This Korean bean sprout side dish is made with soybean sprouts. It has a crunchy texture and nutty taste. This salad side dish recipe is easy to make and is one of the many healthy Korean side dishes (banchan) that can accompany any Korean or Asian meal.

Soybean sprouts are served as a side dish on the napkin.

We call this soybean sprout side dish, Kongnamul muchim (콩나물 무침) in Korean. It is perhaps the most common Korean side dish of all. For that reason, Koreans call it a “national side dish of Korea (gukmin banchan, 국민반찬)” because every household consumes this bean sprout Korean side dish at least once a week.

Some people grow their own soybean sprouts in their home so that they can eat the sprouts anytime they want. Whether you grow your own sprouts or buy them at the store, they are inexpensive. Korean people never get tired of making this delicious side dish with soybean sprouts.

Health benefit of soybean sprouts

Just like other bean sprouts, soybean sprouts are packed with Vitamin C, folate, and iron.

According to Healthline, soybean sprouts may help make iron more available for your body due to a lower antinutrient content. Thus, these sprouts may help treat iron deficiency, or anemia. Bean sprouts may help to improve your overall heart health by balancing cholesterol.

Soybean sprouts are placed in a metal basket.

Soybean sprouts have a crunchy texture and a nutty taste. In Korea, they are commonly eaten cooked.

There are two types of Korean soybean side dishes. One is this mild nutty soybean sprout side dish recipe, while the other uses an addition of Korean chili flakes to add heat to the salad. Check out my spicy soybean sprout salad recipe for the idea.

Whether you make it mild or spicy, this Korean soybean sprout side dish is super easy to make and is so delicious.

Recipe Note

To remove or not to remove the tail part of soybean sprouts?

It is a very personal choice. Korean cooking purists will recommend removing the tail part of soybean sprouts to make the salad more neat looking, but most people don’t bother doing the extra work. I don’t either.

Use very little water to cook

Most people cook soybean spouts in a puddle of boiling water in a pot. By doing so, you lose not only great nutritional benefits, but the flavor as well. Use very little water, about 4 tablespoons only, when cooking. Bean sprouts release lots of moisture themselves and they will cook in their own moisture.

Do not rinse after cooking the sprouts

Unlike in other cuisines, we don’t rinse cooked soybean sprouts in Korean cuisine. Make sure not to overcook the sprouts. The retained heat in the soybean sprouts will continue to cook them further, maintaining their flavor.

Soybean sprouts are turn into a side dish and served in a small plate over wooden tray.

Recipe Ingredients

  • soybean sprouts – either tail part removed or attached
  • garlic – finely minced
  • green onion
  • sesame oil – adds nutty aroma and fragrance
  • toasted sesame seeds – always use toasted sesame seeds
  • Korean soup soy sauce – It is NOT the same as regular soy sauce.
  • salt – as needed
  • water – only 4 tablespoon

How to make Korean bean sprout side dish

A little cup of water is pouring over soybean sprouts in a pan.

Step 1. Add little water: Put sprouts in a pot and pour in 4 tablespoon of water.

Bean sprouts are cooking in a pan covered with a lid.

Step 2. Steam: Close the lid tightly and let the sprouts cook over medium heat for 6 minutes. Do not open the lid. If you have a glass lid, you will see the steamed water drips down under the lid.

A kitchen tong is tossing cooked bean sprouts in a pot.

Step 3. Toss in a pot: Remove the pot from the heat and open the lid. Stir and turn the sprouts so that the ones on the bottom come to the top and the ones on the top end up on the bottom, and wait for 30 seconds.

Cooked soybean sprouts are put in a bowl with green onion and other seasonings.

Step 4. Season: Drain the spouts in a colander to remove the extra water and let cool for a couple of minutes. Place the warm sprouts in a large mixing bowl. Add garlic, green onion, Korean soup soy sauce, sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds, and a pinch of salt.

Bean sprout side dish is hand tossed to mix with the seasoning.

Step 5. Hand toss to mix: Toss the salad with your hand or using kitchen tongs to mix well. Taste the salad and add more salt if needed.

How to store soybean sprout side dish

Serve this side dish at room temperature or chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve. This salad will keep in the fridge up to 1 week.

Soybean sprout side dish is served with rice as a side dish

If you try this Korean bean sprout side dish recipe, please take a moment to leave a rating and comment below. I love hearing from you, and it helps other readers, too.

Soybean sprouts are served as a side dish on the napkin.

Korean Bean Sprout Side Dish (Kongnamul Muchim)

This Korean bean sprout side dish is made with soybean sprouts. It has a crunchy texture and nutty taste. This recipe is easy and quick to make.
4.84 from 6 ratings

Ingredients

Instructions 

  • Put sprouts in a pot and pour in 4 tablespoon of water. Close the lid tightly and let the sprouts cook over medium heat for 6 minutes. Do not open the lid. If you have a glass lid, you will see the steamed water drips down under the lid.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and open the lid. Stir and turn the sprouts so that the ones on the bottom come to the top and the ones on the top end up on the bottom, and wait for 30 seconds.
  • Drain the spouts in a colander to remove the extra water and let cool for a couple of minutes.
  • Place the warm sprouts in a large mixing bowl. Add garlic, green onion, Korean soy soy sauce, sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds, and a pinch of salt. Toss the salad with your hand or using kitchen tongs to mix well.
  • Taste the salad and add more salt if needed. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
Calories: 48kcal, Carbohydrates: 4g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 116mg, Potassium: 102mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 32IU, Vitamin C: 8mg, Calcium: 23mg, Iron: 1mg
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