How to Grow Mung Bean Sprouts!

I started growing my own alfalfa sprouts several years ago. Around the same time I experimented with growing Mung Bean sprouts. Mung bean sprouts are the ones you recognize as plain old bean sprouts in the grocery store.

The alfalfa sprouts worked right out of the gate. The Mung Bean sprouts … did not. Commercially grown bean sprouts are nice and long and relatively straight. This is not necessarily true of home grown bean sprouts. Unless you know the trick.

I know the trick.

Do you want to know the trick?

Then read on.


To grow bean sprouts you need a few things. Most you’ll have at home already, some you won’t. Unlike growing alfalfa sprouts which can be grown in a regular mason jar, Mung bean sprouts need a special set up. Nothing too crazy, and you can make it at home. You’ll need 3 Tupperware-type containers. I used old Indian food takeout containers that I’d saved. And one lid.

One of the container bases needs holes drilled or nailed into it to provide drainage. I just ran my container down to the basement and drilled through it with a small drill bit. It took about 30 seconds and I can use this base over and over again every time I make bean sprouts.

The other thing you’ll need are actual Mung Beans. These can be found in the bulk section of some grocery stores, sold in the bag, or at the Bulk Barn. So they aren’t very difficult to get ahold of.


Dump some beans into your perforated dish.  You want around this much.  So less than half of what would cover the entire bottom of your dish.


Place your perforated dish into a regular dish.


Fill with water and leave for 8-12 hours to soak.


Drain your beans.


Rinse them very well under cool water and drain thoroughly after.

Put back in original base.


Fill your last remaining plastic container base with water and put the lid on it.  Put this on top of your bean sprouts in the perforated dish.

Trick #1:

And weigh it down!

To weigh those beans down and NOT let them move.  This allowed the sprouts to grow thick, long roots.

Now you rinse and drain the beans every 8 – 12 hours.

Trick #2:

For the first couple of days use VERY light water pressure when rinsing.  Just barely more than a dribble.  Your goal is to have the bean seeds not move at ALL while you’re rinsing them.  That means, very low water pressure and rinsing for a long time to make sure you’ve rinsed them well.

Return the sprouts to their holding bin each time, and weigh them down.


These sprouts get STRONG.  Anabolic steroid after a bath salts bender strong.  As evidenced in this photo.  The sprouts started getting strong enough that I needed to weigh them down with more than 3 little pigs.  I put a huge pumpkin on them.

I walked in the door one afternoon to find the Lance Armstrong of sprouts had actually pushed the pumpkin right off of them.


Some of the sprouts will grow out of the bottom of the container.  Don’t worry about it.

Keep your sprouts covered in the fridge for a few days.

Because of the risk of salmonella and E. coli There is a danger to eating raw sprouts. All sprouts. Even homegrown ones. Just so you know. Having said that there’s also a danger to just existing basically.


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  1. Sandra D says:

    This proves I’ve been following you for awhile. I looked for “mung” beans when I first saw this post, but I couldn’t find any.

    Lo and behold, a couple of days ago, there they were in No Frills. I love bean sprouts and will be “sproutin’ ’em”…

    Soon, I hope – I tend to keep dried beans in the pantry until they no longer want to sprout. What on earth do I do with years old dried beans, peas, lentils, etc?

    Wish me luck 🙂


    After reading your pea shoots post I shopped for the right kind of seeds for sprouting and thought Imhad found them. Got a huge bag and never succeeded in getting a single sprout. Never could figure out why, as I can sprout many other things.

    Come to think of it, this year almost non of my sweet peas in the garden sprouted either. We had outrageously wet winter but I got the seeds out at the usual late April date. Maybe I’m pea challenged. Oh, dear, I think the problem is the homonym, I need to use the Latin name for my peas!!!

    • Karen says:

      Any peas will sprout Kathleen. Peas that you use for planting peas will definitely sprout, and marrow peas in a box from the grocery store will sprout. Maybe your conditions weren’t right? :/ ~ karen!

