with a bit of sea salt, and spread them out on a parchment-lined baking sheet to roast for 15-20 minutes while you're preparing the other ingredients.
Step 2: While the carrots are roasting, you can cube and pan-fry the halloumi in a bit of olive oil. If you've never cooked halloumi before, this is an excellent guide: How to Cook Halloumi.
We're looking for a nice golden brown on the halloumi, which should take about 5-7 minutes of pan-frying.
Step 3: Heat the olive oil in a small frying pan. Add the seeds, and let them sizzle for 1-2 minutes.
Step 4: Remove the pan from the heat, and add the chilli flakes and garlic. The residual heat is enough to gently cook the garlic without burning it.
Phew! All of the hardest parts are out of the way at this point.
Step 5: Place the mung beans in a large bowl. Add the oil along with all of the spices, the apple cider cider vinegar, and a good amount of salt and pepper. Toss to combine.
Step 6: Add the roasted carrots, pan-fried halloumi, and chopped cilantro to the mung beans.
Toss everything up, and then transfer to a bowl or platter.
That's it! You're done!
Can I make this mung bean salad in advance?
Yes! You can either make the entire thing in advance, or make the components in advance and toss through when you're ready to serve.
For example, maybe you boil up a batch of mung beans when you're doing your weekly meal prep (related: Batch Cooking for Beginners) so those are ready to go. You can absolutely roast the carrots up to a day ahead of time (and even make a double or triple batch of the carrots, because they're delicious on their own as well).
You can even pan-fry the halloumi in advance, however, this is the one part of the recipe that I do urge you to do just before serving, because freshly pan-fried halloumi is just divine.
Having said that, I ate this salad for lunch four days in a row, and it was every bit as delightful on day four as it was on day one.
Do I serve this salad warm or cold?
Up to you! Your salad, your way. I think both are delicious, and it's also delicious served at room temperature.
This makes it a perfect recipe for packed lunches, picnics, or potlucks.
Help! I can't find halloumi!
I'm sorry. I've heard that halloumi can be tricky to find in some places, although it does seem to becoming more common.
If you can't find halloumi, you can absolutely swap in cubed or crumbled feta instead. Skip the pan-frying step in this case, as feta doesn't hold up to frying the way halloumi does.
If you'd prefer to make vegan mung bean salad, you can leave out the cheese altogether, or replace it with tofu feta.
Other recipes you might enjoy:
Beluga Lentil Salad with Halloumi Croutons
Spicy Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Lentils
Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Kale
Edamame Bean Salad
Wild Rice and Chickpea Salad
Baked Halloumi with Vegetable Ratatouille
Spicy Mung Bean Salad
For the carrots
- 2 cups sliced carrots about 3 large carrots
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoon honey
- ½ teaspoon flaky sea salt
For the halloumi
- 8 oz halloumi cubed
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
For the salad
- 2 cups cooked mung beans
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds 1
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- ¼ teaspoon chilli flakes
- 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 bunch cilantro chopped
For the carrots
- Pre-heat your oven to 400°F/200°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the honey and olive oil, warming the honey if need be.
- Add the carrots to the bowl, and toss to coat with the honey and olive oil mixture. Season with flaky salt.
- Spread the carrots into a single layer on the baking sheet.
- Place in the oven and roast for 15 minutes, remove, flip the carrots, and roast for another 5-10 minutes, until golden and crisp around the edges.
- Set aside to cool slightly.
For the Halloumi
- Heat a large, heavy-bottomed frying pan over medium-high heat.
- Add a tablespoon of olive oil, and the cubed halloumi.
- Pan-fry, stirring occasionally, until the halloumi is golden on all sides.
- Remove from the heat and set aside.
For the spiced oil
- Heat ¼ cup olive oil over medium heat in a small frying pan.
- Add the fennel, cumin, and caraway seeds, and cook for 1-2 minutes until the seeds are sizzling.
- Remove the pan from the heat, and add the crushed garlic and chilli flakes. Allow the residual heat to gently cook the garlic.
To make the mung bean salad
- Place the cooked mung beans into a large bowl. Add the spiced oil, along with all of the spices.
- Add the apple cider vinegar, and toss to combine.
- Add the honey roasted carrots, pan-fried halloumi, and the chopped cilantro.
- Toss everything to combine well. Transfer the salad to a serving platter.
- Nutrition values are an estimate only.
- Mung beans can be cooked a day ahead of time. The roasted carrots and halloumi can also be prepared in advance.
- Mung bean salad is good served warm, cold, or at room temperature.
- If you can't find halloumi, you can replace it with cubed or crumbled feta. Do not pan-fry the feta in this case.
- For a vegan salad, skip the cheese, or replace with tofu feta.