Cooking Korean

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  • Published: Mar 10th, 2009
  • Category: Recipe
  • Comments: 3

Soybean sprout soup [Kongnamool-Gook]

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The most time consuming part of this recipe is cleaning the soybean sprout , but you can do it while watching “American Idol” or “Desperate housewives”.
Other than that,it is so easy and quick to make.
Actually,you don’t even have to trim the bean sprouts. The hairy end of it is perfectly edible, but will leave a stringy texture in your mouth and your soup is going to look like Courtney Love’s hair.
This is a very common Korean soup and is especially popular among heavy drinkers. Are you suffering from a hangover this morning? Make this soup and take a slurp from it. It will put your stomach right back in to the mood for another shot of Soju….

*Ingredients (4 portions)
Soybean Sprout : 1/2 lb
Korean radish(or Daikon): size of one apricot
Yellow onion: 1/2
Brown Seaweed: 4 x 4 inches
Green onion: 3
Garlic: 2 cloves
Water: 6 cups
Pickled shrimp juice

1.Trim off hairy end of bean sprouts, rinse them in water, and drain

2.Peel skin off the yellow onion and leave it whole.
Using a kitchen towel, brush off the white powder on the surface of the brown seaweed.
Rinse green onions in water and leave them whole also.

3.Put bean sprouts, yellow onion, brown seaweed, garlic, and green onions in a pot and pour in water. Boil it with the lid on (Make sure lid is on…otherwise the soup will taste and smell like raw beans)

4.Once the soup starts boiling and a nutty aroma is coming out of the steaming pot, lower the heat to medium and simmer for about 20 minutes.

5.Turn off heat and take out everything except for bean sprouts from the pot.

6.Season with salt and pickled shrimp juice.

Soybean sprout [Kong-Namool]

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In US, I see a lot of other Asian restaurants serving mungbean sprouts but don’t see any of them serving dish cooked with soybean sprouts. I wonder if Koreans are only people having traditionally eaten soybean sprouts. Please let me know if any of you knows about this.

Although they are not as popular as mungbean or alfalfa sprouts, of all the beansprouts, soybean sprouts contains the most nutritional values. That’s why soybean, in traditional Chinese medicine, is called the king of all beans. The sprouting process produces more selenium, iron, calcium, zinc, and numerous other nutrients than soy bean. The soy bean sprout has the highest protein to calorie ratio of any vegetable.

Compared to mungbean sprouts, they are quite large, about 4-5inch (10 – 12cm) in length and have a pale ivory color. The yellowish colored soybean attached at the end is about the size of a peanut. These sprouts are almost always cooked, even for raw dishes. This is not only because of their relatively denser texture, but also because raw soybean sprout is difficult to digest.

This sprout has fantastic crunchy texture and it is not so much used as a source of flavor, but for the textural interest they can bring to noodle, soup or stir fried dishes. The end of soybean sprouts has a small brown stingy protrusion. Most Korean cooking books say these stingy end must be removed before cooking but I will leave it to you whether to do this or not. This string has a habit of getting between the teeth and doesn’t look very good, but it is a very labor intensive procedure to pinch them off. So, I personally do or don’t depending on preparation time available and who I serve to.

In Korean market, you will find soybean sprouts in bag, packs, and boxes of different brands and producers. Choose the ones that are bright in color and short and chubby in shape. Old soybean sprouts have brown marks on surface and look exhausted so try to avoid them.


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