Harvest Monday, January 16, 2012 – Growing Mung Beans Sprouts

Mung bean sprouts are easy to grow and fun to eat. A versatile vegetable that requires no preparation and only brief cooking. Brief cooking retains the crunchiness and brings out the sweetness. Mung bean sprouts can be eaten at any stage. Use it in soup, stir fry, as a side alone or combined with other ingredients.

The benefit of growing your own bean sprouts is that you can grow as much or as little as you like. Because of the ease of growing and because it can be eaten at any stage you have the ability to control the timing so it is available at its peak, nice and fresh, at the stage you like, when you need it. Bean sprouts will keep in the refrigerator for a few days just make sure the sprouts are dry to the touch before placing in plastic bag.

There are many sprouts growing equipments on the market but I like to use what I have on hand in the kitchen and the simpler the better. I purchase my mung beans from the health food store. If you are purchasing elsewhere, check to make sure the beans are not treated.

What you will need:
a clean colander, preferable a flat bottom one
cheese cloth or paper towel
mung beans, picked over carefully to get rid of any debris and broken seeds

Method:

Left, dry mung beans; right, mung beans after soaking for 8 hours.

1. Rinse beans well in serval changes of water. Place rinsed beans in a container, cover with at least 2 inches of warm water, soak for at least 8 hours or overnight.

2. Line colander with a layer of cheese cloth (prefer) or paper towel, this is to prevent beans from falling into the holes and clogging them.
3. Drain mung beans and spread in lined colander, cover beans with a layer of cheese cloth or paper towel. Spray with cool water, drain well. Place colander in a warm spot. Do not place in a closed cabinet where there is no air circulation. I keep mine on the kitchen counter.
4. Rinse beans with cool water 2 – 3 times daily, drain well after each rinse. Return colander to warm spot. Do not allow cheese cloth or paper towel to dry out between rinses.

This is what the sprouts look like after 24 hours. The roots are about ¼ inch long.

This is what the sprouts look like after 48 hours (on the second day). The roots are about ¾ – 1 inch long.

This is what the sprouts look like on the third day (72 hours). The roots are about 1½ inches long you can also see a stem.

This is what the sprouts look like on the 4th day. The roots are about 2 inches long. The sprouted beans have a tint of green because each time I uncover to take photo they are exposed to light. Keep under cover at all time for white sprouts.

This is what the sprouts look like on the 5th day. The stems are now about 2 inches long. The roots did not grow that much.
The sprouts on the left with the green tint are the ones on top of the pack and were exposed to light, the ones on the right are the ones at the bottom and were not exposed to light.
My sprouts are not as fat as the ones in the food markets. To get fat sprouts put a weight on top of the beans at the start.
I started out with 4 ounces (about ½ cup) of dry mung beans and harvest about 1½ pounds of sprouts at this stage. I sometimes let the sprouts grow another day or two.

Visit Daphne’s Dandelions http://daphnesdandelions.blogspot.com/ for more Harvest Mondays

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About Norma Chang

I am the author/publisher of 2 user-friendly Chinese cookbooks: "My Students' Favorite Chinese Recipes (updated edition)" and "Wokking Your Way to Low Fat Cooking" A gardener who enjoys cooking and eating and loves to think outside the box A garden volunteer at Locust Grove Heritage Vegetable Garden Conduct hands-on cooking workshops for teenagers Conduct cultural programs for children and family Conduct healthy cooking classes for adults
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52 Responses to Harvest Monday, January 16, 2012 – Growing Mung Beans Sprouts

  1. Liz says:

    I can’t believe how easy that is! I never like buying sprouts because I find they are best really fresh but I’d never thought of making my own. Thankyou for the prompt.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Liz,
      You are welcome. Since it is summer where you are, your sprouts will most likely grow at a faster rate than I have stated. It is winter where I am and I keep my house fairly cool especially at night so the sprouts do grow a bit slower.

  2. Joanne says:

    Oh wow, that is awesome, especially since sprouts are so expensive! Thanks for this post!

  3. Wilderness says:

    Norma thank you so much for the post. I read it in my email first thing this morning and have already ordered the seed this morning. I don’t know what you pay at the health food store but I found them on line with free shipping for $8 a pound. I am sure I am paying for the shipping just hid.

    I can’t wait for them to get here and I can make some. I have the perfect dish to grow them in. It is one of those steamers will all the little leaves that open up to fit the pan. Have you ever used coffee filters rather than paper towels to put them between?

    Also have you ever tried growing the plants and drying them. I ordered enough seed to give that a try. Have been doing some research this morning. It sounds doable.

    Again thanks for the post.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Wilderness,
      You are welcome. I paid $2.29 (they were on sale) a pound for organic mung beans at the health food store.
      No I have not used coffee filter but I am sure it will work just fine. Try the sprouts at different stages to find the stage you like best.
      No I have not grown the sprouts for drying, let me know what your results are and how you like the dried sprouts.

      • Wilderness says:

        That is cheap compared to anything I have found on line. You actually grow the plant and dry the beans to use for growing sprouts. I am going to give it a try. It will be close on timing with my short growing season but worth a try since the beans are so expensive.

      • Norma Chang says:

        Hello Wilderness,
        Yes, you can grow the beans and save seeds. ALSO, you can harvest the young pods and use as you would green beans, they are delicious. The only issue I had was that because the pods are so thin, it takes a lot to make a dish and it is quite tedious to harvest, but it is worth while as the tender bean pods are sooooo delicious and you cannot purchase them anywhere. I may just decide to grow them again this year.

