This soybean sprouts (kongnamul muchim) recipe is certainly one of the most popular side dishes (banchan) in Korean cuisine. This is a spicy recipe with the option of not adding Korean red chili pepper powder (gochugaru) to make it mild instead. This is also a vegan and vegetarian-compliant recipe!
Our Korean Soybean Sprouts Side (Kongnamul Muchim) Recipe
This recipe is so incredibly easy to make. However, you don’t want to steam them for too long or too short of a time period, to ensure a nice crunch but also to ensure it does not turn mushy. Also, feel free to choose to make this recipe mild or spicy. We chose to make ours spicy! If you prefer a mild soybean sprouts side dish, then simply leave out the gochugaru.
This side dish is also a key ingredient needed for the all-time favorite Korean dish, bibimbap. So cook a bit extra so that you can enjoy this side dish with bibimbap later in the week! Yummy! We have a bibimbap recipe on our website here.
What are soybean sprouts?
Soybean sprouts are a type of culinary vegetable made from sprouted soybeans. It may be cultivated by planting sprouting soybeans in the shade and watering them until the roots grow tall. In Asian nations, soybean sprouts are widely grown and consumed.
Soybean sprouts are a frequent and essential component in Korean cooking. The name kongnamul (콩나물) in Korean refers to both the soybean sprouts and the namul (seasoned vegetable dish) prepared from them.
Key Ingredients Needed For This Soybean Sprouts Recipe
Soybean sprouts – Even fanatical sprout eaters prefer soybeans cooked because they have a more distinct bean-like taste. Soybeans are more difficult to digest uncooked, so use them in stews and soups, steamed, or add them to a stir-fry. We’ll have more recipes linked at the bottom of this post so you can ensure you use up all of the soybean sprouts that you purchase!
Mushroom umami powder – We used this umami powder instead of the more traditional ingredient Dasida beef soup stock powder. By using mushroom umami powder, it turns this recipe into a vegan and vegetarian-friendly recipe! If you do have Dasida powder on hand though and not concerned with vegan/vegetarian compliant ingredients, feel free to use that instead.
Sesame oil – Sesame oil is known for its rich, nutty, toasty flavor. It has a toasted sesame fragrance and packs a flavor punch that is a must for this recipe.
Where Can I Find Soybean Sprouts?
You can find soybean sprouts in most local Korean grocery stores or markets. Make sure you grab soybean sprouts and not mung bean sprouts. While they are similar, we are specifically using soybean sprouts for this recipe.
A Vegan/Vegetarian Side Dish Recipe
Like we stated earlier, we used mushroom umami powder to make this a vegan and vegetarian-friendly recipe. Mushroom umami powder is so good and just packs that delicious umami flavor into any dish you put it into. We highly recommend it!
More Recipes That Use Soybean Sprouts
- Korean Soybean Sprouts (Kongnamul) Soup
- More recipes will be added soon
More Vegan/Vegetarian Recipes
- Easy Gochujang Noodles
- Poke Salad (Sallet) Rice Wraps with Doenjang Sauce
- Homemade Fermented Natto
- Spicy Korean Cucumber Salad
- Korean Sweet Potato Air Fryer Fries
- 2 cups soybean sprouts (about ½ lb)
- 3 Tbsp water
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp mushroom umami powder* (see Notes)
- 1 Tbsp sesame oil
- 2 green onions, diagonally sliced
- 1 garlic clove, mince
- 1 tsp Korean red chili pepper powder (gochugaru), optional** (see Notes)
- Rinse and clean the soybean sprouts about 3 times. Do this gently so you do not break and bruise the bean sprouts. Drain well.
- In a pot, add the bean sprouts, water, and 1 tsp of salt. Place it on the stove and turn the heat up to medium-high heat.
- Add the lid to the pot but leave it cracked. Once you see steam coming out from the lid, turn the heat down to medium, start your timer and continue to let it cook for 5 minutes.
- After the bean sprouts have steamed, remove them from heat and then drain the water out of the pot. Note: You can leave the bean sprouts in the same pot, just make sure to drain it well.
- Add the minced garlic, green onions, sesame oil, mushroom umami powder, 1 tsp of salt, and Korean red chili pepper powder (optional) to the bean sprouts, and mix together well gently.
- Place the bean sprouts in a serving dish. Serve and enjoy!
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