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Sprouts spring from newly germinated peas and beans.  They won't add much in the way of nutrients--or calories--to your diet, but they're tasty and inexpensive.  There are many varieties, ranging from mild and crunchy mung bean sprouts to spicy and delicate radish sprouts.  Raw sprouts are great in salads and sandwiches, and the sturdier varieties can also be stir-fried briefly.   

Substitutes:  lettuce OR carrots (grated) OR green onions (minced)



alfalfa sprouts   Notes:   These are too wispy to cook, but they're great raw in salads and sandwiches.  Substitutes:   sunflower sprouts OR mung bean sprouts (thicker shoots, crunchier, less sweet) OR soybean sprouts (more of a bean flavor) OR fenugreek sprouts (more bitter) 

bean sprouts

broccoli sprouts  Notes:  These are rich in sulforaphane, a cancer-fighting compound.  They also have a pleasant, peppery flavor.  Substitutes:  daikon sprouts OR alfalfa sprouts 

buckwheat sprouts  Substitutes:  alfalfa sprouts

daikon sprouts = kaiware = radish sprouts = tsumamina = clover radish     Notes:    These have a pungent, peppery flavor that works wonders for otherwise bland salads and  sandwiches.  They're too delicate to cook, so always serve them raw.    Substitutes:  onion sprouts

fenugreek sprouts  Substitutes:  mung bean sprouts (thicker, sweeter) OR alfalfa sprouts (sweeter)

kaiware  Pronunciation:   ki-WAHR-ay  See daikon sprouts.

mung bean sprouts = bean sprouts  Notes:   These are the large sprouts that are common in supermarkets.  They're crisp and nutty, and they're the best sprouts for stir-frying, though they can also be served raw.  Select bean sprouts that are crisp and white with just a tinge of yellow.  To keep them fresh, rinse them off and immerse them in cold water, then store them in the refrigerator.  They're very perishable, so try to use them within a day or two.  Canned bean sprouts are a very poor substitute for fresh.   Substitutes:  snow peas (sturdy enough to cook) OR sunflower sprouts (sturdy enough to cook) OR soybean sprouts (bigger, bean-like flavor) 

onion sprouts   Notes:    These have a distinct onion flavor.  Substitutes:  daikon sprouts

radish sprouts

snow pea shoots  Notes:   Look for these in Asian markets.  Substitutes:  mung bean sprouts

soybean sprouts   Notes:   These sturdy, crunchy sprouts are good in salads or stir-fries.   They become bitter when the tails get too long, so eat them soon after they sprout.  Substitutes:  mung bean sprouts (smaller, less bean-like flavor) 


sunflower sprouts   Notes:  These are sweet and crunchy.  Substitutes:  mung bean sprouts OR alfalfa sprouts OR soybean sprouts  



Copyright 1996-2005 Lori Alden