14 September 2006

Bean sprouts

Quite a few years ago, my Mum bought a book about growing different legume seeds into sprouts and living on them. She likes that sort of thing, but we could never get it right, and frankly it didn't taste very nice either.

These days it's great to be able to buy fresh bean sprouts for your stir fry, but the packets are always about twice as big as you'd need and they have a tendency to look a bit manky as soon as they leave the shop. So I thought, why not do my own? They are made of mung beans, cute little green things that you can also buy dried, so I did.

A recent visit to IKEA equipped me with a large glass jar - about 2.5 litre capacity. Take a black rubbish sack and wrap it around the jar and secure with sticky tape. The mung beans will only start growing in darknes, i. e. simulating that the beans have been planted in the ground.

Take your dried mung beans and remove any broken or mis-coloured ones. Put 2 dl of them in the jar, then half-fill it with water. Put a piece of straining cloth on the opening and secure it with a rubber band. Leave overnight to soak.

Drain the next morning, then place at an angle upside-down. I have a jam funnel, which turns out to be perfect. I put the funnel in a plastic box (from a distant Chinese take-away), then put the jar on top of the funnel, leaning it agaist the wall in the kitchen.

For the next three days, rinse the beans once or preferably twice (I kept forgetting) a day. After that they are ready for eating.

They should keep in the fridge for a week. Some recommend blanching if you want to use them in salads, but I'm never really sure what blanching means, so I never bother with that. Anyway, 2 dl dry mung beans will fill up the jar.

I found these instructions on a vegan web site. I don't approve of the concept, but this one was surprisingly well informed.

The sprouts are very high in vitamin C, and also A and some Bs and is a very good idea towards the end of Winter, when vegetables tend to get more plasticky tasting than ever before if you buy them from the shop or run out of fresh vegetables if you grow your own.

I'll try alfa alfa seeds next, as soon as I locate a health food store, where the shop girl speaks sufficient amount of English to understand me. In the case of the seeds, 2 tbsp should fill up the 2.5 l jar.

No comments: