There was a time which in the past I remember bean sprouts being a component of one of my oriental favourites - Eggs Foo Yung. See here. I can always get fresh mung bean sprouts and do when I prepare the Foo Yung. The fresh are clean, crisp and fresh tasting whereas the canned have a – well, canned taste, are slightly less crunchy and include the customary added salt.
I remember this chi-chi café which has these specialty coffees and light lunchtime salads and sandwiches, as well as pastries. It is before Starbucks is invented. One time we’re there and I get a turkey sandwich on “artisan bread” (I told you it was chi-chi). This sandwich has the eponymous turkey, a light, flavoured mayonnaise and so forth. But what makes this sandwich special is the crisp, crunchy texture along with a captivating hint of nuttiness derived from the fresh alfalfa bean sprouts contained therein.
Sprouts are alive, literally; and delicious on salads or can be steamed, sautéed (chi- chi term for “fried”) or used in stir-fried dishes.
If this isn’t enough good news, I find that fresh bean sprouts are low-calorie, full of vitamins and phytonutrients, and contain useful enzymes. Enzymes are very important because a lack of them is implicated in many diseases, including the big ones like cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, arthritis etc. Along with the enzymes, there are the proteins, good (complex) carbhohydrates, essential fatty acids plus fibre. Basically, sprouts contain all the nutrients found in fruits and vegetables and for all this they are quite inexpensive.
Sprouts are very versatile. Here are just a few uses for these tender bean shoots.
- Chop and mix with soft cheese for dips
- Chop finely and use with sandwich spreads
- Put into grilled cheese sandwiches
- Put into soups and stews just before serving
- Use in omelets
- Mix into rice dishes
Since sprouts are so healthy, regular consumption of them is a swell idea. Here is a recipe to get you started
Fried Rice with Sprouts serves 4
2 tablespoons canola oil or light olive oil
1 onion, minced
2 minced cloves of garlic, or to taste
1 stalk of celery, diced
1 cup of diced or sliced mushrooms
1 cup bean sprouts
1 cup bean sprouts
1 scrambled egg, chopped
2 cups of day-old cooked rice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
- Heat large skillet, add vegetable oil
- Toss in onion, garlic, celery and mushrooms
- Fry while stirring for 3-5 minutes
- Stir in the sprouts, chopped scrambled egg and the prepared rice
- Add the soy sauce
- Cook till rice is hot
Day-old rice is best for fried rice recipes because it doesn’t stick to the skillet.
Get familiar with sprouts; they are a wonderful addition to your diet.