Affinity chromatography by using ligand-immobilized bead technology is generally the first choice for target exploration of a bioactive ligand. However, when a ligand has comparatively low affinity against its target, serious difficulties will be raised in affinity-based target detection. We report here that the use of compact molecular probes (CMP) will be advantageous in such cases; it enables the retention of moderate affinity between the ligand and its target in contrast to immobilizing the ligand on affinity beads that will cause a serious drop in affinity to preclude target detection. In the CMP strategy, a CMP containing an azide handle is used for an initial affinity-based labeling of target, and subsequent tagging by CuAAC with a large FLAG tag will give a tagged target protein. By using the CMP strategy, we succeeded in the identification of Cassia obtusifolia MetE as a cytosolic target protein of potassium isolespedezate (1), a moderately bioactive ligand.