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.
I love trying new foods, cooking, and gardening. I hope to share these experiences on this site. Thanks for taking a look!