Sunday, April 19, 2009

Mung bean sprouts: the pure energy of life (もやし, 豆芽)

Truly, truly, one man's food, another man's poison. I remember how I scared my Moscow friends when I brought a bag of bean sprouts to fix some Chinese food for them. They decided they were in for a feast of creepy Asian worms.

Bean sprouts are widely used in Pacific Asian cuisines. They are known as moyashi (もやし) in Japan, dou ya (豆芽) in China, kongnamul (
콩나물) in Korea, tauge in Indonesia (and Holland), thua ngok (ถั่วงอก) in Thailand. In Iran, they are traditionally prepared for the New Year's festival Navrooz. There they symbolize the power of new life.

In Thailand, folk wisdom has it that bean sprouts, when consumed raw, increase sexual drive. It come as no surprise if you consider all the life energy of enzymes and vitamines of freshly sprouting seeds!

I use them for a number of dishes: from Indonesian gado-gado to Chinese mapo-dofu. I can chew them raw much to the consternation of my friends. But I don't mind as it defo gives me a huge perk once in between the sheets! +wink wink+


  1. Very informative! I love these crunchy seedlings!

  2. I share that emotion! All that concentrated natural goodness, so invigorating!