Have you ever faced a situation where you ran out of bean sprouts in your home? Suppose you planned to make a delicious and nutritionally rich dish using bean sprouts but don’t have any in your refrigerator. You immediately visit the store but can’t find it there too. Many people have faced this situation at least once in their lifetime.
So, what do you think would be your first instinct if you cannot find bean sprout, even at the store? You will try to find a substitute that you can use instead of it. And if you are in quest for the next best substitute for bean sprouts, then my friend, you are at the right spot because, in this article, you will find everything you need to know about the best substitute for bean sprouts.
The best alternatives of mung bean sprouts are similar in texture and taste and won’t let you realize the absence of original bean sprouts in your dish.
1. Soybean sprouts
Soybean seeds act as a great substitute for mung bean sprouts. They are crunchy, similar in taste, and are packed with nutrients, just like bean sprouts.
Soybean sprouts are consumed almost daily in Korea, Japan, and China.
2. Snow peas
Unripe snow peas with flat and thin pod walls can be consumed instead of bean sprouts. All you need to do is chop the snow peas according to your desired shape and use it in the dish. If you want, you can consume it whole too.
3. Bamboo shoots
Young bamboo shoots can also be used as an alternative. They have a thick exterior that needs to be peeled before cooking. They are not only low in calories but also rich in potassium and fiber.
4. Enoki mushrooms
It is often said that Enoki mushrooms and bean sprouts are twin sisters. They resemble in size, color, and look precisely similar. The only thing in which they differ is their taste. Bean sprouts have a nutty flavor associated with it, whereas Enoki mushrooms are peppery in taste. It is preferable to eat it raw in salads or any other dish since it cannot withstand heat.
There is hardly anyone who doesn’t know what cabbage is. It is widely consumed all over the world. And the fun fact is, it can be used instead of bean sprouts too. Thinly sliced green cabbage, when used in a dish, adds crunch similar to bean sprouts.
6. Sunflower sprouts
Sunflower sprouts are small in size compared to bean sprouts, and they also differ in color, i.e., sunflower sprouts are green in color. Since these sprouts are grown from sunflower seeds, hence they taste the same. Slicing of the shoots isn’t required as they are small and have a sharp edge flavor.
7. Alfalfa sprouts
Enriched with vitamins and minerals, alfalfa sprouts are an excellent substitute for bean sprouts. But they are susceptible to carrying food-borne illnesses such as E.coli, listeria, and salmonella. It is advised to eat homegrown clean alfalfa sprouts, and it should be cooked for a long time to eliminate bacteria or any other germs.
8. Homegrown mung bean sprouts
If you cannot find any of the above substitutes and can wait for a few days, it would be good to buy fresh mung beans from the market for growing bean sprouts at your place. Just follow these simple and super easy steps: –
- Take 1 cup of dried mung beans and soak it in clean, non-chlorinated drinking water for 10 to 12 hours. You can soak it at night or even in the morning.
- After soaking them for 12 hours, wash them in clean water and transfer the rinsed beans to a strainer basket, as shown in the below picture.
- You are required to place a towel at the bottom of the strainer so that the mung beans don’t escape through the strainer holes. You can use several layers of paper towels.
- Place a piece of cloth over the mung beans if you aren’t using anything to cover it and cover the entire container with a dark cloth. Keep it in the dark place. Mung beans need a dark environment for sprouting.
- You are required to repeat the process of rinsing the mung beans twice for the next 5 days. Within 5 days, you will see sprouted yellow leaves and long shoots.
- Once they are grown, separate the bean sprouts from the cloth gently and rinse them thoroughly. Spread the bean sprouts on a clean dish towel. You are required to break off the roots. Store them in an airtight container.
And hence, you will have fresh, chemical-free, homegrown bean sprouts at your own home. Awesome, isn’t it?
Therefore, these are some of the best substitutes that you can use instead of bean sprouts. Indeed, each one of them has its signature taste when consumed, but it will surely add the desired crunch and delicate flavor similar to bean sprouts to your delicious dish. Hence, make sure to try each one of these as a substitute in your dishes in the future to experience varied tastes.