Bean Sprout Salad (凉拌豆芽)

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An easy bean sprout salad recipe that is perfect for summer and helps you eat a lot of bean sprouts! The crunchy bean sprouts are tossed with a lot of garlic and a savory sauce that is slightly sour and nutty. It is refreshing yet very flavorful. {Gluten-Free Adaptable, Vegan}

Chinese bean sprout salad close up

If you enjoy making fried noodles such as beef lo mein, vegetable chow fun, shrimp pad thai, you might constantly have a big bag of leftover bean sprouts tucked in your fridge until they go bad. If that’s the case, this bean sprout salad is the perfect solution! It is easy to put together, uses a big bag of bean sprouts in one go, and not to mention, it’s a very delicious way to add a side dish to your dinner.

Bean sprout salad is one of those homestyle dishes that often appears on the family dinner table in China rather than in a restaurant. And while it looks really simple, you’d be surprised how flavorful it is. If you’re making a stir fry dish or a braised dish, make bean sprout salad as a side dish to round out your meal with a fun texture, bold taste and nutrition.

Bean sprout cold appetizer

Bean sprout salad ingredients

The bean sprout salad contains just a few elements:

  • Vegetables: bean sprouts, pepper
  • Aromatics: green onions, garlic
  • Sauce: soy sauce, Chinkiang vinegar, sugar
  • Spice: Sichuan peppercorn
  • Oil

For this one, instead of placing each of the ingredients in small bowls, it’s best to assemble the ingredients directly in a big salad bowl as you’re prepping them. 

Mixing bean sprouts with aromatics and sauce

I like to use some hot peppers to add color and spice up the dish. The ones I used in this recipe were Asian long red peppers, which have about the same spiciness level as jalapeños. You can also use anaheims, cubanelles, or jalapeños in this dish. If using anaheims or cubanelles, you can slice them into matchsticks so they’re about the same shape and size as the bean sprouts for a better texture.

Cooking process

  1. Blanch the bean sprouts very quickly, then transfer them to a big bowl
  2. Add the aromatics, sauce and spices – keep the garlic and Sichuan peppercorns on the very top and do not stir
  3. Heat the oil, then pour the hot oil over the bean sprouts 
Pouring hot oil over bean sprout salad

NOTE: Pouring the hot oil like this might sound daunting, but it’s an important part of the recipe. The oil will quickly cook the garlic and peppercorns to develop the flavor without making the taste too sharp. 

If you prefer a more mellow taste, you can also put the garlic and Sichuan peppercorns separately in a small plate. Heat up the oil, add the garlic and Sichuan peppercorns to the oil when it is hot, then give it a stir and pour it over the salad. 

How to further spice up this dish

If you have homemade chili oil, you can add a spoonful to the bean sprout salad to make it even more addictive!  

Chinese bean sprout salad

Pair bean sprout salad with

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An easy bean sprout salad recipe that is perfect for summer and helps you eat a lot of bean sprouts! The crunchy bean sprouts are tossed with a lot of garlic and a savory sauce that is slightly sour and nutty. It is refreshing yet very flavorful. {Gluten-Free Adaptable, Vegan}

Bean Sprout Salad (凉拌豆芽)

An easy bean sprout salad recipe that is perfect for summer and helps you eat a lot of bean sprouts! The crunchy bean sprouts are tossed with a lot of garlic and a savory sauce that is slightly sour and nutty. It is refreshing yet very flavorful. {Gluten-Free Adaptable, Vegan}
To make the dish gluten free, use tamari instead of soy sauce, and use rice vinegar to replace the Chinkiang vinegar.
Author: Maggie Zhu
Course: Appetizer, Side
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: homestyle
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 12 oz (340 g) bean sprouts
  • 1 anaheim pepper , or half a red pepper, or 1 Asian long red pepper (*Footnote 1)
  • 2 green onions , sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic , grated (*Footnote 2)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoon Chinkiang vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground Sichuan peppercorn (*Footnote 2)
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil (or homemade chili oil)

Instructions

  • Bring a medium-sized pot of water to a boil. Add the salt and stir to dissolve completely. Add the bean sprouts. Cook for 40 seconds, or until al dente. Immediately drain and transfer the bean sprouts to a colander. Rinse with cold tap water to stop cooking. Once cooled completely, drain thoroughly, then pat dry with paper towels. Transfer to a big bowl.
  • Add the sliced pepper, green onion, and garlic to the bowl with the bean sprouts. Do not stir. Make sure the garlic is on the very top of the bowl.
  • Add the soy sauce, Chinkiang vinegar, sugar and Sichuan peppercorns.
  • Heat the peanut oil over medium heat until hot. Immediately drizzle the oil into the bowl, directly over the garlic and Sichuan peppercorns. You should see the ingredients sizzle in the hot oil.
  • Mix everything together and pour in the sesame oil (or chili oil, if you prefer a spicy dish). Mix again and serve as an appetizer.

Notes

  1. Choose whichever pepper suits your taste and spiciness tolerance.
  2. If you think the taste of raw garlic is too strong, you can set it aside with the ground Sichuan peppercorns. Add them to the oil in step 4 after the oil is hot. Give it a quick stir to cook the garlic through, then pour it onto the salad.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 107kcal, Carbohydrates: 5.9g, Protein: 4.2g, Fat: 8.3g, Saturated Fat: 1.4g, Sodium: 232mg, Potassium: 201mg, Fiber: 0.3g, Sugar: 0.8g, Calcium: 26mg, Iron: 1mg
Did You Make This Recipe?Don’t forget the last step! Leave a comment below, and tag me @OmnivoresCookbook and #OmnivoresCookbook on Instagram!

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Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Brenda says:

    I always enjoy eating bean sprouts while waiting for pho, but I never think to buy them and do anything with them at home… Maybe because I think they become entirely inedible when cooked, so putting them into a cooked dish is just not going to happen. I should definitely try this, though.

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