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Korean Soybean Sprout Soup (Kongnamul Guk)


This soup reminds me of Korean church on Sundays. The ajummas (translates to Korean lady) would somehow manage to provide "guk bap" (translates to soup rice) for every member of the congregation.


If you have never been to a Korean church, after every service they usually provide free lunch. It's usually super simple, just a big bowl of soup and rice but feeding over 500 congregates every Sunday is kind of a miracle or at least super dedication.


Kongnamul guk (Soybean Sprout Soup) was one of the soups they would serve and this recipe is 100% my interpretation of that memory. It is actually super simple and healthy and the soybean sprouts provide a fresh bite in a warm broth.



INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 bag (8 oz) kongnamul soybean sprouts

  • 1 Tbsp gochugaru

  • 1 tsp of dashida

  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced or minced

  • 1 scallion, chopped

  • salt and pepper

  • 6 cups of water

  • optional: 1 cup of chopped kimchi


DIRECTIONS:

  • Rinse the soybean sprouts, discarding any skins floating, and snap off any ends that are going brown.

  • In a medium-size pot or a dutch oven, bring 6 cups of water with garlic, gochugaru, and dashida and bring to a boil.

  • Next, add the bean sprouts and 1 teaspoon of salt to the pot and continue to boil for another 5 minutes. Don't forget to close the lid to the pot.

  • The kongnamul (soybean sprouts) should cook down about 25% but I prefer mine to still have a bite so don't over boil the soup. Taste the broth to see how much salt & pepper you need.

  • Top with chopped scallions and serve with a bowl of hot rice.

  • Tip: You can add kimchi to the soup to add more flavor. Also feel free to experiment with different broths. Traditionally, you use an anchovy broth with this soup but I actually like the freshness and simplicity of this recipe. You really taste the sprouts.

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