Best Bean Sprout Substitute: 11 Simple Alternatives

Published Categorized as Guide, Ingredients

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Bean Sprouts are a great way to add texture, flavor, and nutrients to your dishes. Whether you prefer to add them to your salads, stir-fries, or even sandwiches, their itty bitty, crunchy texture is always welcome. Have you ever needed bean sprouts for your evening dinner but had none available? Fear not; there is a list of incredible bean sprout substitutes coming your way!

Table of Contents

What are Bean Sprouts?

Bean sprouts are one of the most popular vegetables in Asian cooking. The word bean sprout is used to refer to the young shoots of legumes, such as mung beans and soybeans, which are germinated in water until they grow into mature green plants. Bean sprouts can be enjoyed raw or cooked. They can be added to soups, salads, stir-fries, sandwiches, and other dishes for additional flavor and texture. They’re also an excellent source of vitamins A and C along with iron and calcium.

What Do Bean Sprouts Taste Like?

Bean sprouts are crunchy and pack a light nutty flavor with a sweet aftertaste that almost spreads beautifully with each bite. Bean sprouts contain protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are all incredibly good for you and your body. They’re a good source of potassium for healthy blood pressure levels and magnesium for bone health as well as iron to help your body make new red blood cells.

When to Use Bean Sprouts?

Most lovers of salad prefer their bowls of greens raw and crunchy; whether it’s raw green beans, bean sprouts, or cabbages, any leafy green is welcome! Bean sprouts are the seeds of some beans, typically mung beans or soy. They’re most commonly used in Eastern Asian cooking and are usually added to stir-fries and soups for a much-needed crunch. Because of their distinctive texture and flavor, they can also be incorporated into salad mixes or even used alone as a side dish for fried fish. If you’re feeling particularly peckish, why not pile your bean sprouts into a bowl, lather them in your favorite dressing, and enjoy the sweet, nutty crunch of each morsel!

Best Bean Sprout Substitute

Bean Sprouts Alternatives

You might have heard that mung bean sprouts cost a fortune, but you can still find a number of simple alternatives to use. The reason behind the expensive price tag is that mung bean sprouts are quite hard to grow, and it takes a while for them to have sprouted enough to be eaten. Because of this, many of us prefer to resort to alternatives in our pantries, especially when they’re needed in an emergency! Here are some alternatives for you to choose from:

  • Sliced Snow Peas
  • Soybean Sprouts
  • Enoki
  • Greens
  • Sunflower Sprouts
  • Bamboo Shoots
  • Bok Choy
  • Canned Beans
  • Alfalfa Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Mung Beans

Sliced Snow Peas

These little green pods are a great substitute for bean sprouts. They’re watery, crispy, and have a similar delicate flavor to bean sprouts when raw. In fact, snow peas can be used almost anywhere you would normally use bean sprouts in your cooking or salads. You can slice them thin or thick – depending on what you’re making – and cook them until they are softened slightly (about 2-3 minutes) before adding them to your dish.

If you don’t have any snow peas around and need an immediate solution, edamame beans make a good alternative, too – just keep in mind that they will be larger than traditional bean sprouts and require longer cooking times than the crunchy snow peas.

Soybean Sprouts

Soybean sprouts are a great substitute for mung bean sprouts. They provide a strong bean aroma, but they tend to be chewier and thicker than their counterparts. If you have time, soaking the soybeans overnight will ensure that they cook quickly and evenly when steamed. Soybean sprouts are great in stir-fry dishes with bell peppers and rice as an alternative to fish or meat. Newer varieties of soybeans can be used to make homemade tofu in your kitchen! These newer types have a fresh juicy taste that’s different from traditional oiled ones, which are normally bitter


If you’re searching for an alternative to mung bean sprouts, consider enoki mushrooms. Enoki is an excellent substitute because they share the same appearance through their thin, small-cap, and long tails. With this mushroom in hand, you can make soup or ramen noodles within minutes! Furthermore, Enoki is extremely healthful and benign that they become a top-recommendation food for daily use. No saturated fat; only healthy Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids!

Their unique chewy features, aside from their fruity and bean-like taste, also make them a good garnish to any recipe without being too overpowering or pungent. However, due to their high water content (95%), it’s better if you don’t spend enough time checking the mushrooms carefully when preparing them under hot water – since they require longer cooking times than bean sprouts do!

Best Bean Sprout Substitute


If you’re looking for a substitute to replace your bean sprouts with, try greens. They are great as a replacement because they have a similar texture and taste to bean sprouts. They also cook at about the same time as well. The trick is to cut them into thin slices – just like bean sprouts so that they can cook quickly and evenly, which means you should use similar tools to get them to the same size and shape if desired.

You can easily substitute your bean sprout with an equal amount of greens like green cabbage, bok choi or napa cabbage (they’ll shrink when cooked), but it’s best served when cooked until half its initial volume so that it doesn’t get mushy or lose its crunchiness altogether. This makes them ideal for raw salads as well as sandwiches – especially if you add some good ol’ chili sauce on top!

Sunflower Sprouts

Sunflower sprouts are a great alternative for green smoothies and sandwiches. They have a taste like sunflower seeds and are quite small with a sharp edge flavor. The difference between sunflower sprouts and mung bean sprouts is that of their color and size. Try tossing the sunflower sprouts in dressing or with some herbs, which will help reduce its bitter taste and make them just as delicious as classic bean sprouts.

Bamboo Shoots

Bamboo shoots are the young tips of bamboo, harvested while they are still small and tender. They are usually trimmed so that their length is about 3 inches long. These can be found in canned form in many regions but if you want to use fresh ones, make sure that you get them from a reputable source. Bamboo shoots have a crunchy texture that is similar to bean sprouts. They also have an appearance like puny beans or mushrooms, which makes them popularly used as an alternative for bean sprouts. If you want to use them for Asian cuisine, slice them thinly and add them to your stir fry dishes.

