Kongnamul Guk (Soybean Sprout Soup)

As promised in my mu guk (radish soup) post, here is my Kongnamul guk (soybean sprouts soup) recipe. Kongnamul (soybean sprouts) is a staple Korean vegetable that is used in many Korean dishes. It’s cheap and available all year around. While, especially outside Korea, the best known dish made with soybean sprouts is kongnamul muchim (seasoned side dish), its soup version is one of the most frequently eaten soups in Korean homes. It can be made with any type of broth such as beef broth, anchovy broth, or simply water. Often some gochugaru (red chili pepper flakes) is added for a spicy kick. However, unless I make kimchi kongnamul guk, which deserves a post of its own, I usually make it simply with a light anchovy broth to enjoy the natural nutty flavor of the soybean sprouts. It’s important not to overcook the soybean sprouts to retain its crunchy texture. This light and refreshing soup, with a subtle nutty flavor, will go remarkably well with any Korean meal.

2 or 3 servings
Ingredients
:
8 ounce kongnamul (soybean sprouts)
6 – 8 medium to large size dried anchovies for broth
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1 scallions, chopped
salt and pepper

6 cups of water

In a medium size pot, bring 6 cups of water with the anchovies and garlic to a boil, uncovered. Reduce the heat to medium high and boil, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Remove the anchovies and garlic from the broth.

Rinse the soybean sprouts a couple of times, discarding any skins floating. Some people snip off the roots for cleaner appearance, but it’s not necessary. I personally don’t think it is worth the time. I also read somewhere that the roots have some nutrients.

Add the bean sprouts and 1 teaspoon of salt and boil, covered, for 7-8 minutes (longer if using cold broth) over medium high heat. Do not open the lid while the bean sprouts are being cooked, or the raw bean smell will linger even after cooked. Once kongnamul is cooked, taste for salt and pepper. The amount of salt needed at this point will depend on your salt and taste. Add the scallions and serve.

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Comments

  1. i love kongnamul gook! My mom used to make it all the time when I was a kid. I would dump a scoopful of rice in it and eat it like that. It was so good :) Maybe now I’m old enough to make my own! ;]

  2. i saw some soybeans sprouts at the local Asian store but did not know how to cook them and did not buy. next time i’ll get some, would love to try this soup. thanks for sharing.
    congrats on the well deserved award :)

  3. This looks like a healthy bowl of soup. I love soybeans sprouts and love all your photos. They are lovely!

  4. So looking forward to making this. A gentle and scrumptious bowl of goodness!

  5. Roxan – That’s how I eat it sometimes too. Of course you can make this. I really hope you try. Thanks.

    A little bit of everything – Hope you will buy some next time and try to make this. Thanks for visiting!

    Quay Po Cooks – Thank you for the nice words. It’s so good to see you again here.

    Mickle – Let me know how it turns out if you make it. Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Mmm. This looks so simple and refreshing! I’ve never made this before. I will have to bookmark your recipe!

  7. My mom use Water. How much cups do you think I need or do I still use 6 cups?

  8. Hello. Thanks for the great recipes. I was wondering – is it possible to use “da shi da” for the broth?

  9. Anonymous says:

    does anyone know if theres other kind of broth or can i use water by itself?

  10. I just want to thank you for posting this recipe. My mom came down with an awful cold because of me and I wanted to make her soup to make her feel better. I’m Korean, but never made Korean food before. Your recipe was perfect and the soup turned out great. My mom is loving it. Thanks again.

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