Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sprouty McSprouterson

Sprouts are the answer for those of us wanting to grow our own food, but do not want to wait months for the harvest. To put this in knitter's lingo, sprouts are to gardening that dishrags are to knitting.

I scoured my Indian cookbooks, searched the Internet, and picked my friend's brain on how to sprout beans. It seemed easy enough, but some of the instructions were pretty labor intensive and involved expensive gadgets and special beans. My head was hurting from information overload.

My friend's sprouting instructions could not have been easier. She soaks the beans, drains them, and then sticks them in the fridge. That's all! None of this "rinse 6 times a day and put them in a sprouting rack" business.

I procured some dried organic mung beans and lentils from a nearby health food store. I chose not to buy the beans marketed as "sprouting beans" because they were about 3 times as much as the organic beans. I also chose not to buy the $30 sprouting rack.

Here is how to sprout beans, wildtomato style:
  1. Soak 1/2 cup of dried beans in water for 24 hours. This yields around 3 cups of sprouts.
  2. Drain the beans and rinse them.
  3. Put the beans into a bowl and cover with a towel. Place in a cool, dark place.
  4. Once a day, rinse and drain the beans with water.
  5. When the bean sprouts are 1/4-inch long, you're done! Stick them in the fridge if you are not going to use them right away.
I had 1/4-inch tails on my beans in 3 days. The sprouted beans had a nutty, grassy taste. We ate some of them for dinner tonight, mixed into Bhutanese red rice. We'll the rest for salads and stir-fries.

Mung bean sprouts are the type of bean sprouts found in Chinese food. These sprouts tasted miles better than those tasteless, limp things I get at restaurants or buy at the store.

These are my green lentil sprouts. Aren't they pretty?


  1. What? You could not wait a month to eat your sprouts? LOL! Glad it worked.

    If you are feeling spicy, you must add toasted mustard, tiny diced hot green chillis and some shredded coconut. And a squeeze of lemon. I want some mung sprouts now.

  2. Hmmm....I'm intrigued....

    I want to make chow mein next week (IN DA CROCK POT!) and I'd love to see if I could make my own sprouts! I love sprouts in chow mein. Do you know what kind of beans I would need?

  3. Mung bean sprouts are wonderful. I love the crunchiness, not to mention that they're easy to sprout.

    And you have a blog award waiting for you, but you have to visit me over at my blog to pick it up.

  4. Yumm! Those sprouts look enticing (and the BBQ in your last post sounds tasty, too) :)



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