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Do Mung Beans Smell? – FRESH or SPOILED

do mung beans smell


Healthy food can give off unique flavors and scents, which isn’t always a bad thing as that’s often what draws us too (or away) from them.

Mung beans are a case in point and certainly distinct in this sense, but they come with an upside despite your nose maybe telling you otherwise.

Are your mung beans smelling bad? 

All vegetables have a smell of sorts, some stronger than other. 

Fresh mung beans should simply smell like a typical salad with that fresh earthy smell, one that you would expect in a nice garden.   

They shouldn’t smell bad or pungent, that is a sign they’ve gone bad.

This greenish bean from Asia is often used as a addition to make both savory and sweet dishes, so it is highly flexible.

Read on and we will discuss more about why mung beans end up smelling bad and what you can do to keep your chosen vegetables fresh.

How Do You Keep Mung Beans Fresh?

How Do You Keep Mung Beans Fresh

Mung beans are easy to keep fresh, and freshness is essential to keep your mung beans the healthiest possible part of your diet.

When sprouting, mung beans are kept fresh by being rinsed at least one time per day with fresh water.

A mesh jar cover is an excellent option for many tiny holes will allow consistent airflow while also allowing water in.

Storing mung beans in an open jar is also an option for airflow. Another option is storing in a plastic bag with newspaper or paper towel that absorbs moisture.

Storing a larger amount of mung beans and keeping them fresh involves layering them with paper towels without crowding them too much to ensure consistent, proper airflow.

A lack of airflow within any container of mung beans will lead to stale water faster, and bad beans.

Keeping your mung beans out of direct sunlight will also help inhibit mold growth and foul smells.

Mung beans are actually meant to be kept fairly cold and will likely be found in the refrigerated section of your produce department.

Mung beans can be stored for about 5 days while retaining their freshness.

The idea is to keep mung beans dry while allowing them to absorb the moisture they need to continue sprouting, as sprouted beans provide some benefits we will discuss later.

How Can You Tell if Mung Beans Are Bad?

How Can You Tell if Mung Beans Are Bad

Mung beans can go bad, and given the question about the smell, you’ll know when.

The roots on the mung bean can start to darken and they can begin to acquire a slimey texture on their surface.

A musty odor can gradually develop and ultimately lead to some pretty foul smelling vegetables.

The musty odor can gradually bring about a sulphur or rotting smell that bad mung beans are known for, and the kind of smell your household and kitchen want to avoid.

Many vegetables give similar odors when they are decaying and becoming bad to eat.

If you need a clothespin over your nose, your mung beans are too moist.

Mold is a clear sign too, as fuzzies forming on any kind of bean is a sign that they are becoming too moist.

Finally, the actual taste and texture of eating a mung bean should be snappy, like fresh veggies.

If they are chewy or soggy, they aren’t as good as they once were.

Dried mung beans can be stored almost indefinitely, though many people prefer mung beans fresh and crispy.

Dried beans also require longer cooking or boiling times to soften.

Is It Safe to Eat Sprouted Mung Beans?

Is It Safe to Eat Sprouted Mung Beans

Mung beans are not just safe to eat, they are pretty good for your body.

Mung beans have essential amino acids your body cannot produce on its own, including phenylalanine, leucine, isoleucine, valine, lysine, and arginine.

Sprouted beans are actually more healthy than unsprouted, as the sprouting process fights off antinutrients within the bean.

What’s Inside

They also potentially reduce blood pressure as a good source of potassium, magnesium, and fiber, all of which are readily linked to lower blood pressure.

High pressure is a problem for nearly a third of Americans, so the connection has positive implications.

Mung beans actually have many health benefits, according to Healthline, and have one of the best sources of plant based proteins out there.

There are some precautions to take when eating mung beans, and they are listed below.

Are Mung Beans Poisonous?

Are Mung Beans Poisonous

Mung bean sprouts carry a small risk of developing listeria, e.coli, or salmonella.

These problems are often the result of the mung beans sitting in stale water while sprouting, with stale water being an opportune place for nasty bacteria to develop.

Washing your mung beans and sprouts while they are sprouting, washing them again before cooking, and cooking them thoroughly with other food that needs to be heated is essential to keeping bad bacteria out of your body.

What the FDA Says

Per the Food and Drug Administration, eating raw mung bean sprouts is not advised for people with weakened immune systems, including the elderly, children or pregnant women.

Even commercially available mung beans carry the risk of e.coli, including a German farm that accidentally contaminated their mung beans with rare strain of e.coli that resulted in thousands sickened and some even died.

E.Coli Symptoms to be aware of

In case you were wondering, we want to list some e.coli symptoms. E.coli is mentioned many vegetable recalls and can be serious.

  • Stomach cramps
  • Diarheaa, either watery or bloody
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Low grade fever

These symptoms appear within 3 to 5 days after eating an infected vegetable and symptoms can last a week.

Also note that the smell of a bad mung bean isn’t necessary connected to problems like e.coli.

E.coli is fixed through cooking and isn’t necessarily connected to leaving them out too long.

What do mung beans taste like?

What do mung beans taste like

Many people want to know what mung beans taste like because they want to ensure they are eating delicious food, and given some of the rumors about mung bean smells, they want to avoid making a dish that stink and smells like sulphur.

The good news here is that good, fresh mung beans, whether sprouted or cooked, are a very adaptable taste.

They mostly taste like fresh vegetables with a flavor that fits both sweet and savory dishes.

What Kind of Dishes Can You Make with Mung Beans?

  • People often ask what kinds of foods mung beans make?
  • Are they good on their own?
  • Can you make a bunch of mung beans into something else tasty?

Mung beans work in most every dish, but are most commonly served in stews, soups, and curries.  Mung beans are as flexible as they are healthy.


Their slight sweetness also makes them a handy paste in some Asian desserts including pies, as they offer an excellent filling.

Most all mung bean dishes are high in fiber and protein while offering few calories while remaining filling.

Where are Mung Beans From?

Like many vegetables and fruits in the produce section, people are often curious about where their plants are grown.

Mung beans originate from warmer climates like India, Africa, South America, and Australia with some US states like Oklahoma thrown in with their arid climate.

Where Can I Buy Mung Beans?

Most grocery stores carry mung beans and their sprouts.

When purchasing from a grocery store, it’s important to get the freshest beans possibly by looking at the expiration date.

In some Asian grocery stores, mung beans are not prepackaged and are stored openly. You can decide how much you want this way, and better select the freshet looking mung beans.

Since these are not packaged or sealed, getting them refrigerated as soon as possible is important.

Grow Mung Beans

You can also grow mung beans in your backyard and get really fresh results, especially if you live in a relatively warm climate with fertile soil.

They can also be grown inside under the right conditions.


Mung beans are a great staple for your diet and provide excellent nutrition with many vitamins, minerals, and proteins available within their sprouts and plants.

They are also known for secreting a nasty smell when not taken care of properly, so this guide is designed to help you better care for the mung beans that will taste great in your next soup, stew, or other dish.

Keeping proper care of your beans by keeping them moist and with fresh water will help keep strange smells out of your house, and provide a snappy, crispy bean that’s really good for you.