Bean sprouts, a staple in almost all Asian kitchens and restaurants, are now becoming more popular worldwide.
Be it for their taste, freshness, or health benefits; bean sprouts can be the perfect addition to any home-cooked meal.
If you’re planning to try out this superfood, then it’s important to first learn what do bean sprouts taste like.
If you don’t know what it tastes like, you might end up pairing it with the wrong dish.
And this could spoil your entire meal. Now that’s something you wouldn’t want.
Find everything you need to know about bean sprouts’ flavor, texture, and cooking methods here.
What are Bean Sprouts?
As its name suggests, bean sprouts are simply sprouts from beans.
In other words, they’re the result of the germination of beans, especially mung beans and soybeans.
Here’s a quick comparison between the two most popular bean sprouts.
While mung bean sprouts tend to exhibit a greenish hue, soybean sprouts are yellowish and larger than the former.
They’re off-white and creamy in color, small in size, and packed with minerals and vitamins.
In fact, sprouts are believed to yield up to 800% more nutrition than fully-grown veggies.
These tiny sprouts are enjoyed in several Asian cuisines in both raw and cooked forms.
They’re usually added in stir fry dishes and salads to give meals a good nutritional-packed punch.
Thanks to their nutritional content, bean sprouts offer a wide range of health benefits.
Not only are they an ideal option for weight loss, but bean sprouts may also treat high blood pressure, boost digestion, and prevent cancer.
What Do Bean Sprouts Taste Like?
Bean sprouts have a distinctive taste that is mild but slightly bitter.
So, people who aren’t fans of bitter foods may have a hard time liking this superfood.
But that shouldn’t stop anyone from including bean sprouts in their diet because these small babies are packed with essential nutrients.
Soybean Sprouts Vs. Mung Bean Sprouts – Taste.
Soybean sprouts usually have larger heads compared to their counterparts.
Their stems are longer and skinnier, and taste earthy, grassy, and slightly nutty.
Compared to other sprouts, soybean sprouts have a stronger “bean” flavor.
They’re as refreshing, crispy, and light as any other sprouts.
On the other hand, mung beans taste clean, mild, and vegetal.
Similar to soybean sprouts, they also taste nutty and grassy.
If you expose the sprouts to sunlight for a longer period, they will taste bitter.
Taste of Raw Vs. Cooked Bean Sprouts
Raw bean sprouts tend to be fresher and crunchier in texture.
They also have a unique bitter taste that complements the flavor of many other dishes.
When it comes to cooked bean sprouts, they might lose their crunchy texture, depending on how long you cook them.
Cooked bean sprouts bring about a mild-sweet taste.
But all in all, the flavor of cooked bean sprouts will depend on the ingredients you use.
Sprouts can soak in the flavor of other dishes and ingredients really well.
Hence their flavor will change on how you prepare them.
How to Cook Bean Sprouts?
There is an endless sea of possibilities when it comes to cooking bean sprouts.
When you boil, fry, or roast them, sprouts will not disappoint in any form.
In fact, many cuisines use raw bean sprouts as well for their crunchy texture and bitter taste.
Raw sprouts also tend to contain higher levels of nutrients than their cooked counterparts.
On the flip side, raw sprouts usually contain harmful bacteria that are linked to food-poisoning issues.
Hence, raw sprouts are not advisable for children or people with a weak immune system.
Cooked bean sprouts, on the other hand, may slightly diminish their texture, flavor, and nutritional content.
But they’re still considered healthy and the safest option for consumption.
For cooking your bean sprouts, choose ones that have a pale color and firm texture.
Discard anything that looks slimy, wilted, or brownish.
You can boil the bean sprouts, which typically takes less than 2 minutes.
Make sure to rinse them off first.
After boiling in water, drain the boiled sprouts in cold water to stop the cooking process.
When it comes to sautéing the sprouts, you can do so for about 3-5 minutes in medium heat.
Add in your favorite herbs and seasoning for extra flavor.
Enjoy when they’re still warm.
One of the best things about bean sprouts is that these healthy vegetables are readily available anywhere.
You can source them from your nearest supermarket or grow them in your own kitchen.
Though highly beneficial for your health, bean sprouts are easy to grow and come at low prices.
So, if you haven’t tried these crunchy, tiny veggies yet, what are you waiting for?
Add them to your salad, stir-fry veggies, or noodle soup, and enjoy a nutrient-packed meal.