Bean sprouts have been used in Chinese cuisine for thousands of years, but their use isn't limited to Oriental dishes. Besides adding them any number of cooked dishes, bean sprouts, which are typically sprouted from mature mung beans, can also be eaten raw in salads or added to sandwiches for a crunchy and nutritious garnishment.
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Make a simple side dish by stir-frying minced garlic, ginger, vegetable oil and a dash of fish sauce until the mixture is golden brown. Add bean sprouts, and stir-fry for another minute. The sprouts should remain crunchy.
Add a crunchy and delicious element to soups and stir-fries by adding bean sprouts just before the dish is done. For soups, you may even want to wait until you've removed the pot from heat and just before serving so the sprouts retain their crunchiness.
Add a Korean twist to bean sprouts. Place the sprouts in boiling water for less than a minute. Drain and add sesame oil, sesame seed, garlic powder and salt. Add thin slices of red bell pepper, if desired, for color and garnish.