Bean sprouts are those crunchy, earthy tasty little jewels that you’ll find in a myriad of dishes. They are super helpful to have at hand to spruce up a simple meal or they can be a key ingredient in your favorite salad or dish.
Bean sprouts are the germinated seeds of mung beans, lentils, soybeans, and other legumes.
Although they have been around forever, they have recently grown in popularity due to their health benefits.
So, what do you do when you can’t find bean sprouts? Maybe they’re out of stock, and you need to find an alternative.
Here is a bit more information about the humble bean sprout and a few of the best substitutes you can reach for.
Uses of Bean Sprouts in Cooking
While bean sprouts are tasty, their number one feature and benefit is their crunchy texture. Without a doubt, it’s their crisp bite that just keeps a person going back for more. They can be eaten raw or cooked into warm dishes. Either way, they are a healthy and really delicious addition to a dish.
Bean sprouts are used in salads, stir-fries, soups, and in stews. Combined with other crunchy vegetables like carrots, celery, and bell peppers, they pack a natural textural sensation to a dish.
Bean sprouts are often used as a topping or garnish; Their light and pretty appearance give height and wispiness to the top of a dish. Aside from salads, bean sprouts are wonderful when tucked inside a wrap or sandwich.
They are also brilliant when turned into a quick pickle with carrots and cucumber mixed in a little sugared vinegar and water.
5 of the Best Bean Sprout Substitutes
Don’t panic if you can’t find bean sprouts in your local grocery store. Luckily, there are a few alternatives that will be suitable for you to use in your culinary adventure. Here are a couple of fantastic alternatives to bean sprouts that will give you all the taste and crunch a good bean sprout would:
|Raw or cooked
|Vitamins A, C, B, fiber, and iron
|Vitamin C, fiber, Antioxidants
|Raw or cooked
|Riboflavin, vitamin D, E & K, niacin
|Raw or cooked
|Vitamin B and C
|Thiamine, niacine, vitamin B, A and E
1. Snow peas
Snow peas will absolutely give you the sweet earthiness of a bean sprout, as well as some superb crunch. They’re great in stir-fries or stews and can also be sliced thinly and used as a garnish to replace bean sprouts on top of a salad.
Snow peas are basically little peas that have been picked before they have grown or matured fully. They are good cooked or raw and are a great alternative to bean sprouts.
2. Bok Choy
While this ingredient looks nothing like a bean sprout, it provides some severe crunch, especially from its stem. The white stalk of the bok choy is beautifully textured and cooks up pretty quickly.
This alternative is best cooked into a dish, as opposed to eating it raw. Slice it up thinly, from the stalk base upwards, and you’ll have a lovely set of crunchy little bits to add to a soup or salad.
3. Enoki Mushrooms
These are a such fantastic alternatives to bean sprouts. Their pretty shape resembles bean sprouts quite closely as they are long and thin with a bit of cap on the end.
Great in soups and stir-fries, these lovely mild mushrooms can also be eaten raw and are, therefore, a pretty cool option to garnish with.
4. Soybean Sprouts
What’s actually pretty cool about these sprouts is that you can grow them yourself at home so simply. However, this doesn’t help if you’re looking for an alternative in a hurry.
Try to use these sprouts just as their tails begin to pop out behind them. That way, they will be lovely and a little bit sweet. They tend to get a little bitter if you let them grow a bit too long.
5. Bamboo shoots
Interestingly, bamboo shoots are a type of grass. They have such a lovely mild flavor and offer a delicious crunch to stir-fries, curries, and other warm dishes.
Slice the bamboo shoots up into a similar size to bean sprouts, and you’ll have a lovely healthy alternative.
The Best Way To Store Bean Sprouts
Bean sprouts have a particularly short life span once picked and in your fridge. The absolute best way to store your bean sprouts is as follows:
- Rinse your bean sprouts in cool running water.
- Allow them to dry on some kitchen paper and very gently pat them dry.
- Place a piece of dry kitchen paper inside a container and lay the sprouts inside.
- Seal the container with a lid and refrigerate.
Health Benefits of Bean Sprouts
The health benefits of bean sprouts are bountiful; here are a few reasons to eat these fantastic little ingredients.
Blood pressure benefits
Bean sprouts are known to assist in preventing high blood pressure and maintaining a healthy blood pressure level. Bean sprouts contain peptides that help in lowering blood pressure.
Bean sprouts are said to deal with “bad cholesterol,” which, of course, impacts the general health of your heart.
The protein and peptides in bean sprouts are associated with their ability to keep cancer at bay.
Bean sprouts contain levels of natural estrogen, which can assist with preventing osteoporosis.
The anti-inflammatory and alkaline properties of bean sprouts mean that they are able to assist in creating a healthy environment for the digestive system.
Wrapping It Up
Bean sprouts are a lovely texture and crunch-providing ingredient that is high in many essential health-promoting vitamins and minerals.
There are many good reasons to use them in a dish, and if you can’t access them, there are a few suitable substitutes that you can turn to.Print