Happy September! I have a feeling this month will be filled with blessings because I am happy to announce that we made and ate overly grown bean sprouts (insert a hundred exclamation marks). In fact they weren’t bean sprouts at all. They were actual plants that had sprung up from the ground. Thinking back I realize the insanity of it all. If I told a random person this, they would be absolutely surprised, would not believe me at all or would think there is something missing in my head. That is why I wanted to blog about it first because this is what this blog is about! It all started when we were overly hyped to plant beans because, well, it is planting season in some parts of the country and we wanted to feel that ecstatic moment of harvesting fresh beans…again. So we got planting with absolutely no clue on how to space the beans. The information we got from one source was wrong although at the time, we didn’t know that. We planted and half way through, beautiful bean plants started sprouting from the ground and we were excited (because I have tried planting many things but a few have actually gotten out of the ground). As we were basking in the glory of being planters (is this a word?), someone with a history of planting told us “those beans will not grow! They are too close to each other!” You can imagine the disappointment we felt. We did as advised and uprooted the excess little plants with heavy hearts. They were so young, and so tender and we wondered if they could be edible because we could not imagine throwing them away. Our Dad said there is no way those grown beans would be edible. Either they would be bitter or poisonous. We gave up. In the meantime, we put then in a container with water and then next day, the conviction to cook these bean sprouts and eat them was even stronger because we just couldn’t see them going to waste. And we did without looking back. OK it was mostly my sister who, by the way, makes great stir-fries. Amazing is an understatement because we made these stir-fried bean sprouts three times in a row. We are even contemplating the idea of just planting beans only to uproot them five days later just for cooking. Sounds legit? It is moments like this that make food experimenting fun and fulfilling. I have asked her to share the recipe with us all.
What you will need:
4 handfuls of bean sprouts
1 Large onion, finely sliced (lengthwise)
2 Carrots, thinly sliced (lengthwise)
1 Tsp. Finely chopped ginger
2 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. Vinegar
3 Tbsp. Water
1 Tsp. Sugar
1 Tsp. Salt
Roasted simsim (sesame) for garnish
Clean the bean sprouts in cold water to get rid of the dirt and tiny stones. Remove the roots and the cotyledons (the beans on the sides) and set aside.
For the sweet sauce:
Put a pan on fire, wait for it to become hot. Put the sugar in the pan. Wait for it to become a light brown. Pour 3 tablespoons of water and let the browned sugar dissolve. Remove from fire immediately and pour she sauce in a small bowl.
In the same pan, on high heat, add 2 tablespoons of oil and wait for it to become really hot. Add garlic and ginger and onions and just before they become brown, add half of the sweet sauce which will change the color of the onions. Add the salt and carrots and stir constantly. Add the vinegar and keep stirring. Next add the bean sprouts and keep stirring till they become a bright green color and make sure the heat is evenly distributed so they can cook. Get the rest of the sweet sauce and keep adding bit by bit till it is finished while stirring. Once the sweet sauce is dissolved in the pan, remove it from fire. This will take 5-6 minutes. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve hot. They go well with rice.
The sprouts and carrots should have a crunchy bite to them but at the same time still retain all the flavor from the garlic, ginger, vinegar, salt and sugar.
In as much as we were excited to plant beans, the disappointment ended up being a fun discovery.
What fun thing have you discovered lately?