> Sprouting Mung Beans

sprouting Mung Beans and Lentils

If you want to learn how to grow bean sprouts then either mung beans or lentils are a good choice for your first go at sprouting. These are two of the easiest and tastiest beans to sprout. I enjoy eating them raw, but if this is hard on your digestion or your worried about bacteria then they are also very tasty steamed. For the latest health advice on eating raw sprouts visit www.nhs.uk.

Mung Beans

My favourite is the mung bean sprout. Not the lovely long straight sprouts that are often used in Chinese cooking, but small juicy ones that are quick and easy to grow at home. 

Where can I buy mung beans for sprouting?

The latest health advice is to only use seed that is sold specifially for sprouting. Sprouting mung beans at home is very popular so you should be able to find them in your local health food shop.  If you can't source them locally you can buy organic mung beans for sprouting online at sproutman.com.

Lentil sprouts


All types of whole lentils sprout easily, and are tasty when young and fresh with a more earthy taste than crisp sweet mung bean sprouts. Eat them when the sprout is roughly the same length as the bean. You can eat them when they're longer, but they're not as tasty.


how to Sprout mung beans or lentils

equipment needed

  • A medium size bowl: Pyrex bowls work great, as do sprouting jars. 
  • A dark airy kitchen cupboard. If you don't have a suitable cupboard then cover the sprouts with a t-towel.

Step-by-step guide to sprouting mung beans

1. Measure out half a cup of mung beans or lentils, rinse and check carefully for small stones. If you use beans that are sold for sprouting they should be stone free.

2. Pour them into your bowl or jar, and cover with twice the amount of water.

Tip: In the winter when my house is cool and I find soaking the beans in warm water helps them to germinate.

3. Place in a warm dark airy cupboard overnight or for 8-12 hours.

4. After 12 hours - usually the following morning, drain and rinse the beans. They will have soaked up a lot of the water and be looking plump. Give them a good rinse, until the water runs clean. Either use a sieve or a clean hand to stop them escaping down the drain.

5. Place the well drained beans back in the dark cupboard to sprout. 

6. Rinse twice a day, morning and night, until the bean sprout is the same size as the bean. Be sure to drain them well after rinsing as they will rot if left sitting in water. They are usually ready after two to five days, and can take even less in hot weather.

Sprouting mung beansMung beans starting to sprout

7. When my mung bean sprouts are ready I like to remove most of the green husks by adding the beans into a large bowl of water.  Stir them gently to encourge the husks to come off and then let the juicy white sprouts settle to the bottom of the bowl. Skim the empty husks of the top. Don't worry if a few husks remain.

Bean sprouts are great for snacks and salads, and make a tasty addition to nearly every meal.

check your sprouts for "hard beans"

Small hard beans can sometimes be found lurking at the bottom of your bowl of sprouts. These are beans that aren't viable and will not sprout. They make a distinctive rattling sound when you gently swirl the bowl, and can be as hard a little stones.

If you are worried about damaging your teeth then I recommend you pour the bean sprouts out into a tray or large bowl and give them a thorough checking over. Some batches of mung beans I've sprouted have been prone to this, while others haven't have any. It's one of the reasons that I prefer to use organic seed that is sold specificly for sprouting.

How do i store mung bean spouts?

Sprouts store well in a sealed container in the fridge. They should stay fresh for 3 to 5 days, and will continue growing slowly .

> Sprouting Mung Beans