Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Instant gratification.

I don't always wait forever to follow through on my Brilliant Plans.

Moving to Japan? Well, let's just say that after the idea struck me, I spent a good six years with a sore cheek. Tasting new foods? The goal was to start that at ten years old, which seemed SUPER mature at age seven, but it turns out that twenty was a better fit. Writing enough to justify attempting it for a living? Er, this would be day three, attempt... forty? Along those lines.

And that's just the mundane! All of the stories that were never written, the projects never started! I'm itching to knit a pair of knickers surrounded by tuille, and to create a batch of "I can NOT be the first to think of it" Taco-yaki. I have every intent of following through as soon as possible, but don't wear out your mouse hitting the "Reload" button in your eagerness for pictures.

Every now and then, though, something comes along that actually happens, and happens quickly. It helps if the supplies are easily obtained; it helps if the process is so straight-forward that it's finished before I have a chance to hesitate.

Enter moyashi.

I'd considered this before (and there I go disassembling the foundation of my very point), but the catalyst was an entry from The Amazing Adventures of Dietgirl in which she waxes poetic on sprouting. There were canning jars in the sink; they sold mung beans for spouting at Whole Foods; I'm a little hooked on weeding right now. All this was enough to turn my thumb green for the four days it takes to make a batch o' bean spouts.

When living in Japan, I had a period of slight infatuation with these critters. They're pretty pleasant to munch on, with a watery crunch evocative of snap peas (though cooking mellows out the raw flavor and, frankly, is the route to take if you're less lazy than I.) They're all kinds of healthy; beans are good enough, but there's a mindset that sprouting grains and legumes makes them easier to digest and increases absorption of nutrients. (Or so I've heard, and Google kind of affirms that, well, it's holism. Beans are still healthy!) They're - what's the word? CHEAP - even in the US, you'll be hard pressed to find a hefty bag for more than two bucks, but there were places in Japan throwing around half a pound for 20 yen, around 15 CENTS. (The seeds resulted in a bit more than that, and all at the low low price of $2.50. I wonder if it'd work with normal mung beans.) And, finally, they're great in soups or stir fries, the type of veggie that sucks up all the flavor around it and adds a little texture and heft for your trouble.

Plus, they're adorable! Lookit!

Doesn't it just remind you of a mussel peeping out of it's shell? (And nothing else - ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ELSE - stop thinking like that!) Precious, precious, oh I love it.

I may be the only one raised in this country to think so. When I pressed my Facebook network to tell me what to do with a jar of mung bean sprouts, the very first commenter said he would "throw them out." A subsequent brilliant mind seconded his opinion.

So I just parboiled them, then mixed in a little soy sauce and a little curry powder and everyone was very happy. And the naysayers can't have any. So there.

No comments: