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pre-sprout.

A few months back I thought it would be cool to experiment with sprouting mung beans and share the process. It’s a pretty simple one: soak beans for about 12 hours, drain, then keep in a jar in the dark for a few days, rinsing every 12 hours or so, until—tada!—bean sprouts.

mung beans

This method is foolproof only if you possess an innate ability to plan ahead and are able to couple that with a daily attention to detail.

mung beans

Unfortunately, I possess neither. I am, however, completely in love with this specific colour.

My favourite colour.

So I tried to sprout these TWICE, and each time made it to the point where things were looking promising.

mung beans

And then both times, I forgot about the damn things in my cupboard until they were oversprouted and bitter and not very edible.

Oversprouted.

And even though they weren’t edible, they were so pretty.

Funky early 90s hair.

Good news, though! Steph of ::steph chows:: did a nice little writeup of her far more successful experience with mung beans, which echoed much of the research I had done in sprouting my own.

Here’s hoping I’m a better farmer in my CSA’s fields this summer, eh?


Whoah, awesome sauce edit!

So if you’re not the comment-reading type, you may have missed this awesome comment from Jasmine, who, rather than pontificating from the opposite side of the globe about how to sprout mung beans, actually hails from that side of the globe and shared some excellent knowledge:

Hi! Here in asia we call these mung beans “green beans”, and use them to make sweetened, ‘cooling’ soups to ward off the heat of summer. Job’s tears (we call them “barley”) and mung beans, together with sugar and some fragrant pandan leaves, put into a pot and on a slow boil will make this humble beverage.

We also sprout mung beans until they are about 2 inches long — they are called “beanstalks” and added into clear soups or sauteed (you may have seen them in “chow mein” or fried noodles). Although you can buy these from your local Chinese grocer’s, I imagine. We sprout them by getting cotton wool (the kind you use for your face will do), soaking it in water and putting those little beans in them, near the sun. Water daily and they’ll grow!

Addendum
Oh, sorry to mention — I’m from Singapore … and here are some local dishes where mung bean sprouts are used!

http://www.noobcook.com/2008/03/11/bean-sprouts-with-salted-fish/

I love reading Omnomicon because I really see what people on the other side of the world is eating! (sorry if all that I’ve said is super ass-vicey)

Jasmine, your comments are not only welcome, but TOTALLY appreciated! And it goes without saying that Omnomicon loves having you for a reader, much of my aim is to gather all kinds of different perspectives on the food I present!

I have an interest in food cultures outside the US (and even outside my little corner of the country), but unfortunately it’s difficult for me to know that the info I am able to gather is even remotely accurate. Next time I’m whipping up a batch of Pho, I’m totally going to try Jasmine’s suggestion. Thanks again, you’re a doll!

  1. Jasmine Said,

    Hi! Here in asia we call these mung beans “green beans”, and use them to make sweetened, ‘cooling’ soups to ward off the heat of summer. Job’s tears (we call them “barley”) and mung beans, together with sugar and some fragrant pandan leaves, put into a pot and on a slow boil will make this humble beverage.

    We also sprout mung beans until they are about 2 inches long — they are called “beanstalks” and added into clear soups or sauteed (you may have seen them in “chow mein” or fried noodles). Although you can buy these from your local Chinese grocer’s, I imagine. We sprout them by getting cotton wool (the kind you use for your face will do), soaking it in water and putting those little beans in them, near the sun. Water daily and they’ll grow!

  2. Jasmine Said,

    Oh, sorry to mention — I’m from Singapore … and here are some local dishes where mung bean sprouts are used!

    http://www.noobcook.com/2008/03/11/bean-sprouts-with-salted-fish/

    I love reading Omnomicon because I really see what people on the other side of the world is eating! (sorry if all that I’ve said is super ass-vicey)

  3. Apollo Said,

    ^That’s a pretty neat comment right there.

    I have to say, ‘mung bean’ sounds downright offensive. Nice pictures, though. I wish I had a CSA farm to work at. Stupid jerk Alabama with it’s lack of CSAs…

  4. stephchows Said,

    Awwww! Sorry you forgot about yours!! I totally wrote myself a note so I wouldn’t forget LOL. And thanks for the shout out :) I just did alfalfa this last week too! So tasty :) http://stephchows.blogspot.com/2009/05/im-alfafa-sprout-farmer.html

  5. Ritts Said,

    here’s a link for the ‘sweet soup’ jasmine mentioned – indonesian style!

    http://www.bakespace.com/recipes/detail/Bubur-Katjang-Idjo—Indonesian-Mung-Bean-Porridge-/14762/

  6. lukeMV Said,

    Awesome posting….I always just thought that bean sprouts started as they looked served!

  7. Nadia Said,

    Also from a random factoid from Singapore, we had to grow those beans (traditionally called Taugeh, pronounced “tao-gay”) for science class in primary school! :)

  8. Jasmine Said,

    OMG! What a sweet surprise! Thank you, Aleta! And Nadia is absolutely right, we grew them in primary school. I hope the method I suggested works for you (perhaps the humid weather here lets *anything* grow). Good luck with the pho! I love your site :)

  9. Sprouting Seeds Said,

    Great post but better yet, great photos. I must say they are very nice. I have been sprouting for a long time now thanks to the information available online. Here is a recipe for sprouts;
    http://www.sproutingsprouts.com/sprouts-recipe/a-simple-sprouts-recipe-toasted-whole-wheat-bagel-with-sprouts

  10. Josh Said,

    If those are crunchy, they remind me of what we call bean sprouts in the UK. They’re absolutely delicious in stir-frys, especially with beef in my opinion :)

    Looks like I’m not the only one that “grew” them in infant school!

  11. Rambling on Cooking Day - Real Cheap Food Said,

    [...] reminded me that I needed to rinse those.  I put the spouted rye in the refrigerator and rinsed the sprouting mung beans and the mix of alfalfa, radish, broccoli, and [...]

  12. R. T. Said,

    What can I do to avoid the little hair roots on my sprouts? I am sprouting at room temp in the dark. Do I need higher temp? lower temp? any ideas?

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