Posts Tagged bean sprouts

Deep-fried harusame + veg


Forgot to write up this dish from a while back. It didn’t quite come out as Yusuke expected, but I thought it was pretty cool.

There were two components: fried harusame and a veggie stir fry.

To begin with the routine side, Yusuke whipped up a typical stir fry with soy sauce and oyster sauce, featuring carrots, green onions, shrimp, and bean sprouts.

The main inspiration behind this dish, though, was an experiment with harusame.

I’ve mentioned harusame on this blog a few times before. Since it’s been several months, I’m copying in my usual description again:

So what are harusame noodles, one might ask?

The wikipedia article offers the translation “cellophane noodles,” which sounds pretty much unappetizing to me. But other descriptions are better: glass noodles, bean thread noodles, or vermicelli.

According to Wise Geek, they’re Japanese noodles made from potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice, or mung bean starch.

The noodles are extremely thin and become translucent when cooked. Since they’re less dense or “doughy” than other types of noodles, they’re delightful in soup!

Harusame (春雨) means spring rain, and you can google for more pics.

We most recently bought a big pack at a nearby Chinese grocery. When it’s dry, it’s sort of nested in a pack, but not curly like instant ramen.

We don’t have a deep fryer, so Yusuke attempted his experiment in a fairly deep frying pan, pouring in a few glugs of canola oil and adding a pile of dry noodles over medium heat. He thought that more oil would’ve had a better effect, but I guess our pan wasn’t deep enough.

The harusame is hard, so as soon as it hits the hot oil, it starts to expand. When the whole tangle of noodles turned white in colour, he removed the batch and added another.

Some sections ended up rather more oily than others although he was quick with paper towels to soak up the oil. The final product, overall, had a rice cracker-like crunchiness.

After several batches were done…the giant mess happened.

In order to serve the dish, Yusuke wanted to make the finished tangle of noodles smaller. So, he put some on a plate, took a big knife, and went *SMACK* on top of the noodles. The result was a spectacular crunch action that had projectile consequences. In other words, the fried noodles shattered and debris went across the kitchen. But it still ended up nicely on our plates somehow in the end, and Yusuke arranged the veggie stir fry over the top.

Incidentally, lots of other crunchy little noodles escaped during various points of the process, so the clean up crew (moi) had lots to do!

Overall, it wasn’t perfect, but still tasty and kinda fun.

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Bean sprouts + fish sauce

Yusuke cooked this one. Hurray!

He began by sauteing ginger (lots) and garlic. To this, he added pork [boo, but I let him enjoy it sometimes] which was further sauteed with sesame oil.

After the meat was cooked, he added green onions. Bean sprouts were tossed in at the last moment so that they stayed crunchy.

For seasoning:

  • black pepper
  • a bit less than 1 tbsp nam pla (Thai fish sauce–yum!)
  • splash of lemon juice
  • chopped basil

The melange came out kinda spicy and tangy. “Ethnic style”, said Yusuke, using the Japanese description for South or Southeast Asian food.


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Vegetable Fried Quinoa

This is a really old one. For the recipe, see

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Turnip carpaccio

Our farmers’ market basket has exposed us to some stuff that usually doesn’t end up in our shopping cart at the grocery store. This time: turnips. Fortunately, they turned out to be passably similar to カブ (kabu: Japanese turnips).

Here, Yusuke turned them into a lovely carpaccio. [I learned that this signifies a marinated dish.]

First, he stir fried bean sprouts in sesame oil and set them aside.

Next, he boiled the kabu for just a few seconds (10-15) and then sliced it very thinly. In the original recipe, the kabu is raw and sliced with a special slicer gadget* for the purpose, so apparently that’s another option.

Then he chopped up the kabu leaves and stems, as small as possible, and sauteed them in sesame oil.

Last, he arranged everything on a plate and topped with ponzu sauce (the aforementioned marinade) and katsuobushi.

At this point, it’s probably superfluous to say: it was yummy.

