What Are Bean Sprouts?
Bean sprouts are a vegetable that’s often considered a culinary vegetable as it’s used for cooking. However, they can also be eaten raw.
Why Are They Healthy?
Sprouts are healthy because they have plenty of vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and amino acids while being cholesterol free. The nutrients found in sprouts are essential for human health. Once sprouted, the beans become more nutritious than before they were grown and cook much faster.
What Different Kinds Are There?
The common types of bean sprouts are the Mung bean sprout and the Soybean sprout. The Mung Bean is a green-capped bean, and the Soybean is a larger-grained yellow bean. There are other types of food sprouts as well, such as alfalfa sprouts and lentil sprouts.
How Do They Grow?
Sprouts grow from a bean or seed by being watered and kept in the shade until the long sprouts grow from the bean. They take around a week to grow. Mung beans can grow in as fast as a few days.
Can I Grow Them at Home?
Yes! Absolutely. Sprouts can easily be grown at home, giving you fresh, crunchy sprouts for cooking and eating.
How to Make Bean Sprouts?
First, find a reputable health food store or online catalog and buy whole and untreated beans meant for sprouting and eating. Make sure to find clean beans. Wash the beans and remove any broken or damaged beans and foreign objects. Fill a jar 1/4 of the amount full of beans. Then add cold, clean water. Use a drainable cap for a lid (any kind of mesh cap will work such as a cheesecloth—specialized sprouting containers and jars can also be purchased) and soak the beans for 8-12 hours at room temp.
The beans will have expanded from soaking. Drain the water through the lid. Pour clean water through the lid, rinse and drain again. Place the jar away from sunlight and nearly upside-down. Angle the jar by placing something underneath so the moisture can escape and air can circulate. Continue rinsing and draining the beans with clean, fresh water 2-4 times a day. Once the sprouts have grown to the length, you desire they’re done! Give them a wash and the sprouts are ready to be eaten or cooked.
How Do You Clean Them?
You clean sprouts by rinsing them well in a colander and then letting them drain, sorting out any unsprouted beans. Store the sprouts in a container or jar lined with a paper towel.
How Do You Cook Them?
The most common way of cooking bean sprouts is by stir-frying them in oil, but sprouts can also be boiled in water.
5 Amazing Bean Sprout Recipes
1. Kongnamool (Korean Soybean Sprouts)
- 1lb soybean sprouts
- 2 tsp. rice wine vinegar
- 2 tsp. sesame seeds
- 1 ½ tsp. garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp. Korean chile powder
- 2 tbsp. soy sauce
- ¼ cup chopped green onion
- ¼ cup sesame oil
Total: 15 min. Prep time: 10 min. Cooking time: 5 min.
Boil a large pot of lightly salted water. Put the bean sprouts in the boiling water for about 15 seconds, until tender and crisp. Drain into a colander and then immediately put into a bowl with ice water until the cooking process has stopped and the bean sprouts are cold (about 2-3 minutes). Then drain well and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk chile powder, soy sauce, sesame seeds, garlic, and sesame oil together. Add the bean sprouts and mix in until evenly coated with sauce. Sprinkle in the green onions and top it off with rice wine vinegar. Refrigerate until ready to be served.
Yields 4 servings.
Nutrition Facts Per Serving
% Daily Value
Total Fat: 22.7g/35%
Saturated Fat: 3.0g
Total Carbohydrates: 14.8g/5%
Dietary Fiber: 3g/12%
Vitamin A: 1252IU, Vitamin C: 21mg, Calcium: 110mg, Iron: 3mg, Thiamin: 0mg, Niacin: 2mg, Vitamin B6: 0mg, Magnesium: 99mg, Folate: 206mcg.
2. Bean Sprouts with Tofu
- 8 oz bean sprouts
- 1 tbsp. oil, and extra oil for pan frying
- 1 tbsp. soy sauce
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 stalk scallion, cut into 2-inch segments
- 1 piece firm tofu, cut into rectangles
Total: 15 min. Prep time: 5 min. Cook Time: 10 min.
Using a colander, rinse the bean sprouts under cold water and let drain, then set aside, removing the roots if desired.
Heat up a wok with some cooking oil. Once fully heated, pan-fry the tofu rectangles until they’re light brown, then remove and transfer to a dish lined with paper towels.
