Kongnamul Muchim (Korean Soybean Sprouts Banchan)
I was not a fan of Kongnamul Muchim (Korean Soybean Sprouts Banchan/Side Dish) when I was young. I hated beans of any and all kinds. I couldn’t stand the taste, texture, and the smell of them. In fact, I used to take the “Kong” – which directly translates to “bean” in Korean – off of the Kongnamul and eat only the sprout end. That was then. This is now.
Maybe your taste buds change as you get older. But there are so many things I hated as a kid that I actually love today; Kongnamul is one of them. You may think that Kongnamul and Sukju Namul are so similar in appearance that their taste may also be indistinguishable. So if I liked Sukju Namul, how could I not have liked Kongnamul? Au contraire. Kongnamul has a unique crunchy texture, nutty aroma and taste that is completely different from anything else.
You need to try it, if you haven’t already!
Kongnamul (Korean Soybean Sprouts Banchan)
1 bag Soybean Sprouts, 12oz.
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon gochugaru (Korean chili pepper flakes): optional
- Wash the Soybean Sprout in cold water. Discard rotten sprouts and husks. Drain.
- Heat a heavy-bottomed pot on medium heat. Add Soybean Sprouts to the pot. You can add the minced garlic to the top if you don’t like the bite of raw garlic. Cover with a tight-fitting lid.
- Immediately, LOWER the heat. You do NOT need to add water. Water from the Soybean Sprouts will prevent them from burning while steaming in the pot. Do not open the lid to check on the sprouts. If you open the lid while it’s cooking, the sprouts will smell and taste fishy.*
- Heat 15-20 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Add the seasoning – salt, toasted sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds, gochugaru, and garlic(if you haven’t already added them in step 2). Mix well.
- Transfer to a serving bowl/plate. Serve warm or chilled.
If you are apprehensive about cooking this without any water, you can go ahead and add about 1 TB of water to the pot. You can drain it once it’s done cooking. Don’t be surprised if you end up with more water in the pot than you started with!:)
My grandma and mom always told me that opening the lid will ruin the dish; but I never tested that theory. I trust them 100% tho. I was skeptical that I could cook the sprouts without adding any water either until I tried it. And it totally works! So I wouldn’t test that theory. You might ruin a whole batch of sprouts!