My Drinking Culture: Spicy Bean Sprout Salad

Last week, I started talking about how much I love to have a wide variety of dishes to eat, when drinking. But sometimes the amount of cooking required is cumbersome. Sometimes, I’m not looking for a full meal, but instead am wanting to have a small snack to go with whatever it may be I’m drinking.

Today I’m going to introduce another easy recipe, a spicy bean sprout salad. The fresh thai chile adds a nice heat to the bean sprouts. You can make this dish as a small salad to eat alone with a cocktail, or as a side dish to a larger meal. I personally love to pair vinegary side salad dishes with heavier, oily fried foods as a nice complement.

When you buy bean sprouts, keep in mind they are extremely perishable. However, this salad is not extremely perishable. Use the bean sprouts the day you buy them. The salad will keep in your refrigerator a few days and still taste delicious.

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Spicy Bean Sprout Salad
Adapted from Kyou no Ryouri, August 2016 issue
2 small servings, or as a side to a larger meal

Ingredients:
1/2 pound bean sprouts (mung or soy)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar (unsweetened rice vinegar)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1 thai chili
Sesame seeds

Prep Work:

Fill a pot of water and place on the stove on high heat. Bring the water to a boil. Add one tablespoon of vinegar, and the bean sprouts. Cook the bean sprouts for a couple of minutes. The bean sprouts should be slightly cooked, but still have texture in them. When they are fully cooked, drain the bean sprouts. Put the bean sprouts into a cold water bath to stop the cooking, then drain again, using a colander. Allow the bean sprouts to drain the excess water.

In a bowl, combine the other tablespoon of vinegar, sugar, and soy sauce. Mix until the sugar has dissolved.

With the thai chili, cut off the stem. Remove the seeds if you want, then cut crosswise into very thin slices. Add as much of the thai chili as you want to the mixture in the bowl. Alternatively, you can use a milder chili pepper if you do not like the heat from the thai chili.

Once the bean sprouts are drained, and you have mixed the vinegar dressing, add the bean sprouts into the bowl and toss to combine. Mound the salad into small serving bowls and serve.

 

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