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Best Substitute For Bean Sprouts: 11 Options To Try!

Do you need to find a good substitute for bean sprouts? There are several options that can make your Asian dishes taste as wonderful!

I often need to substitute an ingredient since I adore experimenting in the kitchen. So I’ve had to replace bean sprouts before.

There are various alternatives if you need one due to allergies, unavailability, or personal taste. I’ll offer some of my favorite bean sprout substitutes for a wide variety of recipes.

Best Substitute For Bean Sprouts featured image | Girl Meets Food

What are bean sprouts?

Bean sprouts are healthy and versatile. They’re low in calories and fat while high in vitamin C, K, folate, and potassium. They also include antioxidants and other healthful plant components.

Their crispy texture and mild, slightly sweet taste are popular in many cuisines, especially in Chinese and Vietnamese soups, noodles, and stir-fries. Sushi and other Japanese meals also include them for an extra crunchy texture.

To retain their crunchiness, fresh bean sprouts are usually added to meals at the end of cooking.

Bean sprouts are typically harmless, however, they have caused foodborne disease outbreaks. To avoid disease, buy bean sprouts from a trusted source, rinse them, and cook them before eating.

Best crunchy ideas to substitute for bean sprouts

A handful of fresh bean sprouts lie on a white board | Girl Meets Food

It’s important to locate alternatives for bean sprouts with similar crunchy textures. Some ideas are:

  • Cabbage

Nutritionally, cabbage ranks high thanks to its high levels of vitamin C, vitamin K, and fiber. Stir-fries, salads, and spring rolls that call for bean sprouts might benefit from using thinly sliced cabbage instead.

Cabbage’s versatility makes it useful in both Asian and Western cuisines. Both red and green cabbage contribute a mild taste and a crispy, crisp texture.

  • Carrots

Carrots include potassium, beta-carotene, and vitamin K. When sliced into julienne strips, they can replicate the crunch of bean sprouts.

Carrots are popular in salads and stir-fries because they give color to foods. They can replace bean sprouts in spring rolls and other cuisines.

A while back, I substituted shredded carrots for bean sprouts in my go-to stir-fry recipe with egg noodles, spring onions and sunflower seeds. Shredded carrots gave the meal a pleasing crunch and sweetness.

  • Radishes

Radishes are root vegetables that range in color from red to black. They offer crunch and a hint of peppery flavor when thinly sliced. Radishes are high in vitamin C, folate, and fiber. They can replace bean sprouts in sandwiches, salads, and stir-fries.

If you’re up for some variety, try one of these Daikon radish alternatives for your Asian cooking!

  • Snow peas

Snow peas are legumes with a sweeter flavor than bean sprouts but a comparable texture. Among their many benefits, I can point out ther high fiber content, vitamin C, and vitamin K.

Snow peas are a great alternative to bean sprouts in dishes like salads, stir-fries, and spring rolls. They offer crispness to sandwiches or can be eaten raw as a snack.

One of my favorite additions to a noodle meal that I prepare with tamari sauce, spring onions, and garlic is snow peas. Snow peas add a pleasant touch of sweetness to balance out the spicy ingredients.

  • Celery

In salads, stir-fries, and even soups, the crunch of chopped celery can mimic that of bean sprouts. The fiber, vitamin C, and potassium that celery provides make it a healthy complement to any dish.

If you want more insight into celery uses and replacements, these substitutes for celery root and alternatives to celery leaves provide some unique ideas!

  • Mung beans

Selecting organic mung beans is a wonderful way to improve your health. Fiber, protein, and vitamins are particularly concentrated in them.

The nutty flavor and incredible crunch of mung beans make them a fantastic alternative to bean sprouts.

There are several excellent substitutes to use if you are unable to get mung beans or sprouts in your local grocery store or Asian food market. Check them out to discover your best mung bean sprout substitute and additional flavors!

Best flavorful ideas to replace bean sprouts

A wooden bowl of fresh bean sprouts stands on a wooden surface | Girl Meets Food

Taste and texture are equally essential. The best alternatives to bean sprouts in terms of taste are:

  • Alfalfa sprouts

When substituting bean sprouts in a dish, alfalfa sprouts are an excellent alternative. Salads, sandwiches, and wraps benefit immensely from their mild sweetness and similar texture. Alfalfa sprouts are a fantastic nutritional stand-in since they include vitamins A, C, and K in addition to calcium and iron.

  • Soybean sprouts

Tofu and other dishes including soybeans are staples in Asian cuisine. Soybean sprouts have a mild taste, similar to that of bean sprouts. In either stir-frier or raw salads, they’re a welcome addition.

Try this bean sprouts substitute in a stir-fry with mushrooms, garlic, and scallions. The earthy taste of the sprouts will provide a pleasant contrast!

  • Bamboo shoots

Bamboo shoots are a common element in many Asian dishes. When thinly cut, they can replicate the nutty taste of bean sprouts in soups and stir-fry dishes.

Bamboo shoots tasted great in a Thai stir-fry dish with rice noodles. They added some crunch and a subtle sweetness.

  • Water chestnuts

Water chestnuts, another Asian staple, can substitute for sprouts with their sweet, crisp texture. They’re low in calories and high in potassium, which can decrease blood pressure and improve heart health. Water chestnuts can be thinly sliced and added to stir-fries, salads, and soups.

  • Bok choy (Chinese cabbage)

Stir-fries and soups employ bok choy, a lush green vegetable. Bok choy is a fantastic bean sprout alternative since it tastes harsh and has a comparable texture.

They include a plethora of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin K, and calcium, which all help build strong bones and immune systems.

One of my previous articles goes into deeper depth on bok choy and its alternatives, so you can make excellent choices!

Substitute for bean sprouts FAQs

A black bowl of Korean bean sprout soup stands on a white surface | Girl Meets Food
Can I use canned bean sprouts instead of fresh ones?

Yes, you can use canned bean sprouts instead of fresh ones. 

Can you use any types of bean for bean sprouts?

Yes, you can use any types of bean for bean sprouts, including mung beans, soybeans, and adzuki beans.

What are bean sprouts used for in cooking?

Bean sprouts are a popular way to enhance the texture and flavor of various foods. They are often used in salads, sandwiches, and wraps, and they are also a staple in many Asian dishes.

What is the healthiest sprout?

Mung bean sprouts are considered the healthiest sprout. Some of the vitamins and minerals they contain include vitamin C, protein, potassium, and fiber. They’re also rich in anti-inflammatory antioxidants.

What flavor is bean sprout?

Bean sprouts have a nutty, somewhat sweet flavor and satisfying crunch.

What are two seeds that can be eaten as sprouts?

Two seeds that are commonly eaten in sprout form are mung beans and alfalfa.

Can I make pad thai without bean sprouts?

Yes, you can make pad thai without bean sprouts. Many options exist to replicate the same taste and feel. Substituting bamboo shoots or water chestnuts for bean sprouts would give the meal a mildly sweet and crunchy texture. Try out this great pad thai recipe.A green oval plate of vegan pad thai, black chopsticks and some other ingredients lie on a white surface | Girl Meets Food

Can bean sprouts be frozen?

Yes, you can freeze bean sprouts. First, blanch them in boiling water for a few seconds, and then put them in an airtight container or bag.

BOTTOM LINE: If you need some substitutes for bean sprouts due to allergies, personal choice, or unavailability, there are many options. Cabbage, carrots, radishes, snow peas, celery, mung bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, bok choy, alfalfa sprouts, and soybean sprouts can add texture and taste to your recipes.

I hope you’ve found your perfect ingredient to replace bean sprouts. Feel free to share your ideas and favorite dishes!