Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Did you know sprouts are healthier than the actual vegetable or bean, in this case, that springs from it?

I remember countless late afternoons where my mom made me snap the ends off the mung bean sprouts. The bottom of the mung bean sprout is where the root used to be settled in the earth and a slight brown color. "Why do we have to do it?" my sister and I used to complain.

"Because," replied my mother, as many weary mothers will easily identify with not needing to explain their actions.

Turns out, when you blanch your mungbeans as in this recipe, the brown parts look translucent brown instead of the very pleasant translucent white.

Now blanching vegetables is very simple. The basic idea is to quick-cook them. So first you immerse them in boiling water for the proscribed amount of time (varies from vegetable to vegetable), and then you put them into a cold water bath to stop the cooking. Both steps are essential. You kinda wonder why even bother when mung bean sprouts are so crispy and fresh tasting on their own. In this case, blanching them lets the marinade soak into them much better. In other kim chi recipes they have had me salt them, but I think I might try blanching them next time as well.

Fantastic Mung Bean Sprouts tossed in Rice Vinegar and Sesame Oil

1 1/2 cup mung bean sprouts
1 drizzle of sesame seed oil
1 t sesame seeds
1 1/2 inch (approx 1 cm) coin of ginger peeled and in slivers
1 T soy sauce
1 T rice vinegar

Snap off the roots of all your mung bean sprouts. Children are especially useful for this task. Boil water and place mung bean sprouts in a bowl and cover them with boiling water for one minute. Drain the sprouts in a colander and run cold water over them.

In a bowl combine the rest of the ingredients and toss the sprouts in them.

The fantastic thing about this recipe is that it can be served as a starter or a vegetable side dish. You don't have to worry about it cooling because it's supposed to be served at room temperature.

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