13 Best Substitutes for Bean Sprouts


This post is the complete guide for substituting bean sprouts in all your favorite dishes.

These alternatives go well with almost all methods of cooking over various cuisines. 

Rest assured, these substitutes have been tried and tested numerous times to provide you with the best possible options. 

So let’s dive right in! 

13 Best Substitutes for Bean Sprouts

1. Soybean Sprouts

Soybean sprouts are popularly used in East-Asian cuisine and have a similar texture.

You can substitute it in stir-fries, pad thai, bean bakes, and other dishes.

Consuming sprouted soybeans can improve ferritin levels (a protein that helps store iron), thus increasing iron in the body. 

They require more time cooking as they are hard. 

How to Substitute

Substitute in a 1:1 ratio.

Learn to grow soybean sprouts at home –

2. Enoki Mushroom

Enoki is a widely used Japanese mushroom that has a mild fruity flavor.

It looks similar to bean sprouts and pairs well in sandwiches, salads, ramen, etc.

They are a good source of antioxidants that may help with disease prevention.

Enoki doesn’t do well with heat and tastes best when used in raw dishes. 

How to Substitute

Substitute according to taste preferences. 

Learn how to prepare enoki mushrooms

3. Snow peas

Snow peas are edible pea pods having long, thin, and flat seeds inside.

They have a sweet herbal flavor and substitute well in stews, soups, pad thai, stir fry, etc.

Snow peas are high in fiber and can promote digestive health by preventing constipation. 

They are crunchier in texture and have a strong flavor. 

How to Substitute

Substitute as per taste preferences.

Try out this delicious stew recipe

4. Shredded Cruciferous vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables are a diverse group that includes cauliflower, cabbage, arugula, Bokchoy, collards, etc.

Although they might not look the same, they have a bland flavor that works well with a lot of dishes.

You can add it to stir-fries, casseroles, stews, and other dishes. 

They have a chewy texture similar to bean sprouts and may require little cooking. 

How to Substitute

Substitute as per the recipe.

Try out this tasty recipe

5. Sunflower Sprouts

Sunflower sprouts taste just like sunflower seeds.

They are small in size and have a crispy sharp flavor that pairs well in stews, stir fries, smoothies, etc.

They are slightly bitter but can be balanced out by adding other ingredients. 

They are low in calories and perfect for a ketogenic diet. 

How to Substitute

Substitute a little lesser than what the recipe instructs.

Learn how to grow sunflower sprouts at home –

6. Mung Beans

Mung beans (also called green gram) are a type of legume widely used in Asian countries.

They have a fresh, slightly sweet, and nutty flavor that pairs well with both sweet and savory dishes. 

They are good sources of magnesium, potassium, and fiber, which may help lower hypertension.

How to Substitute

Substitute in a 1:1 ratio.

Try out this soup recipe

7. Bokchoy

Also known as Pak Choi, Bokchoy is a type of cruciferous vegetable.

It has a mild flavor, making it a good substitute for bean sprouts in several dishes like pad thai, stir-fry, dumplings, etc.

Bokchoy contains selenium, which can support thyroid health. 

It tastes best when used in cooked dishes. 

How to Substitute

Substitute as per recipe instructions. 

Check out this recipe

8. Bamboo Shoots

Bamboo shoots are a classic ingredient used in Asian cuisine.

They have a mild taste and can blend with any dish, making them an excellent substitute.

You can substitute it in salads, pad thai, dumplings, stir-fries, and many other dishes. 

They are an excellent source of fiber and can aid digestive health.

How to Substitute

Substitute as per recipe instructions. 

Try out this popular Thai recipe

9. Alfalfa sprouts

Alfalfa sprouts are a good substitute for bean sprouts because of their texture and flavor.

They have a nutty, slightly sweet flavor and a delicate but fresh, crunchy texture.

They contain saponins, a plant compound known to lower cholesterol levels. 

Do not consume if they look wilted or slimy as they are prone to diseases. 

How to Substitute

Substitute as per recipe instructions. 

Learn to grow alfalfa sprouts at home –

10. Canned Beans

Want a readily available convenient substitute? Canned beans would be your best option then.

They can be used in soups, salads, stir-fries, rice, etc. You’ll also have a variety of brands to choose from based on your dish. 

Rinse canned bean sprouts before preparing the meal and follow the instructions on the packaging. 

How to Substitute

Substitute in the same quantity as mentioned in the recipe. 

Check out this soup recipe

11. Homegrown bean sprouts

If you don’t want any changes to the flavor and texture, growing bean sprouts at home would be your best option.

You can substitute it in every recipe.

All you’ll need is a small pot, water, and a few beans. You can even be thrifty and use jars or bottles. 

Although homegrown bean sprouts aren’t an instant substitute, they are surely worth it!

How to Substitute

Substitute in a 1:1 ratio.

Learn to grow bean sprouts –

12. Radish sprouts

Radish sprouts have a strong peppery flavor and a crispy texture.

It substitutes well in dishes like Pho, Pad thai, and casseroles or can be used as a garnish. The stems have a tinge of pink that adds color to the dish. 

Radish sprouts may also promote digestion by increasing bile flow.

How to Substitute

Substitute ¼th of the quantity mentioned in the recipe.

Learn to grow radish sprouts at home –

13. Green pea sprouts

Green pea sprouts are a flavorful substitute that works well with noodles, stir-fries, spring rolls, Pho, and other dishes.

They have a mildly sweet flavor and taste like green peas

They are an excellent source of folate (B9), which is important for cerebral growth in babies. 

How to Substitute

Substitute in a 1:1 ratio. 

Try out this delicious stir fry


Are bean sprouts and soybean sprouts the same thing?

No! They differ in appearance and flavor. Bean sprouts are slightly darker and have a sharper taste as compared to soybean sprouts. The difference isn’t too drastic and they can be interchanged in many recipes. 

What kind of bean sprouts are used in Chinese cuisine?

Mung bean sprouts and soybean sprouts are classic ingredients in Chinese cooking. 

What is the difference between bamboo shoots and bean sprouts?

Bamboo shoots differ from bean sprouts in terms of size, shape, and flavor. Bamboo shoots are long and cone-shaped. They have a slightly sweet and earthy flavor. 

However, in some dishes like Pad thai, spring rolls, and soups, bamboo shoots can replace bean sprouts. 

Bottom Line

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About Pratibha Singh

Pratibha is a popular home chef and loves to prepare some amazing Indian dishes. A foodie to the core she enjoys other cuisines too. She has been cooking since childhood and often prepares meals for her family, friends, and even strangers. Her motto in life: “Always be prepared!”