Mung Beans can be considered as the "unknown little sister" of the soybean. But even though the bean is comparatively unknown in the western world, it has played an integral part in the Asian and Indian cuisine for centuries.
Mung Beans belong to the "legume-family", just like chickpeas, black- and white beans and lentils. The beans are super low-fat and contain a great amount of protein and fibre. Besides, they are rich in various essential amino acids as well as nourishing minerals, such as Vitamin A, B1, B2, C, K, niacin, folic acid, magnesium, calcium, potassium, phosphorous, selenium and iron.
Depending on your desired outcome, you have different options with regards to your Mung Bean Sprouting equipment. If you want to grow Mung Bean Sprouts and eat them as a "baby sprout", a sprouting glass works perfectly. If however, you desire to grow larger sprouts, similar to the classic soybean sprouts available in the supermarket, an easy DIY sieve-sprouting box is a great option.
1. Equipment Option A: Sprouting Glass
In the image below you can see how I grew Mung Bean Sprouts in a Sprouting Glass. The glass jar I purchased on Amazon just like the separate lids. If you want to save money on the lids, you can also use a muslin cloth that you fix with an elastic band. Here the link to the jars and the lids. Very helpful is also a jar stand as your sprouting jar needs to remain rested overhead throughout the sprouting process. If you would let it sit upright, the mini seeds are at risk of molding due to their constant exposure to water. (See image above, I grow my seeds in a Ball sprouting glass).
2. Equipment Option B: "DIY Sieve-Sprouting house"
The "DIY Sieve-sprouting house", how I call it, works perfectly for everyone, who doesn't want to invest in any extra sprouting equipment. What you need is a sieve, an additional large bowl to collect the extra water and a kitchen towel or muslin cloth to keep the sprouts covered and hydrated at the same time. Many DIY sprouting experts also suggest to top the sprouts with something heavy as well, such as a can. This will help the sprouts to grow straight stems. Take a look at the pictures below to see how I created this DIY sprouting house myself.
3. Organic Mung Bean Seeds
When it comes to seeds, you should pay close attention. Do not buy non-organic sprouting seeds as they are typically chemically treated beforehand and therefore harmful for us if we eat them "raw" after the sprouting process. To be save, always go with organic seeds. I like to buy the sprouts from Sonnentor (German brand) and Eschenfelder (German regional company). An Amercian Amazon option would be Food to Live's organic sprouts.
In summary you need...
- Organic Mung Beans (non-organic are often chemically treated and not safe to be digested "raw")
- Patience and commitment. You need to water your sprouts at least twice a day!
In the following, I will go briefly over the regular steps of any sprouting process:
1. Soak your seeds. Mung beans should be soaked for at least 8 hours to kickstart the sprouting process. (I usually soak them overnight and transfer them into their bowl/ jar the next morning.)
2. Rinse seeds off with cold water and place them into the desired sprouting jar/ bowl.
3. Wash sprouts 2-3 times a day to ensure your sprouts stay nicely hydrated to grow as desired.
4. Let the Mung Bean seeds sprout for at least 3 days. Then, feel free to harvest them at any time. Be aware though, Mung Beans should not be eaten "raw" before day 3 of sprouting.
Mung Beans have a very fresh, mild, crunchy and slighly sweet taste, similar to the well-known soy sprouts we find in nearly all Asian dishes. If you grow your Mung Beans in the dark (covered with a towel), the taste of your sprouts, turns out particularly mild. If however, they are exposed to sunlight, they may taste slightly bitter. The bitterness is very gentle though in my opinion. I often don't mind the slight bitterness and just grow them in their sprouting glass. So it's totally up to you, whether or not you grow your Mung Bean sprouts in the dark.
There are tons of delicious and wholesome recipes you can prep with Mung Bean sprouts and Microgreens. You can either roast the Mung Beans either in their "sprout stage" but also as "microgreens", or add the bean raw to a salad, a delicious soup or your favorite wholegrain slice of bread. One of my current favorites are Mung Beans as an addition to a colorful and super wholesome rainbow bowl.
I recommend 2 Tbsp of Mung Beans to kickstart the process. You will be surprised, with how much green you end up with.
Soak your sprouts for at least 8hours before you rinse them off to start the sprouting process.
I recommend you to wash them at least twice a day. I normally rinse them off with cold water when I get up in the morning and before I go to sleep at night. If you wish, you can also wash them a third or fourth time but it's no must.
4. How long does it take to sprout Mung Beans and when can I harvest my Mung Bean sprouts?
It normally takes 3-5 days until your Mung Bean Sprouts are ready to harvest. Be aware though to not eat your Mung Beans "raw" before day four. If you want to harvest them earlier, I recommend you to either sautee them in a pan for a few minutes or cook them in a pot with hot water for a few seconds. Take them out and rinse them off with cold water immediately to ensure they keep their "crunch".
5. Which equipment do I recommend for Mung Bean sprouting?
I personally love to grow them in a sprouting glass because it is super easy to handle. Many people recommend a covered sprouting bowl. The advantage of the sprouting bowl is that your sprouts grow straight in the air, very similar to the look of classic soybean sprouts.
6. Do I need to cook Mung Beans before eating them?
Generally no. Unlike classic beans, sprouted mung beans can be consumed raw as they don't contain the toxic phasin - the toxic nitrogen compound typically found in beans. Therefore, you also don't have to worry about bloating symptons when eating Mung Bean sprouts. As mentioned above though, if you want to enjoy them "raw" wait until day four.
Many people recommend growing them in the dark. If however, you don't mind the very gentle bitterness, you can also grow them in an uncovered sprouting glass like I did. (You can see how they look it in the pictures above. The purple color of the sprouts stems from their exposure to sunlight).
Sprouted Mung Beans are spoil quickly. Therefore, I highly recommend you eat them right after harvesting. If however, you can't finish them all, just keep them in your airy sprouting glass or wrap them in a kitchen towel and store them in your fridge. Use them up within 2-4 days.
1. Book: Angelika Fürstler (4. Auflage 2019): Sprossen & Mikrogrün
2. Book: Barbara Rias-Bucher (2. Auflage 2019): Keimlinge und Sprossen - Vitamine und Mineralstoffe von der Fensterbank
3. USDA Database (2020): Mung Beans, Raw, Sprouted: USDA.com (June, 5th 2020)