Sprouted mung bean salad: and I attempt to read food labels

Mung beans, and some delicious cheese that is not feta.

Mung beans, and some delicious cheese that is not feta.

For the past few days in Hradec Králové, I’ve been at that “only buy food I can recognize” stage, and I’ve been trying to break out of that rut. Rice and eggs may be safe, but they’re not exciting. And unfortunately, most traditional Czech food seems to consist of bread and meat, curtailing restaurant adventures.

There’s a little grocery store called Albert around the corner from my dorm, and I’ve been using it for basics— bananas, milk, coffee— and then I happened on a package of sprouted mung beans. Fancy! Impulsively, I bought them, took ‘em home, and realized I had not clue what to do with them. Luckily, there’s the Internet.

They taste like bean sprouts, only crunchier, and they look more like peas. Also, they’re nicely filling, and look wonderful in a salad.

If you’re looking for instructions on how to sprout your own mung beans, check out this recipe. Also, a blogger called Czech Vegan has a review of a sprouting kit.

And full confession: I totally thought that cheese in the picture was feta when I bought it. It’s not— it’s very good, richer, less crumbly and less salty than feta, and much creamier. But I can’t tell, from the label, which of those words is the kind of cheese, and which is the brand name. “Sýr” is cheese in Czech, but that’s all I got.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cup / 200 grams sprouted mung beans

1 medium cucumber

1 red pepper

1/2 cup feta cheese

olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste

Mung bean salad.

Mung bean salad.

  1. Seed and dice the pepper.
  2. Dice the cucumber into cubes.
  3. Crumble the feta, and mix the pepper, cucumber, mung beans and cheese together.
  4. Add a dash of olive oil
  5. Chill for at least a half hour before serving.
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