These little squiggly bites of goodness are called ‘moyashi’ ( もやし）in Japanese. Mung bean sprouts in English.
They are crunchy and light with a slight bit of nuttiness.
You may have had them in a stir fry like Pad Thai or in a soup like Pho. But probably not like this.
This version of moyashi is made with a sweet sesame soy sauce called goma-ae (胡麻和え）
Goma literally translated means ‘sesame’. Ae translated implies a mix of seasonings that is then mixed with vegetables or other food to add flavoring.
Other vegetables can be made with goma-ae sauce including spinach, okra, and tomato for example. It’s a multipurpose sauce, so if you can’t find mung bean sprouts, I would next try spinach or okra. Just use about the same proportion of veggies and boil/blanch to cook.
Since I don’t like my vegetables too sweet, when I make this I always cut back on the sugar.
You need a suribachi (I got mine off Amazon) to grind the sesame seeds, but if you don’t have one you could also use a food processor.
You want at least half of the sesame seeds ground, to extract oil and flavor from the inside of the seeds.
If you don’t want to make the sauce from scratch it is available premade in little packets online. Since it’s a little expensive, you should be able to find it at a Japanese market. Maybe a well-stocked Asian market.
Goma-ae is one of my favorite ways of eating vegetables. And it’s easy to throw together and healthy too!
Here is a video of me putting this together. Let me know what you think!
For those keen on getting started cooking Japanese food, I’ve put together a quick reference on Japanese Food Supplies that can help get you started! Check it out if you haven’t seen it yet!