Bean sprout Kimchee, Haven’t you heard of it yet?
Okay, I assume everyone who enjoys Korean food should have tried Kimchee, right?
It was either cabbage or radish Kimchee, correct? Maybe some of you(the lucky ones) might have tried cucumber version?
Well, have you ever heard of Bean sprout Kimchee? Perhaps you haven’t!… I am not talking about the bean sprout side dish, the Banchan.
FYI, there are over 200 different types of Kimchee in Korea. We, Koreans, turn pretty much anything that sprouts on the ground into Kimchee. Not just only cabbages or radishes we use cucumbers, chives, green onions, eggplants, perilla leaves, chili leaves, garlic leaves, sweet potato leaves, etc… and bean sprouts. (The list will go on but I just can’t translate all those names of leaves into English)
Bean sprout Kimchee is common dish in southwest region(Chul-la Do) of South Korea and also up northern part(Ham-Gyoung Do) of North Korea. Northern Koreans add mustard and vinegar to the bean sprouts along with fish sauce to make their Kimchee more tangy, and Southwestern Koreans use fish sauce only.
Today I will show you how easy it is to make bean sprout Kimchee…far easier than cabbage Kimchee, and you will love the taste. You will like the crunchy texture and the flavors from either fresh or fermented. After all Kimchee is fermented pickled vegetable without using vinegar. This bean sprout Kimchee can last in your fridge for eternity but honestly, it won’t last that long. Why? because you will eat them up within a week!
So, do you call yourself a Korean food lover? Then you should try this recipe at least once in your lifetime.
Here are what you will need.
Bean sprouts, Korean radish, Korean fish sauce (I use two different kinds but you can use just one. Anchovy sauce is a good option), Korean chili flakes, Asian chives, green onions, garlic, ginger, plum extract (or sugar)
First, slice the radish thinly (peel first of course).
Thinner than 1/8″ if you can. Can you handle that? Good!
After the slicing, cut them into thin strips.
I strongly suggest to use Korean radishes. They hold their crunchy texture in the Kimchee very well. I found daikon radish gets mushy easily.
Place the radish in a mixing bowl, add salt and sugar.
Set aside for 30 minutes to get pre-seasoned.
This will help the radish to extract its moisture and prevent your Kimchee from becoming too watery later.
Your radish will look like this after 30minutes.
Looks submissive but still crunchy!
Rinse well and drain.
I would squeeze them out gently with my hands to get rid of extra moisture.
Meanwhile place cleaned bean sprouts in a pot with 1/4C water over medium heat.
Cook until steam comes out from the pot, turn the heat to low.
Continue to cook for 3-4 minutes. Do not open the lid during cooking!
Let them cool and set aside.
For detailed instruction on how to cook bean sprouts properly, click here.
Cut chives into 2″ long slices.
Finely mince garlic and ginger.
I had a small piece of carrot running around in my house so I added to the dish.
You don’t have to.
But actually, I kinda like the carrot in the dish.
Yields nice color and texture…
Place the radish back in the bowl and add chili flakes, fish sauce, garlic, ginger.
Mix well in Korean way. Use your hands!
The massaging method I always talk about when mixing vegetables,
….gently squeeze them as you are mixing around.
Throw bean sprouts, chives and carrots in the bowl.
Add more chili flake, plum extract(or sugar), and sesame seeds.
Massaging method again to mix.
“The flavor is in your hands…”
that’s what my mother used to say when I was learning how to mix vegetables with hands.
Important skill to master!
Lastly, drizzle sesame oil and toss well.
You can eat immediately to enjoy fresh flavor.
Or keep in the room temperature for a half to one day before you put in the fridge to enjoy perfectly fermented flavor next day.
Always store your Kimchee in a airtight glass or metal container.
If you have to use plastic kind, let it be the designated container only for Kimchee.
Plastic absorbs odor and you don’t want the smell mixed in other food.
Also the fermentation process creates gas, which means smell!
Keep a box or two of baking soda in your fridge when you store Kimchee.
This will get rid of fridge Kimchee smell.
Honestly I can eat a bowl of rice with just this Kimchee alone.
So, you like Kimchee?
But afraid of all the time and effort of making cabbage Kimchee?
This will be the answer for you.
400g(14oz) bean sprouts cleaned
400g Korean radish, about 1/3-1/2 length, peeled
2t salt + 2t sugar
1/2 bunch Asian chives or 1 bunch green onions, cut into 2" long
1/2 medium carrots, peeled, optional
3T Korean chili flakes (gochut-garu)
2 garlic cloves finely minced
1t ginger finely minced
1 1/2T Korean anchovy sauce*
1T Korean fish sauce*
2t plum extract or 1t sugar
1T roasted sesame seeds
1t sesame oil
*You can use just one kind of Korean fish sauce and increase the amount to 2 1/2T
- Thinly slice the radish, thinner than 1/8", and then cut them into thin sticks. Place them in a bowl and add 2t salt and 2t sugar. Mix well, set aside for 30 minutes. They will get wilted and seasoned. Rinse and drain. Squeeze the radish to remove extra moisture. Set aside.
- Meanwhile place bean sprouts in a pot with 1/4C water over medium heat. Cover with lid and cook until the steam comes out from the pan and reduce the heat to low. Cook 3-4 more minutes. Do not open the lid during cooking. Drain the sprouts in a colander and let them cool.
- Place radish in a large mixing bowl and add 2T chili flakes, garlic, ginger, fish sauces. Mix well by gentle massaging motion. Return the bean sprouts to the bowl, add chives, carrots, rest of chili flakes(1T), plum axtract, sesame seeds. Mix again with same gentle massaging motion to mingle the flavor into the ingredients.
- Taste it to see if seasoned well. You can adjust amount of fish sauce as you like.
- Drizzle sesame oil and toss well.
- You can serve right away or keep in the room temperature for a half day(or whole day during winter time) to let it fermented, and then store in the fridge to serve next day.
- Serve chilled to enjoy the flavor.
- Note: Store your Kimchee in a airtight glass or metal container in the fridge.
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