Oddly enough, I have early memories of my mother sprouting mung beans. I grew up in Berkeley, and back in the day people there really liked their sprouts.
Odder still is the fact that I recently found a long-forgotten jar labeled "mung beans for sprouting" in my cabinet. This means that at some point I had aspirations to sprout as well. Curiouser and curiouser. I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
I need to clear out the cabinets, so I gave sprouting a try this week. The verdict? I actually like sprouting, and I will continue the practice until my half gallon jar empties. (It could be a while.) The sprouts are sturdier and healthier than what you buy, though mine are a little stunted due to crowded conditions. I'll use a bigger jar next time. If you use only 1/4 cup of beans, this will be about three cups of sprouts.
I followed directions that I found for sprouting in Madhur Jaffrey's World of the East Vegetarian Cooking, a copy I believe was originally my mother's. I checked the copyright date- 1981. Sounds about right, I would have been three then.
1/4 cup mung beans
one quart jar
cheesecloth or special lid for sprouting
Put the beans in a jar and cover the opening with some cheesecloth and a rubber band. Soak the beans in filtered water overnight. The next day, pour out all the water and set the jar in a warm dark place. Every four hours or so, fill the jar with water and pour it all out again.
You will forget frequently, but if you are not a perfectionist then once or twice a day will probably be enough. The sprouts will grow over the next three or four days. When they are long enough, put them in a big bowl of water and rub them to release the green skins. When those float to the top, pour them off. Drain the sprouts and keep them in the refrigerator for a few days.
Steamed Rice with Mung Bean Sprouts
And here is a meal that makes me think it's worth the effort. This was modified from the same cookbook. Rice cooked with sprouts and stirred together in a simple sauce. I fried an egg to serve over it. Next to it is warmed tofu topped with bonito flakes and soy sauce. My children were offended that it wasn't the plain rice they were expecting, but this was SO GOOD!
2 cups short grain white rice
2- 1/4 cups water
1 cup mung bean sprouts
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons sesame oil
3/4 teaspoon sugar
Put the rice in a small saucepan and add the water. Sprinkle the mung bean sprouts over the top. Put the lid on and bring the water to a boil over medium heat. Once it comes to a boil, turn the flame down to the lowest setting and set a timer for fifteen minutes.
Meanwhile, mix together the soy sauce, sugar, and sesame oil.
After the fifteen minutes is up, turn the flame off under the rice and let it sit for five minutes. Stir the soy sauce mixture into the rice or serve it separately. I like it all mixed together.
This was a quick snack last weekend, and one I will make again soon. It's incredibly filling and delicious. We tasted a version of this at Trader Joe's and decided to try making it ourselves from Eating Korean. It was worth it. My eight year old inhaled the pancakes and threw four bunches of green onions into the cart the next time we went shopping. Next time I make this I'm going to try it with a gluten free flour mixture. I tried three different dipping sauces, and the ingredients for those are listed below, so don't forget to scroll down and pick one or two.
We tried it with some shredded carrot the second time, and maybe next time we'll try bell pepper or something else, but the green onions are wonderful alone.
1/4 cup rice flour
3/4 cup flour
five green onions chopped up into 1-2 inch lengths (or 4 green onions and a shredded carrot)
oil for frying
In a bowl, stir together the flours and add a little bit of water at a time until the mixture has the consistency of a thin pancake batter. Stir in the green onions and a pinch of pepper. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add a little oil. When the oil gets hot, turn the pan so it is all lightly coated and the pancake won't stick. Too much oil and the pancake will be disgustingly greasy, so if you have too much pour it out.
Pour in half the batter, and when the bottom has browned, flip it over to cook the other side. When it's done cooking, slip it onto a cutting board and cut it into wedges. Serve it with one of the dips.
The sour cream based dip was delicious, and leftovers would have been good with beans and tortillas. The other two dipping sauces we combined to dress leftover roast chicken breast.
Oh yum. I used this on short ribs and then again with pork tenderloin. Delicious both times. The beef short ribs had the best flavor, but they were tough in spite of my best efforts to tenderize them. You can grill the meat or cook it under the broiler, but it tastes better grilled. We usually serve it with vinegared cucumbers, kim chi, and a fried vegetable. The traditional way with all the little sides would take an army. Suit yourself.
2-3 pounds meat
1/2 onion, minced
1/2 bulb garlic, peeled and minced
1/3 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons honey
Mix all the other ingredients together for the marinade except for the meat. Put the meat in a bowl, stir in the marinade, and leave it covered in the refrigerator overnight.
Grill the meat.
I love trying new foods, cooking, and gardening. I hope to share these experiences on this site. Thanks for taking a look!