When I'm grocery shopping, if the bean sprouts are looking fresh, I will likely grab a bag to use that evening. I have no idea how they keep the bean sprouts fresh because after 2 days max in my refrigerator, they need to hit the compost bin. Slimy, limp bean sprouts are a travesty. That is why I always plan for them, I hate waste.
There are a variety of Asian five spice blends but you can always recognize the licorice aroma, from either star anise, actual licorice plant or fennel. As a child, I'd stay far away from licorice, black licorice that is. Red licorice does not contain any actual "licorice". It is very distinct and I have learned to appreciate it over time. I find that 5 spice blends have an aromatic sweetness to them so I like to add a little bit of salt to enhance the flavors.
This is a really easy meal to prepare but can feel time-consuming due to chopping of the vegetables. A mandolin will certainly increase the speed. It's worth the work as this healthy meal, with it's crunch, sweet and sour from the sauce, and the flavors from the meatballs, give way to a satisfying meal, be it dinner or lunch.
Wrote by Maki