This light and refreshing Bean Sprout Salad takes only 10 minutes to make! It’s crunchy, nutty, and so addicting! It’s a perfect side dish for Asian meals!
Do you need one more side dish that goes well with Asian food? Bean sprout salad is a great side dish or salad recipe that’s very easy, economical, and healthy! I like serving bean sprout salad with BBQ, Japanese meal, or any Asian-style meal. It’s great bento filler too if you need just one more dish!
Bean Sprout Salad – Namul ナムル
Namul (나물) refers to a Korean seasoned vegetable dish. In Japan, we enjoy many Korean or Korean-inspired dishes.
The bean sprout salad is a pretty common dish housewives in Japan make. We call this dish Moyashi no Namuru もやしのナムル (bean sprout namul), the original Korean dish for this dish is sukju-namul.
My family enjoys this dish on hot summer days as I like to make bean sprout salad ahead of time and chill it in the refrigerator before serving. Here are some cooking tips for this very easy recipe.
Cooking Tips for Bean Sprout Salad
1. Remove Brown & Stringy Roots
When you learned how to cook, did you learn to remove the brown part and stringy root part of bean sprouts? My mom taught me to do that when she asked me to prep bean sprouts.
Growing up in Japan, helping my mom in the kitchen simply meant prep work, not actual cooking. Maybe because I wasn’t so enthusiastic about cooking. I remember being in the kitchen (doing all the prep work) which was a chore more than anything.
Washing dirty dishes and drying them (no dishwasher), prepping ingredients (like washing and peeling vegetables), wrapping hundreds of gyoza… I think my daughter is way more enthusiastic about cooking as a 9-year-old than I was back then.
Many many years later, when I was cooking my own meal in my apartment kitchen in the US, I realized that I learned so much about the basics of cooking through my ears and eyes from those “prepping” days in my mom’s kitchen.
Back to the recipe. So what’s the reason why we remove those brown parts and stringy roots? It is because bean sprouts taste much better without them. You may not notice the subtle difference if the bean sprouts were prepped with strong flavorful sauce or ingredients, but you will notice the cleaner flavor and texture when you eat them raw or with simple seasonings.
Recently, I did learn that the stringy part is nutritious. To me it’s the perfect excuse to skip removing brown/stringy parts, doesn’t it?
2. Blanch Bean Sprouts for 1.5 Minutes
This probably depends on each person’s preference but my suggestion is to cook for just one and a half minutes. After draining, the bean sprouts will continue to cook with the remaining heat. You can adjust the timing slightly but it should be between 1 to 2 minutes.
3. Drain Water Well
You don’t want to dilute the seasonings, so make sure to drain well before adding bean sprouts to the sauce. Also, bean sprouts tend to go bad fast; so avoid soaking them in water especially if you want to keep them a bit longer.
Bean Sprout Salad
- 9 oz bean sprouts (1 bag)
- 1 green onion/scallion
- [Optional] Remove the brown part and stringy root part. I recommend doing this extra step when you eat raw bean sprouts or when they are seasoned with light flavor sauce. You can taste the clean bean sprouts.
- Rinse the bean sprouts under cold water and drain well.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add bean sprouts to cook for 1 to 1.5 minutes.
- Drain into a colander and set aside for 5 minutes as you don't want to dilute the sauce with remaining water.
- Meanwhile, cut the green onion/scallion into small pieces. Grind the sesame seeds in a mortar and pestle. Grate the garlic, or use a garlic press to crush the garlic.
- In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients for the seasonings and mix well. It might look little but it's more than enough.
- Add the bean sprout and green onion/scallion in the bowl and combine all together. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
- Keep the leftovers in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days (but enjoy it sooner!).
Editor’s Note: The post was originally published on Jan 23, 2011. The images and content are updated in June 2017.