Always tasty, always healthy

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One of the dishes that is good for you, tasty, goes well with every other dish and is always available is the humble mung bean sprout.

It can be found in sour soups, stir-fried or boiled dishes or as the stuffing in bánh xèo (Vietnamese pancake). The sprouts can be eaten directly, soaked in salt, boiled or fried with other ingredients to process into another dish. The cheap and common legume, which can be bought at any market or supermarket, is also a favored ingredient in traditional medicine. In 100g of mung bean sprouts, there is 38g calcium, 91mg phosphorus, 1.4mg iron, 0.2mg Vitamin B1, 0.13mg Vitamin B2, 0.75mg niacin, 0.09mg Vitamin B6, 10mg Vitamin C, 15-25mg Vitamin E and 44 calories, according to pharmacist Huu Bao. The high C and E vitamin content in the sprouts help detoxicate, cool the body and "release alcohol" in the blood. Patients having aphonic laryngitis, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular issues, high blood pressure, coronary issues and high cholesterol should eat the sprouts. Eating a lot of sprouts can protect the body's cells from the aging process and promote longevity.

* Pharmacist Bao offers some suggestions:

- To treat a cough with sputum and/or a hoarse throat, mix the washed sprouts with a little salt, squeeze them, collect the water in your mouth, gargle and spit out. Do this several times a day.

- To treat food and metal poisoning, urine retention and drunkenness, drink the juice of clean mung bean sprouts mixed with sugar.

* Doctor Thanh Lan has more suggestions:

- Mung bean sprout extract: 150g sprouts, one lemon and 20g white sugar. Blend sprouts in a blender, collect the juice in a glass, then squeeze lemon juice in the glass and add sugar to drink. The juice is used for treatment on strangury (painful, slow urination caused by spasms that makes the urine come out drop by drop) and yellow urine.

- Soya bean cake and sprout soup: 250g sprouts, two soya bean cakes, which are medium size and sold at any market, 100g cải thìa (bok choy), 10g soya oil, 10g spring onion, 2g salt and 2g MSG. Cook all ingredients in a pot with enough water for 15 minutes until it becomes a soup. Season with soya oil, salt and MSG. Have a bowl of this vegetarian soup every day.

- Chinese wolfberries and sprouts soup: 200g mung bean sprouts, 12g kỷ tử (Chinese wolfberries), 20g củ mài (dioscorea persimilis), a little ginger, onion, oil and salt. Pour one teaspoon of oil in a pot over a high flame. Then fry sliced onions until they are fragrant. Next, place mung bean sprouts, kỷ tử and củ mài in the pot to cook with two bowls of water and ginger for 25 minutes. And then season with a little salt and sugar before enjoying the soup, which is good for both the eyes and the kidneys.

- Fried sprouts, meat and water dropwort: 200g mung bean sprouts, 200g sliced rau cần (water dropwort), 100g lean pork meat and one egg. Heat one teaspoon of oil in a pan, then place the sliced meat in the pan and fry, and add all the other ingredients until meat is cooked and tender. Serve hot. Good for lowering blood pressure.

- Sprouts drink: Wash and mash 500g sprouts, place them in a jar and pour in hot water. Let sit for 15 minutes, then drink. This simple beverage can prevent symptoms resulting from laryngitis, according to herbalist Huyen Thao.

- Sprouts and sesame oil: Wash and boil 500g sprouts in a little water for 10 minutes until they are well cooked, place on a plate, then mix them with a teaspoon of sesame oil. The dish can calm hot-tempered people and mitigate the effects of mental illness, according to doctor Nong Thuy Ngoc.

- Kumquats and mung bean sprouts: Prepare 10g kumquat juice, add 50g washed mung bean sprouts, 5g sugar and 100ml water. Place sprouts and pour kumquat juice in a pot with water and sugar to cook for 15 minutes until it becomes thoroughly mixed. The mixture should be kept overnight and drunk in the morning after breakfast for three consecutive days to treat a hoarse throat.

- Onions and bean sprouts: Remove the stems of 150g mung bean sprouts, and peel and thinly slice one onion. Heat oil in a wok or frying pan over a low flame for two minutes then throw in the onions and stir lightly until golden brown. Put in the bean sprouts and continue cooking for four minutes. Add soy sauce, pepper and other spices to taste, and serve with steamed rice. This dish is good for treating fatty liver disease, according to herbalist Hoai Vu.

- Pickled mung bean sprouts: To make dưa giá, wash 500g mung bean sprouts, remove the bean heads and let dry. Pound a whole bulb of garlic and half a chili to a fine paste. Then add sugar and salt to taste. In a clean jar, mix the garlic-chili paste with sprouts and cover with 500ml of vinegar. Dưa giá will be ready to eat within 12 hours. Please make sure too much sugar or garlic is not used. Dưa giá (an indispensable Tet dish) is usually enjoyed with braised pork wrapped in rice paper. Dưa giá helps cool the body, and its sourness helps the body digest fat more efficiently, according to herbalist Hoang Duy Tan.

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