5 Different Bean Sprouts Recipes | Learn How To Cook Bean Sprouts



Bean Sprouts Recipes - this article talks about the difference between soy and mung bean sprouts: their nutritional and medicinal values, how to choose, clean, and cook them with 5 different ways, and if you are interested, how to grow them.

When a Chinese person talks about bean sprouts 豆芽 (dou ya), they typically refer to two types: soy bean sprouts 黄豆芽 (huang dou ya) and mung bean sprouts 绿豆芽 (lui dou ya).

I am most familiar with mung bean sprouts when growing up. Granny loves to fry them with some garlic and chives or dried tofu cubes. She also like to use them in noodle soups or meatball soup. They are very cheap, only about 50 cents for a big bag. 

I encountered soy bean sprouts when Korean cuisine became popular in Singapore. I see them in bibimbap and as pickled side dishes at Korean restaurants. 

Bean sprouts

Both types of bean sprouts are very healthy. It is low in calories; about 23 calories per 100g of sprouts! Yet they pack a punch in the nutrients department. High in protein with many trace minerals and vitamins.

Both are mild tasting, in my opinion. They are relatively easy to prepare and can be added to a wide variety of dishes. Throw them into soups (my favourite), stir fry them, add them to wraps or savory pancakes, steam or blanch them with some natural vinegar, or juice the mung bean sprouts. 

1. Green Bean Sprouts 绿豆芽 (lui dou ya)

Green bean sprouts are also known as mung bean sprouts. It is the most common sprouts used in Southeast Asian cuisine. 

In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) green bean sprouts is considered cooling and detoxifying. It helps dispel summer heat and harmonizes the 5 major organs. As natural remedies, it is commonly given for hangovers, discomfort from the summer heat, lack of appetite, and general lethargy.

People with high blood pressure and coronary heart disease can eat it more frequently, especially during the summer months where high temperatures may add additional stress to the body. People with urinary tract infection or experience burning sensation when urinating can also try juicing mung bean sprouts.

Japanese researchers found that serving chives with mung bean sprouts can help constipation amongst the elderly and children. It is also beneficial for people with conditions caused by deficiencies in Vitamin A, B2 and C. 

2. Soy Bean Sprouts 黄豆芽 (huang dou ya)

Sprouted from soy beans, these are very common in Northeast Asia, especially in Korean cuisine. So far, I haven't seen a Korean dish without soy bean sprouts. 

They have large yellow heads and are bigger than mung bean sprouts, which meant that they take longer to cook. 

Soy beans benefit greatly from sprouting. Sprouting advocates will tell you that the amount of protein and trace minerals in beans dramatically increases for better absorption after sprouting. It also eliminates potential bloating experienced by some people when they consume legumes.

In the case of soy beans, sprouting breaks down the tough cellular walls and make the nutrients inside the beans more readily available.

Selection, Preparation and Cooking

Try to buy those still with their roots intact. They should be dry and firm with no unusual smell. Avoid those that have bruises or are limp. 

Soak them in a large colander to dislodge any dirt and grit. Drain well for use.

We typically do not remove the heads, only the roots. As a child, I used to get the bean sprout duty. I still remember being set up on the floor, with pieces of newspapers laid out. Granny would dump the sprouts onto the newspapers. I would then pick them up one at a time, pluck off the roots and then place the sprouts into a colander. When they are all de-rooted, granny will rinse and drain them for use. The roots and the newspapers are wrapped up and thrown away. I must say, it is quite therapeutic. I felt like I "earned" my dinner. 

Having said that, it is totally optional to remove the roots. They are perfectly safe to eat. If you decide to remove the roots, do so before soaking and cleaning.

Add a dash of vinegar when blanching the sprouts. It keeps the sprouts looking perky and plump, and protect the vitamins from being destroyed by cooking. 

5 Bean Sprouts Recipes

My #foodporn series. | Beef ball noodles with bean sprouts.

It isn't necessary to have a recipe for cooking bean sprouts in soup. They can be added to practically any type of clear soup.  Like the clear beef ball noodle soup above.

They feature prominently in popular Asian soup dishes because of that. Mung bean sprouts are added to laksa, Hokkien prawn noodle, Vietnamese pho soup, Thai rice noodle soup, Japanese ramen and more.

Just wash, clean and drain them for use. Drop a bunch into the soup pot and cook for 10 minutes before serving. 

1. Bean Sprout Thickened Soup Recipe

Besides clear soup, bean sprouts can be used in a thickened soup like this recipe here. If you are new to thickened soup, click here for some tips and instructions. 

