I’m pretty excited to release this video! A couple years ago I made a video on how to grow your own soybean sprouts, and since then I’ve been experimenting with growing my own mung bean sprouts.
Korean cuisine uses mung bean and soybean sprouts in many dishes (like this mung bean sprout side dish). I love their crispy texture. Now that I grow them at home I eat them a lot more often, and they are also cheaper and more delicious than what I can buy in a store!
They are pretty simple to grow, but you need patience and you need to be sure to water them often, or else they won’t grow long, plump and crispy, they’ll be thin and stringy. Also, be sure to keep them out of the light, so they grow yellow, not green. I used an old black t-shirt over top of my planter to keep them dark.
As I mentioned in the video, I have strong memories of my grandmother growing soybean sprouts when I was young. I used to be woken up by the sounds of her dripping and trickling water over the sprouts at all hours of the night.
She had them in a corner in the room where we slept. She used to make a huge amount in a large basin, with a wooden platform across it, on top of which she grew the beans in a traditional Korean siru (시루), an earthenware pot with holes in the bottom used for steaming rice cakes. She was always watering her beans by scooping some water from the basin over top of them. Over time, the sprouts grew owing to my grandmother’s care. It made a real impression on me.
I’m always excited while my bean sprouts are growing. If I go out, I keep thinking about how my sprouts are waiting for me to water them. When I wake up during the night, I rush to my sprouts to water them: “Oh my babies, you must have been thirsty!”
It’s a one-week commitment but it gives me a lot of happiness. When I think about my grandmother, I’m sure she must have felt the same way as I do.
What you need (for 5 pounds of mung bean sprouts):
- 1½ cup dried mung beans
- Plastic planter, 11 inches in diameter, 8½ inch tall. You can get this at a hardware store or on Amazon
- mesh net pouch (I get one when I buy onions)
- black cloth
- large bowl or basin
- a small bowl
- Pick out any broken or blemished beans. Wash and drain and soak the beans in cold water for 24 hours.
- The next day, place the mesh net on the bottom of the planter and add a paper towel over it. Drain the beans and put them into the planter on the paper towel. Wet the beans with cold running water one last time.
- Put the small bowl upside down in the large basin. Put the planter on top of the small bowl, so the water will drain out nicely into the basin, and the planter won’t sit in the water. Cover it with the black cloth.
- Water the beans as often as you can, at least every 3 hours. It’s ok not to water them all night, but if you happen to wake up you can water them. Otherwise, be sure to water them first thing in the morning.
- On the 3rd day, the beans will start sprouting.
- On the 5th day, the sprouts will grow 2 to 3 inches long.
- The 6th day should be harvest day. You’ll get 5 pounds of bean sprouts. Put them into plastic bags and keep them in the fridge. You can store the sprouts for up to 7 days, longer than that and they may brown and wither.