  3. Demetra says:

    Hello! After you soaked, drained, rinsed, & then put the beans back into the original dish you mention filling the last plastic container with water putting a lid on it and then placing that on top of the bean sprouts in the perforated dish. This is where I get confused. How many dishes do you have? and where does the dish filled with water and a lid go on top of? How many layers of dishes do you have? Is the water dish used to weigh them down or are the pigs? Please help me clarify! lol I am sprouting Mungs for the first time and I just know there is a special process with these guys. Thanks!

    • Karen says:

      Hi there! I can see how it might be a bit confusing. You need 3 dishes. One without holes, one with holes, and another without holes. The dish filled with water and a lid sits on top of the perforated dish with the bean sprouts. It sets right on top of the sprouts and weighs them down. The iron pigs on top adds extra weight to help weigh everything down. The dish UNDERNEATH the perforated dish with the bean sprouts in them really is just acting like a drip tray. So your dishes are 3 layers. Non perforated dish, perforated dish with sprouts, non perforated dish on top to weigh sprouts down. You can either fill this dish with water and put a lid on it, or you can just set something heavy in it without water and a lid to weigh it down. Let me know if that helps. ~ karen!

  4. Joan Lambert says:

    I love your writing style, thank you for the blog! I’ve been following the mung bean directions. I started these about…a week ago, maybe a tad more. They look almost like real sprouts now, and all have two long thin green leaves poking out of the bean, and I think the bean is about to fall off. Does that mean they’re…done? Overdone? I can see the leaves in your last pics, but my leaves are greener and longer so probably a day past those. I tried one this morning and it seemed bitter so I decided to wait…but maybe I missed my window.

    • Karen says:

      Oh dear! They’re overdone Joan. They’re still edible, just as you say … bitter. Coincidentally I started some mung beans about 5 days ago and when I got home tonight from being out I tried one and thought OOP! On their way to being bitter so I rinsed, drained and stuck them in the fridge. Try to aim for 3-4 days. That’s when they taste the best (to me anyway). ~ karen!

      • Joan says:

        Okay, thank you for the reply! At least I know now that the method works (really well) so I’ll start a new batch and pull them after 3-4 days. I’m still learning, but happy to be doing so!

  5. Rintin says:

    No, this one uses a juice carton. May not yield straight tails but seems very easy.
    Would love to know if you try it! I will myself, eventually, but prolly not until the new year as my only real juice carton availability will be over the holidays.
    Happy sprouting!

    • Karen says:

      Ah! No, I’ll probably just keep using my method. It works great, it’s easy and I get nice long sprouts from it. I just keep my containers that I use to do it in my “Tupperware drawer” and use them over and over again. I will take a look just in case though! ~ karen!

  6. Rintin says:

    Just saw another intriguing method for sprouting mung beans; thought you might find this interesting:

  7. Donna says:

    I started this process on Monday, and now it’s Saturday. They are in my greenhouse window. I have some sprouting, but they’re not growing as quickly as yours. Should they be in a dark place instead?

  8. Barbie says:

    I see your kitchen looks like it might be torn apart in the one photo by your sink! I’m looking SO SO SO SO SO forward to seeing the finished product! Sorry…..I know I’m supposed to comment on mung bean sprouts 🙂 but I got distracted!

  9. Debbie says:

    Back in my single days, I did this all of the time! Hubby doesn’t like them and work and kids took up any extra moments. Hmm, maybe it’s time to try again as we are empty nesters next year and I can grow them as a gift to myself.

  10. Julie says:

    I am going to try this right now. Do you have any easier tips for getting all the seed husks off? The tedious picking is what put me off growing my own.

    • Karen says:

      Well Julie … I don’t take them off, LOL. I don’t even notice them. After they’ve been soaked and rinsed etc. etc. they’re softer than the actual sprouts. So, that’s one way to get around your problem. 🙂 ~ karen!