Ingredients

  • 100g tomato
  • 50g dried Chinese mushrooms 
  • 150g soy bean sprouts
  • 200g bamboo shoots
  • 5 tbsp cornstarch mixture
  • Salt to taste

Directions

  1. Soak the mushrooms till soft. Remove the stems and cut the mushrooms into half
  2. Remove the heads and roots of the bean sprouts
  3. Slice the tomato and bamboo shoots thinly
  4. Place everything into a soup pot and add 5 cups of water
  5. Bring everything to a boil before lowering the heat and simmer for 20 minutes
  6. Add salt to taste

The tomato slices can be added slightly later if you prefer them less mushy although cooking them longer means the soup will be sweeter. 

2. Soy Bean Sprout Salad Recipe

A typical Asian salad that serves to open up the palate. 

Ingredients

  • 2kg soy mean sprouts
  • 3 tbsp minced garlic
  • 4 red chilli
  • 1 small bunch of chives
  • 3 stalks of spring onion

Seasonings

  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sesame seed oil
  • 1 tbsp sugar

Directions

  1. Wash, clean and drain the soy bean sprouts. Removing the roots is optional
  2. Add the salt and marinate it for 12 hours. Rinse off the salt water
  3. Wash the chives and spring onion, drain dry and cut into short strips
  4. Wash the chilli, slice them open and remove the seeds. Slice into thin strips
  5. Combine the seasoning together and mix it with sliced vegetables well
  6. Combine the sliced vegetables and bean sprouts. Store in a container and place inside the refrigerator to chill. Let it stand for at least 1 day before serving. Chill for no more than 3 days.

3. Pickled Mung Bean Sprouts Recipe

Ingredients

  • 300g mung bean sprouts
  • 1 tbsp peppercorns
  • 30ml rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • Salt to taste
  • 25ml salad oil

Directions

  1. Wash and clean the bean sprouts. Remove the heads and root
  2. Blanch them for 10 minutes, dunk into cold water, and drain well
  3. Heat up the salad oil in a saute pan and fry the peppercorns till fragrant. Remove them from the oil
  4. Lower the heat a little and flash fry the bean sprouts, add the vinegar, sugar and salt
  5. Combine the cornstarch in some water to make a cornstarch mixture
  6. Add to the sprouts to thicken up a bit.

4. Stir-fried Mung Bean Sprouts Recipe

Ingredients

  • 300g mung bean sprouts
  • 1 small carrot
  • 1 shallot or small red onion
  • Cooking oil
  • Dash of soy sauce and sesame seed oil

Directions

  1. Wash and remove the roots of the mung bean sprouts
  2. Peel and julienne the carrot
  3. Peel and chop finely the small red onion
  4. Heat up 1 tbsp of cooking oil in a frying pan and add the chopped onion
  5. Fry till lightly brown and fragrant
  6. Add the carrot and fry till it is slightly soft, add the sprouts
  7. Fry everything till soft. 
  8. Add soy sauce and sesame seed oil to taste
  9. As the sprouts cook, it will release some moisture which should be sufficient for the pan not to be too dry, but if it seems to be drying up and making stirring it a tad difficult, add a splash of soup stock or water.  
  10. Serve with flatbread, spring roll sheets or Vietnamese rice sheets

5. Bean Sprouts and Egg Omelette Recipe

This dish is cheap and nutritious. A farm staple. 

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 200g bean sprouts
  • Salt and pepper or soy sauce
  • Cooking oil

Directions

  1. Beat the eggs, add a little water and season with some salt and pepper. You can use soy sauce as well
  2. Heat 2 to 3 tbsp cooking oil in a flat frying pan
  3. When the oil starts to smoke, pour in the beaten egg
  4. Swirl the egg around to coat the pan a little 
  5. When the edges of the egg start to curl, add the bean sprouts spreading them evenly on top of the egg
  6. When the omelette looks firm enough, flip it over
  7. Fry till golden brown on both sides
  8. Serve hot with steamed rice

Sprouting Tips

Mung beans are quite easy to sprout. You can use a sprouter machine designed for the purpose or do-it-yourself. Sprouting mung beans is a good idea because the sprouts are organic and fresh. And because you grew them, you know they are safe to eat. 

The video below shows this Korean lady growing mung bean sprouts in a flower pot. I think she over did the amount but you can see how a small amount of mung beans can produce such a huge harvest in 5 days. OMG! 

She also did a video growing soy bean sprouts. It only takes 5 days. 

If you think watering the sprouts every 3 hours a tad tedious, then perhaps a sprouter machine might be worth investing in. 

Deluxe Kitchen Crop 4-Tray Seed Sprouter by VICTORIO VKP1200

Not forgetting the beans. 

1. Sprouting Seeds Mung Bean 5 Pounds - Todd's Seeds

2. Laura Soybeans by SoyaJoy- 5 Lbs

Happy Souping, Phoebe