From my mom's kitchen: Make your own bean sprouts!

Bean sprouts
Bean sprouts

My mom is one of the most frugal people I know. And when it comes to food, there isn't much that she doesn't either grow in her garden and/or make from scratch. When we visited in May, she was still using quite a few *fresh* things from her garden last year!

My mom sprouts her own bean sprouts for her Beef Chop Suey. I've not done much with sprouts, as it remains yet another topic I want to explore but haven't yet, but as a child I do remember rinsing alfalfa sprouts and bean sprouts. :)

To make your own bean sprouts, you'll need:

2-3 tablespoons (dry) Mung beans (you can buy these at a bulk food store, health food store, or even on

1 quart glass jar


Cheesecloth and rubber band, or a lid with holes to fit your jar

Soak the beans

Step 1:

Soak the dry beans in water overnight or about 10 hours.

Beans for sprouting

Step 2:

Drain the beans well. Cover the mouth of the jar with a piece of cheesecloth and secure with a rubber band, or you can use a lid that has holes (like a strainer). Place the jar, tipped up like in the photo, in a bowl. You want the beans to stay damp but not too wet.

Covered bean sprouts

Step 3:

Place the jar and bowl in a dark (but not cold) place, or, cover with a couple of towels to keep the light out. My mom uses towels and keeps the sprouts on her kitchen counter. That's a good way to not forget about them! ;)

Bean sprouts

Step 4:

Rinse beans twice daily. Sprouts will be finished in 6-7 days, and should completely fill your quart jar. You can eat them as pictured, or, if the little roots bother you, pinch them off. :)

What should you make with your finished bean sprouts? Why, Beef Chop Suey, of course! ;) Any other suggestions for good ways to use bean sprouts? I'd love to hear about it in a comment! :)


My dad was big into sprouts when I was a kid. It's been awhile, but I'm pretty sure we ate them raw, on salads and sandwiches.

I've never sprouted mung beans, but I have sprouted alfalfa seeds a lot. They are great on salads or sandwiches, and a welcome fresh green in the winter. It is so much cheaper to sprout your own than to buy them. Now you've inspired me to try mung beans! Tami

Would this be the same for alfalfa sprouts?

Thanks for all your efforts...your information is very helpful!


Jean, I'm not sure! I'll ask my mom this week when I talk to her. :)

(I think it is very similar -- but not sure on the number of days it takes, and how much seed to put in the jar!) :)

We love cheap, healthy sprouts. I mix them in salads or sometimes even use them as a base for salads if I don't have lettuce. They are very high in Vitamin C. They mix well into a soup if you need to use them up or egg foo young. Thanks Tammy. Shannon

That's so cool and thanks for letting us know how to do it. I love them in salads and also sandwiches. They add that extra crunch and taste so good. I also like to use alfalfa sprouts in both of these ways.

Thank you for this tutorial. Sprouts are so often contaminated and expensive, I can't wait to try my own. I use them in Pad Thai. Yum!

How neat! This would be so handy to make for our Pad Thai!! The sprouts from the store are expensive and never last that long anyways. Also, I'm thinking if DD helps me grow these, she'll be more likely to try some! ; ) Hey, I can hope...

You are so innovative. Love your site!
A word of caution if I may...I've learned that if you have any type of auto-imminute disorder, you should stay away from sprouted alfalfa in particular...not sure about bean sprouts.


Hi Tammy,

I am so thrilled you posted this info!

Just this past week I've been thinking about eating more sprouts but was quickly reminded by e.coli situation in Europe that the store versions are one of most likely culprits for the bacteria (something I had heard about years before as well). The reason I wanted to eat them though is that I recently met someone who shared her remarkable story of the role healthy food (and sprouts in particular) played in her healing from cancer.

I've recently started making both pad thai and thai curry and these would be perfect to put on top.

Can't wait to get started and thank you!

How do you rinse the beans while they're in the jar? Pour water in and then out? Take the beans out?

For the twice-daily rinsing, fill the jar with water (leave the sprouts/seeds inside) and then drain well. :)

I am just loving your site. Tammy, I found you by accident (or providence) and just love your recipes, tips and your MOM! I love sprouts and they are out of priced out of sight in the store. I am so into modern conveniences, but I am learning to grind my own wheat, both a Zorjiski (sp) bread maker, and learning...& I mean learning, to become more frugal. Hugs to you and your mom.

Aww, thank you -- your comment made my day!! :)

Another vote for sprouts on sandwiches. I have never liked lettuce on my sandwich, but I love sprouts on them. I need to start sprouting my own, because even though they don't cost lot, I do know that sprouting them would be much cheaper!! :)

My mom used to do mung sprouts, then COOK them, and we had to eat them. Don't do it that way. They are nasty.
Anyway, we like adzuki bean sprouts. They have a fresh pea pod taste. I also do radish and broccoli sprouts. Delicious in salads, my husband will eat handfuls all by themselves.

new to the site and posted a question about sprouts before i found this blog... sorry for the repeat... but thanx ladies for your input, loving reading it... karen :)

Cooked mung sprouts are delicious if you cook them gently. Just boil them for a few minutes with minced garlic until they are halfway limp, but not completely. Drain and season them in the Korean style: a bit of fish sauce, soy sauce, and a splash of sesame oil top with ground roasted sesame seeds if you have them. They are delicate and chewy and wonderful! I can eat a whole batch in one sitting.

I am dieting and had the idea to replace noodle and rice in stir fry with bean sprouts... I love them stir fried in with my meat and vegetable...

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