If you look into the kitchen of a Vietnamese restaurant, you will almost always see a very large bucket filled with fresh mung bean sprouts. Bean sprouts are served on the salad plate, served with noodles, served with wraps. They provide freshness as well as good crisp texture and taste.
This salad functions somewhere between a salad and a pickle. The bean sprouts are well flavored and more tender than raw sprouts, but they still have a refreshing crunch. Use this as a side salad or condiment, a topping in rice paper roll-ups, or a relish for grilled meat. The sprouts should be used the day they are prepared.
- 1 pound mung bean sprouts (about 6 cups loosely packed)
- 5 large scallions or 8 smaller ones, trimmed, smashed flat with the side of a cleaver, sliced lengthwise into ribbons, and then cut crosswise into 2- to 3-inch lengths
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ½ cup rice vinegar
- 4 cups water
Rinse the bean sprouts well in cold water, drain, and place in a large bowl. Add the scallions and set aside.
Place the remaining ingredients in a nonreactive saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring with a wooden spoon to dissolve the salt and sugar. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
Pour the vinegar mixture over the sprouts and scallions and stir gently to immerse all the vegetables. Let stand at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours.
Drain the bean sprouts and serve mounded on several plates.
This recipe serves 8.