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Trimmed bean sprouts

I just read a recipe that calls for trimmed bean sprouts--
Should I have been cutting the little threads off the ends of my sprouts all these years?

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  1. Probably, but don't worry about it. Unless I'm cooking for guests I don't usually bother trimming them.

    2 Replies
    1. According to Celia Chiang of The Mandarin restaurant, yes. But she is altogether a different animal than I - and she had a whole brigade of cooks to do that. I do not, would not, and will not undertake this. I understand her reckoning, but I'm not gonna do it.

      2 Replies
      1. re: mamachef

        And ditto. Unless I could get mrbushy to unwittingly take on the task for me, it doesn't happen.

        1. re: mamachef

          I just can't imagine cutting all those tiny little root thingies off. Well, I can imagine, and it's so fiddly it makes me cringe, LOL!

        2. I actually cut off both ends while washing -- it's really not that big of a pain and the additional detail of cutting off the stems omits the chance of the floss like portion getting stuck in your teeth...or at least that's what I tell myself. ;)

          3 Replies
          1. re: MonaNomura

            And you have the utmost respect from my sloppy, sloppy-cookin' self, Mona. I'd have to call one of my OCD friends to get that done in my house though. I'm pretty conscientious, but I couldn't even bring Mr. into play on this one: he thinks it's a waste of time when I even "string" celery; but guess who's the first to notice if I don't? I'm depending on my fellow CH-ers not even to let him know that this is in the realm of possibility/probability, because he'll stand over me going, "why don't you do THAT?" (Because I DON'T, that's why. Now sit down and eat your damn stringy stirfry, and like it.)

            1. re: mamachef

              Hahahaha! Totally guilty as charged -- I grew up in a traditional Japanese household and my OCD aunt in Japan taught me how to cook. I still string the celery, cucumbers? There is a certain way to shave the skin. I blame them for this anal retentive cooking style; well that's my excuse and I'm sticking to that!

              1. re: mamachef

                Took me a minute to figure out what you meant by "stringing" the celery.

                O.O LOL!

            2. I would think if it were the way to eat them, then someone would have been selling them pre-packed that way in the Produce Department by now. (like cut celery, cut and cleaned apples, chopped broccoli)

              1 Reply
              1. re: Cathy

                They do. In Southeast Asia, not here.

              2. Blue Room,

                Yes and no. If time permits, it is best to trim the bean sprout roots. This is the official preparation method in East and Southeast Asia. I used to do this all the time since I was a little kid. However, it is time consuming and ultimately it is up to the individual to decide if this worths the time. I no longer do it, but let's not forget this it is the offical method. Here is two pictures soybean sprouts. Notice that the roots have been trimmed:


                What Mona mentioned is even more official. Offically, both the top and the bottom are to be removed -- at least for mung bean sprouts. Soy bean sprouts -- debatable for the top.


                By the way, you don't trim it by a knife or scissors -- which some people are implying here, you trim it by snapping the root off by your fingers. It goes much faster this way.

                1. Do it all the time. Must be trimmed.

                  My mom would never allow us to use untrimmed bean sprouts.

                  In fact, we would often spend many a afternoon sitting around with a big pile of bean sprouts, plucking off the ends, and then creating another big mound of trimmed bean sprouts. It was a great way to bond.

                  And, yes, Chemicalkinetics is right. Use your digits, a knife is just too unweidly for this -- sort of like killing a fly with a sledghammer.

                  1 Reply
                  1. Mom used to say that the difference between a REAL high end Chinese restaurant and a pretender/wannabe high end Chinese restaurant was whether the bean sprouts were trimmed or not. Then again, at home, we never did it, because we were too lazy. It does make for a more attractive dish, but that's the biggest difference.

                    7 Replies
                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        Try making a simple stir-fry of green bean sprouts, with a few slivered pieces of green onion stalks, with some minced garlic and a splash of rice wine vinegar, and if they are not trimmed, you're definitely going to notice a difference -- visually and on the palate.

                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          Green (mung) bean sprouts or yellow (soy) bean sprouts. Doesn't matter. They will taste different if the roots are not trimmed. It is definitely not an act for sole purpose of visual presentation. In fact, I would suggestion the original poster to trim half of the batch. Stir-fry the trimmed and the un-trimmed, and you will notice the difference.

                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                            (I am OP) I'm astounded, but I believe you. Will try the comparison test next time I use them.

                            1. re: blue room

                              Remember, don't "cut" ... just "pluck" with your fingers.

                              1. re: blue room

                                Yeah, don't cut with knife or scissors, just use your fingerd to snap the root off. Now, some people also snap the heads off as well as the roots, but I think the roots are enough for your first trial. It goes much faster than using a knife or scissors. You also don't have to do it one by one. You can stack two or three stems and snap the roots at the same time. Whatever seems easier to you. Sometime it seems easier to do it one by one. Sometime it is easier to do a few roots at the same time.

                                A light stir fry will do.

                            2. re: ipsedixit

                              Yeah. I don't care that much. It tastes yummy to me just the way it is. Not going to fiddle with pinching things off.

                              Besides that's where most of the nutrients are - the root and the seed head. Not the wimpy little stem!