Best Bean Sprout Substitute

Bok Choy

Bok choy, also known as Chinese white cabbage, is a leafy vegetable with a thick base and tender leaves. The flavor of bok choy is much milder than that of green or savoy cabbages, but it’s still quite flavourful. It’s a great swap for bean sprouts in your next stir-fry or Pad Thai. Due to its incredibly large surface area relative to its volume (which means lots of cooking space), bok choy cooks quickly and easily absorbs flavors from sauces while retaining its crunchy texture. It’s available year-round in the produce aisle at most grocery stores and can be found fresh or packaged in water or salt water in sealed bags at Asian markets.

Canned Beans

If you’re looking for a quick, and easy way to incorporate more beans into your diet without any fuss, canned bean sprouts are the perfect choice! Beans are an amazing source of protein and fiber, the two nutrients that can be hard to get enough of. They also add some substance to your salads and make them feel more filling.

Canned beans are a great option if you’re working on a budget or if you don’t have time for soaking dried beans overnight. Just look through the canned foods aisle at your grocery store and pick out some tasty options. Remember: rinse them thoroughly and quickly before adding them to your dish so they aren’t too salty.

Alfalfa Sprouts

Alfalfa sprouts are germinated alfalfa seeds that give a fresh, sweetish, and nutty flavor. They have a delicate crunchy texture with a bit of a bite to them. These sprouts are fantastic for your salads and sandwiches as a substitute for bean sprouts. When buying alfalfa seeds, make sure you buy sprouting ones as they will not be too bitter when eaten fresh.

Best Bean Sprout Substitute


The cabbage is a common vegetable that has been used all over the world. It is not strange if you get tired of eating the same old dish, so why not try something else like substituting a mung bean sprout? The cabbage can be easily replaced with mung bean sprouts because they are very similar in texture and flavor. Both have a crisp texture, which makes it easy to mix and match with any seasonings. The flavor of cabbage is fruity and chewy, making it easy to eat alone as well as combined with other ingredients such as meat or seafood like shrimps.

Mung Beans

The mung bean, also called the green gram or mungo, belongs to the legume family that originated mainly in East Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Indian subcontinent. Mung beans are grown all over the world, including in India, China, Japan, and Korea They are used in both savory dishes as well as desserts like ice cream. They’re a vital ingredient in many recipes, including soups and the most popular bean sprout form. Mung beans have a slightly sweet fresh nutty flavor that works well with other ingredients such as vegetables or ground into powder to use in flatbreads blended with rice or oatmeal spread on bread instead of jam for breakfast time sandwiches!

Bean Sprouts Recipe Ideas

Bean sprouts are a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. They are also a good source of fiber. In addition to their high nutrient content, beans have many health benefits.

They contain antioxidants that protect against oxidative stress and diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes; they also contain vitamins A, C, and E as well as potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Furthermore, bean sprouts contain good amounts of leucine which helps with muscle recovery after exercise or sports activities as well as lysine for healthy skin tissue growth!

Here are some delicious, crunchy bean sprout recipe ideas for you to try:

  • Vietnamese Chicken Salad with Chinese Cabbage and Bean Sprouts
  • Stir-Fried Scallops with Bean Sprouts
  • Korean Style Bean Sprouts

Vietnamese Chicken Salad with Chinese Cabbage and Bean Sprouts

Vietnamese chicken salad with Chinese cabbage and bean sprouts recipe is easy to make and a great way to use some of that leftover chicken. If you don’t have any leftover chicken, you can easily cook some up on the grill or in your oven. This dish also makes a great side dish for grilled chicken.

If you’ve never cooked with bean sprouts before, this is a good recipe to start with! They’re inexpensive and delicious. You can always substitute the Chinese cabbage for other types of cabbages like napa cabbage or savoy cabbage – or even bok choy if you’d like something more exotic!

Stir-Fried Scallops with Bean Sprouts

If you’re not a particular fan of bean sprouts but still want to add some crunch to your meal, then a fistful of scallops is the way to go. Scallops are a great source of selenium and protein – and they taste delicious! They’re also good for your heart and brain health because they contain B vitamins that help lower blood pressure as well as zinc and copper for healthy eyesight.

Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a pan and heat it over medium-high heat. Add the bean sprouts, garlic, and ginger to the pan and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the scallops and continue to cook until browned on both sides. Season with salt and pepper, then serve immediately with your favorite sauce.

Korean Style Bean Sprouts

If you’re looking for a healthy substitute for bean sprouts, consider Korean-style bean sprouts. These tasty little morsels can be eaten raw or cooked, and they have many beneficial properties that make them perfect for your diet.

For example, Korean-style bean sprouts are high in protein and fiber – both of which are essential for maintaining a balanced diet. They also provide significant levels of vitamins and minerals along with antioxidants such as vitamin C and carotenoids (which give the vegetables their bright orange coloration).

Bean Sprouts

Hopefully, the list of bean sprout alternatives has managed to ease your hearts. Each has its own benefits and uses, depending on what you’re looking for in a substitute. Bean sprouts aren’t always readily available, though some of these alternatives are much easier to get your hands on!


Can I substitute canned bean sprouts for fresh?

You may think that canned bean sprouts are a good substitute for fresh bean sprouts, however they tend to lack flavour and crunch.

Can you use any beans for bean sprouts?

You can sprout almost any legume, seed or nut. Everything from chickpeas to broccoli, millet to radish or red clover to mung beans.