A Note from the Chef:
In the US, bean sprouts are likely one of two variety, Mung and soybean. Mung is the most common and found in many supermarkets. They are a vegetable grown by sprouting the bean itself. They are remarkably high in protein yet, very inexpensive. We enjoy their crunchy sweetness most often in salads but, many cultures enjoy them quickly cooked in water and shocked in ice water (blanched) and then, sautéed. For a quick side dish at dinnertime, they can be microwaved for 20-30.
Although we think of bean sprouts as an afterthought inclusion to Chinese and Japanese stir-fries, it is also quite popular as its own dish in Korean and other Asian cuisines. In fact, here is one of my favorites.
When I was a (much) younger man I had a Korean girlfriend, whose mother would quickly make this dish for us as a snack served with rice and nori (roasted seaweed). What a great memory!!
Kongnamool (Korean Bean Sprouts)
1-pound soybean sprouts (Mung can be substituted)
2 tablespoons soy sauce (or Tamari)
¼ cup toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons *Gochugaru (you can substitute 2 teaspoon cayenne, Aleppo or chipotle powder)
1 ½ teaspoon garlic, minced
2 teaspoon sesame seed
¼ cup green onion, chopped
2 teaspoon rice vinegar (Reserve 1 teaspoon for garnish)
Add beans to a large pot of salted water. Cook for 15-20 seconds. Remove beans and immediately place in ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain well and set beans aside.
Whisk all remaining ingredients together, saving some of the green onion and vinegar for garnish. Toss the sprouts in the soy mixture well and place in a serving bowl.
Garnish with the remaining green onion and sprinkle the remaining vinegar over the top.
Best served chilled but, if you can’t wait that long, enjoy with warm rice and nori wrappers. (Thank you Shirli!)
*Gochugaru is now available in many supermarkets or, can be purchased on Amazon.