  4. kitsapfg says:

    I keep saying I am going to do sprouts during the winter and then never seem to get around to it! I really need to just purchase some seed for sprouting – then I would have no excuse.

  5. My mom had my brother and I grow mung bean sprouts all the time when we were kids. Fun and so easy!

  6. Rick says:

    Thanks for the very informative post. We have grown other sprouts before but never mung beans. We are planing on growing some sprouts this winter to supplement our veggie supply so we will have to give them a try. Thanks for the instructions.

  7. leduesorelle says:

    Thanks for the detailed post, very helpful! I was taught to top and tail them before using, do you do that?

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Leduesorelle,
      Yes, in my younger days I would top and tail the sprouts before using them but only when I am entertaining, doing so, the sprouts are now elevated to become Silver Needles. This is a very tedious and time consuming process so I would only serve this dish to guests who understood and appreciated the time and labor involved. However removing the top (bean) you are eliminating the a nutritious part of the sprout. The reason I prefer to line the colander with cheesecloth is the roots grows through the cheesecloth and colander holes and I can shave off the roots (tail) with a sharp knife.

  8. Katerina says:

    Thank you for visiting my blog. It is so good to know more people from this tremendous food community. I love Chinese food and i have made my family to love it too! Recently we took our 9 year old son to a chinese restaurant and he even ate his noodles with chopsticks. It was o much fun for all of us! I didn’t know that growing the sprouts are so easy. Thank you for showing the way!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Katerina,
      Thank you also for visiting my blog please vvisit again. I am glad to learn that you and family enjoy food. Yes, bean sprouts are fun and easy to grow.

  9. wok with ray says:

    Hi Norma,

    Thank you very much for this very informative and actually very educational post! I learn a lot of things from you about vegetables and bean sprout is one of them. I will be sharing this post with my facebook friends. I am so glad that I am following your blog. Have a great week, Norma!

    ~ ray ~

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Ray,
      You are welcome, I enjoy sharing whatever little knowlegde I possess. Makes me feel good knowing others are learning from my post. I hope your facebook friends find my post useful. Likewise, you have a great week too.

  10. Juliana says:

    I tried this one time, and did not work…the beans/sprouts started to smell funny so I end up discarding all…seeing yours made me want to try again.
    Thanks for the tips, I did not use a colander…
    Have a great week Norma 🙂

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Juliana,
      Thank you for visiting my blog. What kind of container did you use to grow your bean sprouts? Proper drainage and adequate air circulation is critical to growing bean sprouts, cleaniness is another important factor.

  11. Claudia says:

    I’ll be trying this one of these days – I love cooking with sprouts and adding them to salads and have wondered about “sprouting them” myself. Sounds like a kitchen project that might yield taste!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Claudia,
      Right now my grounds are frozen so growing sprouts indoor during the winter months keeps me “grounded” and happy, and yes the tasty yield is much appreciated. I am going to experiment with growing different sprouts and if successful, will post results.

  12. Jody says:

    How creative. You’ve added such a unique post to Harvest Monday. I’m going to go to the health food store tomorrow. I’d love to have such a great harvest in the dead of winter here! Thanks.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Jody,
      Yes, having a harvest in winter is a real treat. Let me know how you like growing your own sprouts. Try them at different stage to find the stage you like best.
      I am learning a great deal from Harvest Monday’s posts, everyone seems so organized, I am really, really going to try to be organized this year.

  13. that’s so awesome how you grow your own sprouts. this is something i want to try one day~ have a wonderful day Norma!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Junia,
      Do give growing sprouts a try. It is really fun and you observe the progress daily, quite a unique experience, makes me happy. You have a wonderful day too.

  14. I love how simple sprouting is in reality. No need for any fancy sprouting gadgets. This is the perfect way to do it 🙂

  15. Johanna GGG says:

    These look great – I love mung bean sprouts in stirfries and salad sandwiches but have never tried sprouting them – I really should do !

  16. beti says:

    I loe your tutorials! I would love to grow my own beans it looks quite easy to do

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Beti,
      Thanks. Yes, mung beans sprouts are really easy to grow. The important thing is clean equipment, good seeds, rinse and drain well and good air circulation. I hope you give it a try.

  17. rainfield says:

    1. Ipoh, Malaysia, is famous for her steamed short but fat bean sprouts that come together with delicious chicken.

    2. I like to boil Mung beans and add sugar later. It is good and has a cooling effect to our body.

  18. rainfield says:

    By the way, Happy Lunar New Year to you if you do celebrate.

  19. I love sprouting my beans! They are really good eats. Norma, I love your posts, they are so informative and relevant, you also take good pictures. Keep up the great blog.

  20. Wilderness says:

    Norma, my beans arrived yesterday and have them started already. Can’t wait to cook with them. Again thanks for the information.

  21. Hi Norma,

    I love your blog, and I especially liked the lesson how to grow mung bean sprouts.

  22. Ohhh i never knew you could grow mung beans at home 🙂 and it doesn’t seem to difficult ~ I love it when my grandma uses mung beans in her dishes~

  23. Pingback: The Food Matters Project: Seared Orange Beef with Bean Sprouts and Green Beans. 5 Points Plus per serving

  24. shame on me, literrarry i lived with this sprout
    it’s called toge in Indonesia,
    i think i won’t buy thaf from now on…..

  25. Pingback: Harvest Monday, January 27, 2014 – Last of My 2013 Harvest From the Fridge + 5 Most Viewed Post in 2013 | Garden to Wok

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