This spicy Korean Soybean Sprouts (Kongnamul) Soup recipe is so easy to make. Our recipe is also a vegetarian, and vegan compliant recipe!
Our Korean Soybean Sprouts Soup Recipe
This spicy soup recipe is a great option for your next meatless Monday! There is no meat in this recipe, however, it still packs great flavor. It is seriously so easy to make and takes no time at all. This is a perfect quick lunch option or a light dinner option for a busy weeknight meal.
Key Ingredients For This Soybean Sprouts (Kongnamul) Soup
Fresh soybean sprouts – Make sure to have a lot of fresh soybean sprouts (kongnamul) on hand. Having enough soybean sprouts is critical since there is no meat or other source of protein in this soup. Surprisingly, soybean sprouts have about 9 grams of protein per cup according to Heathline.com.
Mushroom umami powder – This really gives an umami punch to this soup. Using mushroom umami powder is a great way to replace MSG in your cooking. We absolutely love using mushroom umami powder in a lot of our home cooking.
Korean red chili pepper powder (gochugaru) – Gochugaru adds a great level of spice and heat to this soup. Koreans use this pepper powder in a lot of dishes. You can also adjust the level of spice by adding more or less to the recipe as you see fit!
What Are Soybean Sprouts (Kongnamul)?
Soybean sprouts are a type of culinary vegetable that is made by sprouting soybeans. It is cultivated by putting sprouting soybeans in the shade and watering them until the roots grow tall. In Asia, soybean sprouts are widely grown and consumed.
On their own, Korean soybean sprouts are very mild in flavor. They really take on the flavor of the seasonings that are put on it or whatever dish they are used in. The sprout’s yellow portion has a slightly neutral, nutty flavor, while the long white stem has a crunchy texture.
Where Can I Find Soybean Sprouts?
Soybean sprouts (kongnamul) can be found in some big box grocery store chains. I’ve seen them at one of my local grocery store chains called Publix. Of course, the almost guaranteed place to find fresh soybean sprouts will be at your local Asian or Korean grocery store.
Other Soup/Stew Recipes You’ll Love
- Chinese Herbal Chicken Soup
- Spicy Korean-style Chicken Thigh Stew
- Korean Soybean Paste Stew with Mugwort & Wild Chives (Doenjang Guk with Ssuk and Dallae)
- Korean Poke Salad (Sallet) Soybean Paste Stew (Doenjang Jjigae)
- Korean Kimchi Stew (Jjigae) with Andouille Sausage
- Korean Spicy Beef and Vegetable Soup (Yukgaejang)
- 2 cups soybean sprouts (about ½ lb)
- 4 cups water
- 2 green onions
- 1 garlic clove, minced (about 1 tsp)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons mushroom umami powder*
- ¼ teaspoons ground black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon Korean red chili pepper powder (gochugaru), optional + more or less to taste
- Korean green peppers or red peppers, thinly sliced, optional as garnish
- Clean and rinse the soybean sprouts gently about 3 times.
- Add the cold water and clean soybean sprouts to a large pot. Place the pot on the stove on medium-high heat. Close the pot with a lid but leave it cracked just a little and bring it to a boil.
- Here’s where you have to pay attention. Once you see steam starting to come out of the cracked part of the lid, set a timer and continue to let it steam for 5 minutes.
- Then open the lid, and add all of the remaining ingredients to the pot. Let it continue cooking for another minute. Stir everything together well.
- Remove from heat and enjoy immediately!
*Or substitute with Dasida beef soup stock powder if not vegetarian/vegan.
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