Mung bean sprouts contain a lot of protein and fiber.
|Nutrition Facts for 100g Mung bean sprouts (according to DGE)|
|Calories:||24 kcal / 99 kJ|
No wonder then that they are an integral part of a healthy diet and a common ingredient in Asian cuisine. Thanks to their low fat content they’re considered very healthy and are available from virtually every asian grocery store and in many supermarkets, but you can also sprout them yourself!
Unfortunately, the quality that you can buy has being on the decline. Some vendors go so far and soak the sprouts in water in order to increase their weight. A lot of grocers even sell them even when they are already old. Since some time, my parents have begun to sprout them the old fashioned way, with a method that they have already used since before you could buy mung been sprouts in Germany.
This is a pure description of how sprouts are prepared by us. This is not a tutorial. If you want to start making your own sprouts, you should inform yourself thoroughly beforehand. Using contaminated sprouts and possibly unsanitary methods of operation and/or working material may pose a serious health risk. This goes double, if the sprouts are meant to be eaten raw, so be very diligent.
I also do not claim that this article is accurate or complete.
First, we need mung beans. You can get them in every asian grocery store nowadays at very reasonable prices. The desired amount of beans are then briefly doused in water and then placed in a clean container. For an effective soak, add enough water to the vessel so that there is as much water above the beans as the beans are high. We let this sit overnight.
This is how the beans look like after a nice soak. Now you can inspect the beans for discoloration or any other abnormalities and discard those. The more small rootlets you can see here, the better. It usually means the beans are fresh and vital.
We use a steamer insert for pots as our sprouting container. But this is only because we produce a lot of sprouts. For normal people, any container can be used, as long as you can drain it very well. Ideally, it should have holes on the bottom. That way, excess water can drain freely. The container also needs to be light proof.
On the floor you put a layer of paper towels and spread the beans on it. The bean layer may be up to 3 beans high. Keep a lid on it for a moist atmosphere. If light is allowed to shine on the beans, then they form their little leaves to soon and they want get very big.
We put a damp towel on top of it to prevent the beans from drying out.
Every day the beans have to be “watered”. This is mainly for hygienic reasons, which is why you should do it well and rinse thoroughly. If water is allowed to collect in a spot, then germs and mold can form there. Wring out the wet towel thoroughly before placing it on the beans again.
When rinsing the sprouts you might as well check their growth. This is how they look after 2 days.
After 3 days
For very thick and juicy sprouts you can apply some weights. I’m using just a dinner plate that fits well and a 1 kg weight. If you want to take advantage of this technique, then you should start right at the start. If you start midway, the sprouts can easily be break. In any case, the beans can lift a plate with as much as 2.5 kg on it.
Our Sprouts are ready!
So what did the weights accomplish? On the left is a sprout that has grown on the edge, around the dinner plate. Look how thin and lean it is. Many sprouts that I have seen in supermarkets look like this. On the right we can see our super heavy lifting variant of the, which is thick and juicy. These sprouts are generally superior for cooking and fry beautifully, without turning into mush.