Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Better Sprouts

Bean sprouts are something I would have on hand all the time if they weren't so spoil-happy. They're really hard to source in a pristine, white, crisp condition. Past their prime, they're soggy and brown and do not resemble anything you'd care to eat. Unfortunately, this is usually how I find them at grocery stores - looking at least 2-3 days old.

DIY spouting is something I haven't done in a number of years. On a recent grocery run at Whole Foods I came across mung beans and a sprouting jar - basically a glass jar with a mesh lid. I have no idea what became of my spouting lids so I picked up a new jar. This new jar is huge - kind of silly, really. My old system was a series of lids (to accommodate draining of different sized sprouts) that fit standard mason jars. But my new one works well, too, and I do like the stainless steel strainer. My old lids were plastic.

The basics of sprouting include gathering the beans and equipment, allowing the beans to soak overnight and then rinsing and draining 2-3 times per day. I started with 2 T of mung beans, which should yield about one cup of sprouts.

The photo above shows mung beans following their overnight soak. To their right are the dry beans. I took that photo yesterday. This morning when I inspected the sprouting beans, they had dried and sprouted little tails. This is today:

I rinsed them and put them back in a dark corner on my kitchen counter. In another two days they should be ready to eat. I haven't made pad thai in awhile, so that's how I'll use the harvest. Other good ways to use bean sprouts are for gyoza and atop Asian soups like Chili Ramen.

Any sprouters among you?

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