*Re: the slicer: See Marvelous. Amazon Canada, why do you suck so bad?

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Golden tofu with spicy bean sprouts


  1. Cut firm tofu into cubes
  2. Fry tofu in pan in sesame oil until golden
  3. Assemble sauce:
    • 1 tbsp peanut butter
    • 1 tbsp soy sauce
    • 1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
    • tiny bit of tobanjan (spicy sauce)
  4. Boil bean sprouts and drain
  5. Sprinkle sea salt on the bean sprouts and mix with the sauce while still hot
  6. Dump in a frying pan and add chopped green onions and the tofu
  7. Mix everything until heated
  8. Eat
  9. The original recipe that inspired Yusuke called for pork, but he used tofu instead, just for me. (Awww.)

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Magical soba

This dish was rather a nifty creation, in my opinion.

Yusuke’s first task was to boil fresh bean sprouts: just a few minutes to retain a crunchy texture.

Next, he halved cherry tomatoes, removed the seeds, and sautéed them in a dry frying pan (they had enough liquid alone).

He set the tomatoes aside and repeated the sautéing with asparagus spears, again in a dry pan.

After the veggies were done, he boiled soba in plain water for about 4 minutes. Longer leads to mushiness!

He arranged the drained noodles on a plate, topping the pile with neatly placed bean sprouts, tomatoes, asparagus, and sliced avocado.

In the centre went glorious natto, sans the mustard sauce that comes in the package.

Last, we drizzled soba sauce over everything, sprinkled a bit of shichimi (spicy seasoning) and mixed it all up—after taking a picture, of course. The soba sauce had its usual components: water, dashi, mirin, sake, soy sauce, and a tiny bit of sugar.

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Black sesame bean sprouts

A quick bean sprout appetizer!

The dressing is a mix of:

  • crushed black sesame seeds
  • white sugar (a pinch or so)
  • mirin
  • dashi powder

The bean sprouts were boiled briefly, drained well, and rolled in the dressing until well coated.

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Mabo dofu, leek style

This was a variation on mabo dofu, or spicy tofu, which Yusuke makes in a Japanified form of the Szechuanese dish.

He usually uses silken tofu, but opted for firm here. He also decided that he needed to use up our remaining bean sprouts, a welcome addition indeed. Finally, the dish was deemed to be lacking in green, so finely chopped leeks were included as well.

The dish preparation began by combining a sauce of:

  • 1 tbsp sake
  • 1.5 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp tenmenjan—a Chinese sweet bean paste
  • 300 mL water with chicken bouillon powder

This was set aside.

Next, he sautéed ginger in a frying pan with tobanjan (spicy chili sauce). When sizzling, he added the veggies, followed by the sauce, followed by the cubed tofu—all left to simmer briefly in turn. Next came a bit of salt and black pepper.

Last, after reducing the heat, he gradually drizzled in katakuriko (Japanese potato starch) mixed with water (usually 1 tbsp starch with 2 tbsp water). He adds only one spoonful at a time while stirring constantly, which thickens the sauce but avoids clumps.

Spicy, yum.

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Zucchini steak

Zucchini steak on fish plate

This meal inaugurated an awesome fish dish that we received as a Christmas gift. Although the original intention is for fish, obviously, it works for veggies as well.

First, Yusuke grilled zucchini slices in the oven with black pepper and sea salt.

Meanwhile, he prepared a stir fry with carrots, bean sprouts, finely chopped mushrooms, and sliced white onions with a soupy soy sauce-based mixture.

The zucchini was beautifully arranged on the aforementioned awesome plate and then the sauce poured over.

fish dish

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Ume stir fry

A tangy and refreshing stir fry.

Yusuke used a bit of olive oil to cook up halved grape tomatoes, zucchini, asparagus, bean sprouts, and chicken (optional). He opted for olive rather than sesame oil for a lighter, fresher taste.

The sauce was based around two smashed umeboshi (pickled plums). It also included mirin, sake, soy sauce, dashi, and mirin.

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