When you want a quick, easy, and healthy vegetable side dish, bean sprouts stir-fry is the way to go. With its crunchy texture and ability to take on big flavor, the humble bean sprout shines in a simple stir-fry.
Read on for step-by-step instructions on how to make a basic bean sprout stir-fry with just a few ingredients and minimal work. You’ll learn proper stir-frying techniques for perfectly cooked sprouts, as well as serving ideas and customization options.
Ingredients You’ll Need
To make this stir fry, you’ll need:
- 1 pound fresh bean sprouts
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 inch ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 4 scallions, chopped
- Sauce ingredients:
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
Making this stir fry is simple. Just follow these steps:
Prepare the Ingredients
- Rinse the bean sprouts under cool water to clean them. Drain thoroughly, then blot dry with a fresh kitchen towel or some paper towels.
- Mince the garlic, grate the ginger, slice the bell pepper, and chop the scallions.
- In a small bowl, combine all of the sauce’s components and stir thoroughly.
Stir Fry the Bean Sprouts
- A wok or sizable skillet should be heated to high heat. When hot, add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and swirl to coat.
- For 30 seconds, until aromatic, add the minced garlic and ginger.
- Stir-fry the bell pepper for two minutes after adding it.
- Stir-fry the bean sprouts for a further two to three minutes or until they are cooked but still crisp.
- Combine everything with the sauce mixture after adding it. Cook for 1 more minute.
- Add the chopped scallions after removing the pan from the heat.
Serve and Enjoy
Transfer the stir-fry to a serving plate. Serve immediately while hot. Enjoy it alone or with steamed rice and your favorite protein, like chicken, beef, shrimp, or tofu.
Tips for the Best Bean Sprouts Stir Fry
- Look for bean sprouts that are crisp and white. Avoid any that look slimy or brown.
- Pat sprouts dry after rinsing to help them get crispy and prevent splattering when stir-frying.
- Use a wok or large nonstick skillet to allow the sprouts to char just a bit.
- Stir fry over high heat, and don’t overcook. You want the sprouts to retain some crunch.
- Add other veggies like bok choy, mushrooms, or snow peas. Or add proteins like chicken, shrimp, or cubed tofu.
- Play around with the sauce. Omit or reduce soy sauce if you want it less salty. Add a dash of chili oil or garlic chili paste for a kick.
- Sesame seeds that have been toasted can be used for crunch and additional flavor.
Customize Your Stir-Fry
- Add shrimp, chicken, beef, pork, or extra-firm tofu
- Toss in matchstick carrots, bell peppers, mushrooms etc
- Finish with a sprinkle of toasted nuts or seeds
- Drizzle with oyster sauce, chili garlic sauce, or hoisin
- Garnish with chopped peanuts, cilantro or chilies
The Health Benefits of Bean Sprouts
Not only are bean sprouts quick to cook, they’re also packed with nutrients. Here are some of the top health benefits this superfood provides:
High in Vitamin C
One cup of bean sprouts contains about 50% of your recommended daily Vitamin C. This essential nutrient boosts immunity and acts as an antioxidant to protect your cells.
Good Source of Folate
Bean sprouts provide about 25% of your daily folate needs in just one cup. Folate is essential for cell development and proliferation.
Contains Vitamin K
Important for blood clotting and bone health, bean sprouts deliver about 20% of your daily Vitamin K requirements per cup.
High in Manganese
Manganese supports metabolism and bone health. You get over 10% of your daily manganese from a 1-cup serving.
Low in Calories
With only about 30 calories per cup, bean sprouts make an incredibly low-calorie addition to stir-fries and other dishes.
Rich in Fiber
The 3 grams of dietary fiber per cup helps support digestive health and gives you a feeling of fullness.
So enjoy this tasty bean sprouts stir fry, knowing you’re giving your body a major nutritional boost! The fiber, vitamins, and minerals will help you maintain good health.
More Healthy and Delicious Bean Sprout Recipes to Try
Once you’ve mastered the easy bean sprouts stir fry, try adding them to these other tasty dishes:
Thai Chicken Noodle Soup
Bean sprouts add crunch to this classic Thai soup made with chicken, rice noodles, and aromatic herbs.
Korean Beef Bowl
Marinated beef and quick-pickled bean sprouts are served over steamed rice for a flavorful Korean-inspired meal.
Vegetable Lo Mein
This vegetarian dish treats Stir-fried veggies and noodles with bean sprouts for texture and freshness.
Chicken Banh Mi Sandwich
Crunchy pickled veggies and bean sprouts complement the chicken in this Vietnamese-style baguette sandwich.
Bean sprouts are often added to fresh spring roll wraps, herbs, vermicelli noodles, and protein.
Fry Rice Cakes
Chewy rice cakes are wok-fried with bean sprouts, eggs, and soy sauce in this spicy dish.
With so many uses, bean sprouts can easily become a kitchen staple. To rapidly prepare delectable Asian foods, keep your pantry well-stocked. Follow this article’s easy instructions to make bean sprouts stir fry anytime for a quick, healthy weeknight meal.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best bean sprouts to use?
Look for fresh mung bean sprouts that are crisp, white, and clean with no brown spots. Avoid bean sprouts that are very wet or look slimy. The sprouts are very delicate, so try to cook them soon after purchasing.
Is it necessary to trim the tails off the sprouts?
Trimming the little tails off each sprout is optional but can give you a slightly better texture. The tails can be a bit stringy when cooked. It does take more prep time, so you can skip this step if you’re in a rush.
How do I dry the bean sprouts well before cooking?
Rinsing and draining the sprouts is important to remove dirt and prevent splattering when stir-frying. Following thorough draining in a colander, wipe the sprouts dry with paper towels or spin them in a salad spinner. Getting them as dry as possible helps them sear and caramelize better.
What’s the best cooking method for bean sprout stir fry?
Using a wok on high heat is ideal to get that smoky wok flavor. If you don’t have a wok, brown the sprouts in a sizable nonstick skillet over medium-high to high heat. Just avoid overcrowding the pan and stir constantly to cook evenly.
How can I adjust the flavor of the stir fry?
Play around with the sauce ingredients. For less salt, use less or no soy sauce. To add some spiciness, stir in a teaspoon of chili garlic sauce. Sprinkle sesame seeds or chopped peanuts on top for additional crunch and flavor.