A Better Way to Grow Mung Bean Sprouts at Home: Easy and Cheap
Making mung bean sprouts at home easy and fun, and cheap, too: you can grow homemade bean sprouts for less than one dollar per batch!
Bean sprouts (also known as "bean shoots" or "mung bean sprouts") are a classic ingredient in in many dishes from cultures across Asia, such as Vietnamese, Korean and Thai food. Learning how to grow bean sprouts will also add a crisp texture and fresh taste to many of the dishes you already prepare at home.
Even if bean sprouts have their origins in Asian cultures and foods, they make a great snack and can complement almost any dish you can make at home. Mung bean sprouts add an awesome extra crunch and fresh yet mild taste to all kinds of home cooked meals. You can use them on sandwiches and as a garnish in soups and stews. Bean shoots also enhance salads with added texture, and pair well with stir fried vegetables and fried rice.
No matter how you add bean sprouts to your home cooking, growing bean shoots at home is an easy and cheap way to add more flavor and extra nutrients to your diet all year long!
These home-grown mung bean sprouts are ready to eat
Why learn how to sprout mung beans?
- Unlock extra nutrients: Sprouting activates the nutrients inside dormant seeds which give new plants the boost to start life. Sprouted beans including mung bean sprouts are a rich source of vitamins B and C, iron, protein and fiber.
- Huge savings: 1 tablespoon of mung bean seeds can turn into a cup of fully grown sprouts. That means from a one pound bag of seed, you can grow 34 cups of bean sprouts - that’s over 2 gallons of sprouts!
- Grow food with little space: Growing sprouts at home is a simple and easy way to grow your own food and add fresh living ingredients to your diet, even if you don’t have a garden or yard.
Mung bean seeds for sprouting are a beautiful shade of olive green
Steps how to grow mung bean sprouts from seed
My favorite method of preparing bean sprouts is sprouting mung beans in a jar, such as the Sproutify Supply Co. 22 oz. wide-mouth sprouting jar set. Sprouting mung beans in a colander or in a plastic bean sprouter is also possible if you want to grow many sprouts at once. These are the steps to follow when making bean sprouts from mung beans:
Get a supply of mung bean or adzuki bean seeds for sprouting (“bean sprouts seeds”). These don’t have to be special sprouting seeds, you can grow sprouts from the same beans found in the grocery store bulk section. However, seeds selected for sprouting often have higher germination rates and provide better sprouting success.
TIP: It is always important to grow sprouts from seeds meant directly for human consumption, as seeds for planting in the garden may contain coatings or chemicals for an agricultural use. Sproutify Supply Co. recommends the 16oz Organic Mung Bean Sprout Seeds from Food to Live.
Wash and prepare a wide-mouth mason jar or sprouting set with screen lid for sprouting. If you prefer, you can also grow bean sprouts in a seed sprouting tray or colander.
TIP: If you don’t have a proper sprouting jar or seed sprouting tray, you can use a regular glass jar and cover the jar mouth with cheesecloth or another sort of screen mesh and a rubber band. Then follow the rest of the steps as described.
Measure 1-2 tablespoons of seeds into the jar and fill the jar ½ full with water.
TIP: It’s important to not use too many seeds, or the sprouts can overpack the jar as they grow. This is especially important when growing a new sprouts variety for the first time. You can always increase the amount of seeds in your next batch. Get the guide to common sprouting mistakes!
Soak the seeds for 12 hours or overnight.
TIP: When soaking mung beans for sprouting, be sure and rinse the the seeds a few times first before leaving them to soak.
Pour off the water and rinse the bean seeds with fresh water several times, until the water is clear. Turn the jar upside down to allow all extra water to drain out.
Rinse and drain the seeds two times daily for the next 4-5 days, keeping the sprouts in a dark place such as inside a cabinet while they grow. Bean sprouts are ready to eat when they are around half an inch long (1.5 cm), however you can grow them longer if you like.
For greener sprouts, place bean sprouts into a bright area or indirect sunlight after day 4 or 5 (no direct sunlight, please!). The bright light will help the small sprout leaves to turn green, adding some color to your healthy and tasty sprouts. Enjoy!
I find that mung beans are the easiest beans to sprout. However, sprouting adzuki beans in a jar is also possible if you prefer. Adzuki bean sprouts have a nuttier taste than mung bean sprouts.
An example of small red Adzuki beans for sprouting
Ideas for cooking sprouted beans
Bean shoots taste great in soups, salads, on sandwiches and even raw by themselves as a crunchy snack!
For the taste of Chinese bean sprouts or Korean bean sprouts, you can also add the sprouts to cooked dishes such as vegetable stir fry, pad thai with tofu, ramen and even Korean bibimbap ! Frying bean sprouts will soften the sprouts and make them a translucent color. If you fry bean sprouts at home, I recommend to add a bit of roasted sesame oil for a delicate and delicious Asian flavor. For a more traditional taste, simply add your sprouts to salads or as a garnish on soups, or try making a sprouts sandwich.
When eating raw bean sprouts, it is normal that they have a bitter taste and this is normal. The bitterness will depend on the specific growing condition of the sprouts but is hard to control. Bitterness is characteristic of many healthy foods, such as arugula, and is not a sign of bad bean sprouts.
How to store leftover bean sprouts
Storing bean sprouts is as simple as placing the sprouts into a plastic container or Tupperware in the fridge. I always like to add a damp paper towel at the bottom of the container, which helps to maintain humidity in the container and prevent the sprouts from drying out. Storing mung bean sprouts or adzuki sprouts is possible in the fridge for up to a week. However, they are of course best when they are freshest. Old bean sprouts can become soggy or mushy, and that is a sign to throw them into the trash.
Even though many people like cooking mung bean sprouts, it's important to know that sprouts nutrients are available in a raw state. You do not need to cook them to unlock the health benefits and can always eat raw bean sprouts. Just be sure to give them a quick rinse before eating. If for any reason you prefer to lightly cook your bean shoots or to stop the sprouts' growth process before eating, you can quickly blanch them by placing in boiling water for 30-45 seconds and then immediately running under cold water to stop the cooking process.
Freezing bean sprouts is also possible. Frozen bean sprouts can be stored for for up to 10 months so long as they always remain below freezing temperature. To defrost and eat after freezing mung bean sprouts, submerge the frozen sprouts for 3 minutes into a pot of boiling water. Then, remove them from the pot and quickly rinse with cold water. This will blanch the sprouts but the cold water stops the cooking process so that the sprouts remain crisp. Enjoy!
Have questions about mung bean sprouts?
Leave a comment below and tell me about your experience learning how to grow mung bean sprouts at home!