Speedy Sprouts

Are you one of those extremely impatient home gardeners? Always digging up your seeds to see if they have germinated? Two weeks to grow pea shoots is far too slow? Three weeks to regrow a crop of spring onions is interminably long? And three months for tomatoes is out of the question?

We have the perfect crop for you! Mung bean sprouts can be grown in just 3-4 days. And you can check on them as often as you’d like to see how they’ve grown!

Except for the mung beans, which you should buy fresh to ensure they sprout, they can be grown with materials you already have at home.

It’s so quick and easy you may never need to buy mung bean sprouts again!

Let’s begin!

Sprouting Mung Beans

Mung bean sprouts

The secret to growing fat, thick bean sprouts is weighing them down with a weighted lid. This mimics the weight of soil on the sprouts, encouraging them to grow thicker in response.

If you like long, thin sprouts, grow them without the weighted lid.

Growing up

Gardens by the bay
12 hours

Mung beans will double in size after an overnight soak!

Gardens by the bay
36 hours

Roots will begin to grow out.

Gardens by the bay
48 hours

Roots elongate and grow downwards.

Gardens by the bay
72 - 96 hours

Depending on the warmth of your house and how you like them, your sprouts will be ready to harvest!

What you need:
  • 1½ cups of dried mung beans, freshly bought (yields about 1.5 kg sprouts)
  • Large bowl at least 3 times the volume of the mung beans used
  • Large plastic colander or tray
  • Paper towels
  • Flat, rigid, waterproof tray that fits snugly inside the colander or tray - this helps weigh down the sprouts
  • Black plastic bag or dark coloured towel


1. Soak

Soak the mung beans for 12 hours or overnight in a large bowl with at least 2.5 times as much water as beans.

2. Plant

i) Your cat may want to help, but unfortunately opposable thumbs are needed for this job. Distract the cat with some toys before you get back to planting.


ii) Line the tray or colander with paper towels.
Drain mung beans and spread them in the tray.
Cover the tray with the dark bag or towel.
Set it in a dark place near your kitchen sink, such as a cupboard.

3. Grow

Every day, 2-3 times daily, uncover and gently rinse and drain the beans.
They may feel warm because they are burning starch reserves to grow quickly!

Pull up a few sprouts each time you rinse to check their growth.
Watch them grow!

4. Harvest

When the sprouts are as long as you desire, it’s time to harvest. Pull up the sprouts, and shake them in a large pot of water to remove the seed hulls.

Sprouts can be eaten fresh or stored in a sealed bag in the fridge for up to three days.

Savour Korean-style Mung Bean Sprouts (Sukju Namul Muchim)!

Fragrant with roasted sesame oil, this savoury, cooling, crunchy dish is my favourite way to eat bean sprouts! Fragrant with roasted sesame oil, this savoury, cooling, crunchy dish is my favourite way to eat bean sprouts!
  • 500g mung bean sprouts
  • 1 tsp salt, and additional salt to taste
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 2 tsp soy sauce or fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp roasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp roasted sesame seeds

Serves 4 people

  1. Rinse sprouts and discard any brown or stunted ones.
  2. Boil 4 cups of water and 1 tsp of salt. Add sprouts and blanch for 1 minute.
  3. Rinse, cool, and squeeze out as much water as possible from the sprouts.
  4. Add the spring onion, garlic, and fish sauce or soy sauce to the sprouts and mix thoroughly. Add salt to taste, if needed.
  5. Mix in roasted sesame oil, then sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve!

Written by: Janelle Jung, Senior Researcher (Research and Horticulture)

A transplanted pake (Hawai'i-born Chinese), she's finding her own Singaporean roots. Every plant has a story, and Janelle helps discover and share these with colleagues and guests, hoping to spark a mutual plant passion! Ask her what plant she named her cat after!

This article is part of our Fresh From Home series.