Leaving 1 tablespoon of oil, stir-fry the garlic in the wok until aromatic. Then stir in the tofu before adding in the bean sprouts (being careful not to overcook, so they don’t lose their crisp and crunchy texture). Stir in scallions and soy sauce. Move to a dish and then serve immediately.
Yields 2 servings.
Nutrition Facts Per Serving
% Daily Value
Total Fat: 13.9g/18%
Saturated Fat: 2g/10%
Total Carbohydrate: 10.1g/4%
Dietary Fiber: 1.8g/6%
Total Sugars: 1.6g
Vitamin D: 0mcg/0%, Calcium: 141mg/11%, Iron: 2mg/14%, Potassium: 433mg/9%.
3. Classic Bean Sprout Stir-Fry
- 1lb bean sprouts, hair removed
- 1 tbsp. ginger, minced
- 1 tbsp. garlic, sliced
- ½ cup scallions, thinly sliced
- Peanut oil to cook
- Salt and black pepper to taste
Total: 25 min. Prep: 20 min. Cook: 5 min.
Heat up a wok and coat well with oil. Add scallions, ginger, and garlic before adding salt and pepper while stirring. Add the sprouts and stir-fry by flipping the sprouts around quickly. Taste and add salt or pepper as needed. Serve immediately on a small oval platter, with rice if desired.
Nutritional Facts Per Serving
4. Stir-Fried Bean Sprouts and Chinese Chives
- 6 cups bean sprouts, rinsed and dried
- ½ tsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. Shaoxing cooking wine
- 2 tsp. soy sauce
- 1 tbsp. fish sauce (Red Boat brand)
- 1 rounded tbsp. garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 5 ounces Chinese chives with ends trimmed off, cut into 2-inch segments (can be substituted for green onions, the dark green part only, cut lengthwise in half)
- Salt and pepper
Total: 20 min.
To make the cooking sauce, mix soy sauce, fish sauce, rice wine, and sugar in a small bowl. Have the ingredients lined up and ready next to the stove. Heat a wok or heavy skillet (12in or wider) on high heat. Swirl in oil. Throw in garlic and begin to fry, stirring for 15 seconds until it starts to brown. Add sprouts and cooking sauce and fry, stirring and tossing for about 90 seconds. Sprinkle in chives and continue to toss for 30 or 60 seconds. Remove wok or pan from heat and stir in salt and pepper to taste. Quickly pull out sprouts onto a platter, so they don’t keep cooking. Ready to eat!
Yields: 4 to 6
Nutritional Facts Per Serving*
Calories from fat: 33% DV
Saturated Fat: 0.5g
*Nutritional facts may vary depending on yield
5. Beef and Bean Sprout Stir-Fry
- 1 can (14 ounces) bean sprouts, drained
- 1/8 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. instant chicken bouillon granules
- A pinch of white pepper
- 5 tsp. soy sauce, divided
- 3 tsp. cornstarch, divided
- 1 tbsp. oyster sauce (optional)
- ¼ cup vegetable oil, divided
- ½ cup sliced water chestnuts
- ½ cup green onions, sliced into 1-inch segments
- ½ cup cold water
- 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
- 1 egg white, slightly beaten
- 1lb boneless beef sirloin, cut into thin strips
- Hot cooked rice, for serving
Total: 1hr 20 min. Prep: 30 min. Inactive: 30 min. Cook: 20 min.
In a medium mixing bowl, blend egg white, 2 tsp. soy sauce, 1 tsp. cornstarch, garlic powder, ginger, salt, and pepper. Add beef and mix until coated evenly. Cover bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Mix cold water, (optional) oyster sauce, 3 tsp. soy sauce, 2 tsp. cornstarch, and bouillon granules in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside.
In a large skillet, heat 2 tbsp. oil. Add in beef mixture and stir-fry on medium-high heat until beef is browned. Remove beef from skillet and set aside. Add remaining oil into the skillet and throw in the mushrooms and onions, stir-frying on medium-high heat for 1 minute. Add in water chestnuts and sprouts, stir-frying for another minute. Stir in cornstarch mixture and beef and cook until bubbling and thick. Serve immediately, optionally with rice or added soy sauce.
Nutritional Facts Per Serving
Bean Sprouts Are the Way to Go
Adding bean sprouts into your diet is a great way to get essential nutrients for your body. With these recipes, you can turn them into a delish dish for the family or just for two. Growing them at home adds even more pride to the experience and is easy to do. Impressing guests or family members with these easy recipes is a sure thing!