Soybean sprouts, also known as Kongnamul, are a popular side dish in Asian cuisine. Whilst they can be eaten raw, they tend to be nicer when cooked and added to soups, rice dishes, or used to make muchim.
The vegetables in which this dish consists of are typically sauteed or steamed and then seasoned to enhance the taste. Slight changes to a recipe can alter the taste of the soybeans and they are also fairly easy to overcook, so you must be cautious.
Although soybean sprouts are readily available in the majority of grocery stores, they can easily be made from home. This side dish is easy to prepare and doesn’t call for a huge amount of ingredients.
Below, we have provided you with a recipe that you can follow to create a delicious soybean sprouts recipe.
- Soybean sprouts – 1 pound
- Green onions – 2 finely chopped
- Sesame oil – ¼ cup
- Soy sauce – 2 tablespoons
- Chile powder – 2 tablespoons
- Sesame seeds – 2 teaspoons
- Garlic – 3 cloves, minced
- Salt – 1 ½ to 2 teaspoons, alter according to taste
- Rice wine vinegar – recommended 2 teaspoons, alter according to taste
- Pepper – approximately 1 teaspoon, alter according to taste
Making the soybean sprouts
To begin, you will need to prepare any ingredients that need to be chopped up. It will help to do this first because they will then be ready to use when you need them.
In cold water rinse the soybeans removing beans husks and any that appear to be rotten. Drain the water before rinsing the beans a second time. If you have got a fresh lot of beans there will likely be very few that are rotten.
Bring a generously sized pan to boil on medium heat, fill with water and add a sprinkle of salt. Add the bean sprouts and then cover the pan with a lid. Allow the beans around 5 minutes to cook.
Do not remove the lid to check on the bean sprouts as they cook because this can release a rather unpleasant smell into the air. When the beans are cooked they should be tender but still crispy.
Remove the beans from the pan and drain them via a colander. You can then soak them in cold water, this step is optional but it will essentially shock them and stop them from cooking further.
Next, you will need to take a separate large bowl and add the sesame oil, soy sauce, sesame seeds, chile powder, and garlic cloves and mix. Add in the bean sprouts and then continue mixing, until all of the ingredients are well combined.
You can increase or decrease the amount of chili powder that you add depending on your preference and the desired kick.
Now that you have mixed in all of the ingredients you can season with vinegar and add the desired amount to a bowl. Sprinkle some of the chopped green onions over the top and then add some salt and pepper.
This isn’t compulsory but may be done to enhance the flavor a little more. If you feel like the dish needs a little more salt or pepper, you can add some more. A great thing about this dish is that it can be served warm or chilled.
If you are going to serve it chilled you will need to put it into the refrigerator before eating.
Remember to keep the pan covered for the duration of time in which the soybeans are cooking. As mentioned, removing the lid will release a rather fishy and pungent smell into the air but it can also affect the taste of the soybeans.
Try to avoid overcooking the beans. Some may find them a little difficult to cook due to how easy it is to under or overcook them. It is important to establish the correct balance to ensure that they taste their best.
Overcooking them will affect the texture whilst beans that are undercooked aren’t going to taste as nice as expected.
Whilst they are frozen varieties of these beans available, it is recommended that you opt for the freshest types available. Black speckles and brown roots are visible signs of beans that are no longer very fresh.
As such, it is advised that you avoid using these because they may not taste as expected.
Often, it can be tempting to remove the ends from the bean sprouts to make them look a little tidier when they are served up on your plate. However, you may be surprised to learn that the ends of these beans are packed full of nutrients.
If preferred, you may still remove the root ends but it isn’t necessary.
Although soaking the bean sprouts in water after cooking them is an optional step, it may be a step that is worth following if you have overcooked them because it will help to restore the crunchiness.
How to store soybean sprouts
If you have any leftover soybean sprouts you may be wondering whether they can be stored for future use rather than wasting them.
You will be pleased to know that they can be kept inside a refrigerator in an airtight container for a few days after they were initially cooked.
Remember that this dish can be consumed chilled too so storing it inside the refrigerator for a couple of days isn’t going to hinder the taste drastically.
Alternatively, you may choose to use any leftovers that you have in some different Asian dishes such as a stir fry.
There you have it, a recipe that you can follow to create some great-tasting soybean sprouts. It’s easy to follow and doesn’t use a huge list of ingredients. This is likely to be a favorite when served as a side to a popular Asian dish.
Remember that if you have any leftovers you do not need to discard them as they can be consumed at a later date or used in a different recipe.