  11. cheryl says:

    Thanks Karen, now i know what to do with the mung beans in the canning jars in my pantry besides cooking them with left over ham bone an pieces picked off…I love chow mien an now i can make my own instead of getting at chinese restaurant which is hardley at all because of the MSG they use to make it….Also ladies/gentlemen when you rinse those beans put a small bucket or like container under an save the water to use on your house plants or outside garden, instead of going down the drain..I save all water from rinsing or draining vegies to use in this manner….Keep it up Karen !!!

  12. Manisha says:

    My mother used to do this all the time when I was growing up. I had never related these sprouts to ones that can be bought in the store. Imagine that. As I grow older I realize all those things I should have learned from my mother.

  13. Marion says:

    Living on the wild side! Love those little piggys too.

  14. Angie S says:

    I sprout all sorts of things, but it isn’t for me or the other humans in our home. It’s for my African Grey parrot. She eats WAAAAAAAAAY better than we do. She’s my fancy chicken! 🙂

  15. Marti says:

    Alfalfa sprouts? Mung beans? Let me know when you get to higher life forms. I’d like my sprout with two legs… and a good job. 😉

  16. Awesome post Karen. I like to live on the edge so I might give this a try!

  17. Ella says:

    “Anabolic steroid after a bath salts bender strong.” Snort!

  18. Ev says:

    Thanks for info on bean sprout growing. And can’t wait to see your new kitchen! Remodeling is it’s own kind of hell–hang in there. Hope we will be seeing many vids of in-progress!

  19. Ruth says:

    I have never had any kind of sprouts. I should try this.

  20. Tigersmom says:

    These teaser shots of the kitchen are k i l l i n g me. Your old sink was not stainless steel and your old faucet did not have that cool sprayer action and there is that lovely marble again. Patience is not one of my virtues, obviously.

  21. Divi says:

    Hey Karen!
    We grow our own mung bean sprout with the help of a cloth (after a little bit research in the internet, I found a blog, where this method is described : )
    This is maybe an easier way to grow a lot of sprouts, not only for a salad. But they might be not as strong as yours!
    Love your blog and art of writing (since this is my first comment here, I think I should mention it)

  22. Sia says:

    It’s that easy?

    … “Because of the risk of salmonella and E. coli”, really, how serious is that and how do we prevent it?
    Do we not risk the same danger with store bought srouts?

    Love these and really wanna try…

    • Sia says:


    • Karen says:

      Yes, as I said the risk is the same. And all grocery stores sell sprouts so … (there is a slightly smaller risk with home grown ones because there isn’t any chance of contamination during packaging and travel. 🙂 ) ~ karen

      • Edt says:

        Some major grocery store chains have stopped carrying bean sprouts.
        The produce stocker guy at Safeway told me because of the bacteria risk.
        Our Whole Foods still carries good looking ones.

  23. Belinda Philp says:

    Fantastic! – I tried growing mung bean sprouts once and was incredibly disappointed with how much they did not look , or have the texture of, the commercial ones. Brilliance – thanks for the post, Ill go do some stuff with that…

  24. NikiDee says:

    I have a new respect for Mung Beam growers! The shot of the brick work behind your sink was exciting to see. I feel like a detective trying to sleuth out the new kitchen.

  25. Laura Bee says:

    Cool beans…and nice sneak peek behind the sink in the Rinse shot. Pretty gnarly!

  26. nancy says:

    Every time I see mung bean sprouts I think of my Dad cussing about damn hippies. I love the kitchen-in-the-making photos.

  27. Stephanie says:

    You’ve been on fire with your posts! So many good ones. Educational, inspiring, dang!

  28. Teresa J says:

    I can’t wait till I retire so I can try all these neat ideas!! I can watch my sprouts grow! Thanks Karen, as usual, way cool!

  29. Sue T. says:

    Thanks Karen! I love growing my own sprouts, green peas are my favorite. I’ve eaten cooked mung beans but never did my own sprouts. Who in the world would have thought that weighing them down so heavily would make them grow better?! I’ll be trying to locate these tomorrow. Thanks!

  30. Amie says:

    Now you just need to make a big pot of Laksa and top with your sprouts. Yummo! I’ll be doing this once I get home!

  31. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Dangerous..But good!

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