Bean sprouts have been enjoyed in China and Southeast Asia for centuries but have only been introduced to the West in the last twenty years or so. They are essentially a transitional food, as it were, midway between the seed or bean from which they spring and the vegetable they will become. They have significant nutritional value, a nutty flavour and crisp texture as well. Mung beans and soya beans are the favoured sprouts among the Chinese, who love them cooked but never in raw form. Lightly blanched, as in this recipe, the sprouts lose their raw taste but retain their crispness and flavour.
Trim and discard both ends of the bean sprouts. Blanch the bean sprouts in a large pan of boiling water for 1 minute. Drain in a colander, immerse them in cold water, then drain again.
Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Mix the dressing together with the bean sprouts and chilli.
© 1995 Ken Hom. All rights reserved.