Remember the science experiment at school where you grew taugeh? You basically just stuck a green or red bean on some cotton wool soaked in water and placed it under the sun. Fast forward two days and you’ll be looking at the sprouts, feeling like the world’s most talented gardener.
Who knew that such an easy-to-grow bean could pack so much nutritional value and medical benefits?
Your humble taugeh is among the richest sources of amino acids (for protein), all types of vitamins (A, B, C, D, E, and K), and folic acid (a B vitamin that helps your body make new cells). It also harbours plenty of minerals your body needs to function well like iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc, while also containing a good amount of fibre.
Bean sprouts also contain oestrogenlike phytochemicals called isoflavones and phytoestrogens, which can help relieve many symptoms associated with menopause (such as having hot flashes and your heart racing) and counteract menopause-related osteoporosis.
Given this nutritional mix, bean sprouts can help keep away anaemia (low red blood cells) and a host of other maladies too. It’s also a great tasting low-cal food for the diet days leading up to your bestie’s wedding.
Being such a versatile veggie, bean sprouts can be eaten raw, lightly cooked, juiced with other veggies and fruits. The possibilities are endless. And the best of all, it’s super cheap! (We last checked our neighbourhood market and the going price was about RM1.80 per kg).
Here are 8 great ways to include taugeh in your life:
1. Do a stir-fry
With only six ingredients, this stir-fried beansprouts with tofu puffs recipe is a simple and quick accompaniment to your meal but is also great on its own if you’re on a low-carb diet. You can add in some lean beef slices or prawns for a more decadent dish.
2. Use it as a decor
The pretty white and yellow-tipped taugeh looks great as a garnish to any dish if done right. Tuck into this Korean bean sprout beef rice bowl for a comforting meal.
3. Pickle it
Mix together some bean sprouts, shredded carrots, chopped chives, sliced onion, white vinegar, water, salt and sugar, and you’re done! This is great as a side dish, a starter, or even as an afternoon munchie. Recipe here.
4. Toss it in a salad
There’s no healthier way to add crunch to your salad. Whipped up from orange and lime juice, along with vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, and more, this zesty cashew sesame bean sprout salad is an appetising display of colours.
5. Go creative and experiment
Who knew that bean sprouts could be fancy? These sweet potato canapes with barbecued bean sprouts look like they came out from a 5-star Michelin chef’s kitchen. Since they’re so versatile in nature and flavour, you really can experiment taugeh in many different dishes to see how they pan out.
5. Mix taugeh into your noodle soup
Whether it’s your maggi mee, or a home-cooked dish, adding taugeh into the soup will enhance the flavour and pack a crunch into every bite. We like this miso ramen recipe with heaps of taugeh added in.
6. Stir fry with noodles or rice
We like this chow mein recipe. It’s loaded with veggies like cabbage, carrots, and scallions, while shrimp, garlic, and pork gives it oomph. All you need is to add in a bunch of bean sprouts and it’s perfecto.
7. Make a pretty lettuce wrap
Nothing adds colour to your table better than veggies. Try this turkey and beef lettuce wrap recipe for a quick meal that can also double as a dish to impress at your Friday potluck.
8. Be traditional
Asians have multiple ways of preparing these super sprouts. One of our favourite recipes is this Korean side dish called Sukjanamul. It’s quick and simple, without many ingredients involved, but at the same time fragrant and looks great.
Shopping tip: Go for fresh, firm, crisp sprouts, avoid the limp ones or those turning brown.
Storing tip: Make sure you use the sprouts soon after buying. Don’t keep them for long hours as they might taste sour. Refrigerate sprouts in a plastic bag to keep them moist and crisp.
What’s your favourite way of eating taugeh? Share your recipes in the comments below or on our Facebook page!