16 January 2013


I don't have cheesecloth. I don't have a large jar. I do have plenty of tupperware though. Not the cheapo kind that's "disposable" (and there's a misnomer if ever I heard one; you go to any thrift store or yard sale, and I guarantee that you'll find actual tupperware cheaper than that stuff they sell as disposable), but the actual kind with those lids that are flexible. This is important, so stay with me.

What I did was that I started with 1/2 cup of mung beans, and soaked them in 3 cups of water overnight (8 - 10 hours). The next morning, I drained off the liquid, and rinsed them well under running water. Then, I threw it into a square tupperware container, and only locked down two corners of the lid. I kept the other two open. This will work with pretty much any container you have. Just leave the lid propped open somewhat. I used a tupperware, but you can use a pot with a slightly ajar lid. For the next three days, you'll need to rinse your sprouts at least once a day. You'll want to keep your container in a warm place that won't see much light. I used the cupboard under my sink. I vaguely recall that when you do expose them to light, you'd get some pretty foul smells going.

Anyway. Once all that's done, you'll have beautiful long sprouts from your beans. The point is that regardless of whether or not you've got the things lying around that most people say you need to make sprouts. When I read those instructions online, I tend to mentally shut down, and say "Well, that's me then. No cheesecloth, so I don't have to bother."

But you should bother. In the winter, when the days are all short and horrible, and it gets dark by 5:00, you need things in your diet that are rich in nutrients. Take the mung bean sprouts. A cup of the stuff has like 30 calories, and has all kinds of vitamins and minerals in it. It's got fibre, it's got protein, and vitamin C. Seriously, you can't go wrong. That said, if you really can't be bothered to sprout your own beans, even though I've just told you how easy it is, just go buy them. Eat your sprouts either way.

Bean Sprout Salad

1 cup of bean sprouts, rinsed
1 lemon, juiced (or 3 TB lemon juice)
1/2 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp mustard seed
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp sesame seeds
Big pinch cayenne pepper
Salt, to taste

In a skillet, heat the oil over high heat. Add the mustard seeds, and allow them to pop. Add the cumin seeds and sesame seeds, and turn off the heat. They will pop in the residual heat. Add the bean sprouts, lemon juice, and cayenne. Toss to combine with the seasoning and juice.

This dish is done lightning fast, and tastes very good. Because the sprouts are so tender, they don't really need to be cooked. A gentle warming through does the job.