Mung beans are a common food in Chinese cuisine and are often the source of bean sprouts. They have been used both as a food source and as a traditional herbal medicine over the centuries. The beans and their sprouts have high levels of vitamin C, protein and antioxidant properties. Mung beans are prepared both whole and split and are used in soups, salads, cooked dishes and as a raw snack. The splitting process involves only a few steps.
Place your de-hulled dried or fresh mung beans into a large bowl filled with water. Sift through the beans with your finger, making sure that water gets to each one. Dirt, organic matter and rotted beans will be easily separated in this manner. Throw away the beans that float to the top and change the water at least twice.
Spread the cleaned mung beans onto a flat surface to dry. If you are using dried mung beans, soak them in water until soft or for up to 12 hours prior to taking the next step.
Split the mung beans along the seam with a sharp paring knife. The seam runs the length of the bean on the thin side. This is the natural joining point of the bean's two halves and will release relatively easily after you have a feel for the motion. If the beans are soft enough, you can do this process by hand with a sliding motion between the thumb and forefinger, much like the snapping of your fingers.
There are now automatic mung bean hullers and splitters available. They are inexpensive and make the process much simpler and faster with dry beans or fresh.
Splitting mung beans shortens their cooking time by up to one-third.