Thai bean sprout salad is a light, spicy and refreshing salad made with fresh mung bean sprouts that can make an interesting side to a stir-fry or curry.
Thai Bean Sprout Salad
by Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime
My recipe of the day is for Thai Bean Sprout Salad. I have always loved the crunch of bean sprouts, especially in Vietnamese cooking, when I can drop them into my steaming bowl of pho or stir them into a bun noodle salad. As well, I enjoy the flavor they impart to fried rice dishes, although not too many restaurants do that anymore, having simplified their recipes quite a bit.
Short on Shelf Life, Long on Flavor
Part of the reason for that might be the very limited shelf life of fresh bean sprouts. When I use them, I try to buy them the same day so I don’t open my fridge to sprouts that have withered. The other reason is a food service sanitation one where the sprouts do need to be rinsed like all vegetables, but especially so when you will be eating those raw. Many restaurants, rather than risking an accident, have removed them from menus, along with other raw vegetables such as scallions. But there shouldn’t be too much worry when you are doing the prep yourself and can be sure they have been rinsed well under cold water, as I am sure you do with all your produce.
As a salad, this is quite light, and the sriracha does not add an overwhelming amount of spice. Some, yes. But I will warn about the type of chilies I used in my garnish. I used Thai bird chiles, and they can be quite fiery, depending on the season and growing conditions, and I do love that since I love spicy food. But if I were to serve to a group, I might not add those, using instead a mild pepper such as minced red and green bell pepper for garnish, rather than omitting it altogether, since the peppers do add a touch of flavor on their own. But you can make your own choice on what to add there.
Crispy Bean Sprouts
This is not a dish that can be prepared much in advance, because the sprouts will wilt and lose the crunchiness which you will want to have. In that same vein, I would not use canned bean sprouts or packaged sprouts that show any amount of liquid pooling in the bottom (sprouts have a high water content and this comes out as they wilt). So choose your sprouts carefully. I will not buy one unless I can snap it in my fingers like a twig.
As far as prep, the salad comes together quick and is easy work. I toss with my hands so as not to break too many of the sprouts, but you can try to do it with forks or spoons if you are concerned about the peppers in the dressing. Just be sure to wash your hands thoroughly afterwards, or you could opt to wear gloves when handling, as food service professionals do.
You might also like:
Green Papaya Salad (Som Tum)
Thai Style Long Bean Stir Fry
Coconut and Corn Soup
Thai Salmon Curry
Thai Lava Shrimp
Thai Bean Sprout Salad
- 8 ounces very fresh mung bean sprouts
- 2 scallions shredded
- 1/4 cup shredded fresh carrots
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 sliced Thai bird chilies or 2 tablespoons chopped bell pepper for garnish
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon lemongrass paste
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Place salad ingredients in a bowl.
- Whisk together ingredients for the dressing and gently toss with the salad.
- Serve at once.
I usually buy fresh sprouts for a recipe and end up throwing the rest away because its hard to think of something to do with them, but I will now put them to use in this salad!!
Thanks! I do think the roasting is much better than when I used to just steam it. Besides the flavor, the cauli is much drier and more potato-like. I’m glad you love it as much as we do! ~s
I use beansprouts a lot and if I don’t use them all l put them in the freezer and use the in stir fries and Chicken chow mien. That way you won’t be throwing them away.
Freezing is fine for stir-fries but you won’t want to use frozen bean sprouts in this recipe as it changes the texture.
Is the lemongrass paste just fresh lemongrass pounded with pestle and mortar/blitzed through a food processor?
Yes, you can either pound it out in the mortar with a little salt, and then a little water to control consistency. I’d skip the processor. You can also buy small amounts in tubes in the produce section or in jars in the Asian section at the grocer.
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Hi Sue; I like your dressing for this salad. What a great change from the usual. Also, I read that you promote Amish food which is *always* worth eating! I have a Heartland inspired cookbook and its been with me for a long time. Fantastic food with so much history. How nice to find your site while looking for a bean sprout salad idea.
Hi Sue. Could you help me understand, what kind of bean or legume is used for the sprouts in this recipe. I want to grow my own sprouts at home and I am not quite sure if these are mung bean sprouts or something else. I’d appreciate your help. Thanks.
Yes, this recipe uses extra fresh mung bean sprouts.
Green moong/mung are used
Can you make the dressing ahead and then put it on the salad before serving it?
Yes, that will keep in the fridge just fine.
I found this recipe by searching for bean sprouts recipe and this was phenomenal, and something I wish I could find at a typical Thai restaurant menu. My only variation was adding grated cucumber.