Soybean sprout soup

Kongnamulguk 콩나물국

Kongnamulguk is typical Korean everyday soup.

In my opinion, if you see someone who can make delicious kimchi and kongnamulguk, you can say he or she is good at Korean cooking!

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I’m introducing 2 versions of soybean sprout soup to you: a spicy version and a non-spicy version.


One of my aunts who passed away last year made this spicy version of kongnamulguk. When I was young, I used to go to her house during my summer vacation for a few weeks. She had no children so she always welcomed me. I have so many good memories about her.

I watched her making this soup because I really liked the taste. Even though it’s a very simple and easy recipe, since I saw her cooking this soup, I have been using this recipe for decades!

Ironically, she added a little MSG to the soup at the end, but I don’t. I like to enjoy the taste of natural ingredients. Here are my recipes!
spicy kongnamulguk

Spicy version

Ingredients

1 package of soybean sprouts (500 grams), water, salt, soy sauce, hot pepper flakes, onion, garlic, green onion, dried anchovies, roasted sesame seeds, and sesame oil.

Directions

  1. Rinse and drain a package of soybean sprouts (500 grams) a few times over. Pick out any rotten sprouts.
    kongnamul
  2. Put the soybean sprouts into a pot and add 5½ cups of water.
  3. Add 1½ ts salt, 1 ts soy sauce, 2 cloves of minced garlic, ½ tbs of hot pepper flakes.
  4. Slice half a medium sized onion and put it in the pot.
  5. Add a handful of dried anchovies (about 7 large dried anchovies) after removing the intestines.
    *tip: this is going to be taken out later, we won’t eat it
  6. Close the lid and bring to a boil over medium heat for about 15 minutes.
  7. When the soup boils over, open the lid and stir the soup with a spoon.
  8. Lower the heat and cook another 25 minutes.
  9. Add 2 chopped green onions and 1 or 2 ts of sesame oil.
  10. Turn off the heat.
  11. Grind roasted sesame seeds in a grinder.
  12. Put the soup in a bowl and sprinkle some sesame seed powder on top, just before serving.

spicy-kongnamul-meal

Non-spicy vegetarian version

Ingredients

1 package of soybean sprouts (500 grams), water, salt, kelp, garlic, green onion, onion, roasted sesame seeds, and sesame oil.

Directions

  1. Rinse and drain a package of soybean sprouts (500 grams) a few times over. Pick out any rotten sprouts.
  2. Put the soybean sprouts into a pot and add 5½ cups of water.
  3. Add 1½ ts salt, ½ cup worth of kelp, and 2 cloves of minced garlic.
  4. Slice half a medium sized onion and put it in the pot.
  5. Close the lid and bring to a boil over medium heat for about 15 minutes.
  6. When the soup boils over, open the lid and stir it with a spoon.
  7. Lower the heat and simmer another 25 minutes.
  8. Take the kelp out of the soup.
  9. Add 2 chopped green onions and 1 or 2 ts of sesame oil.
    making kongnamulguk
  10. Turn off the heat.
  11. Grind roasted sesame seeds in a grinder.
  12. Put the soup in a bowl and sprinkle some sesame seed powder on top, just before serving.

kongnamulgook

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137 Comments:

  1. O, Joo-Hwan Las Vegas, Nevada USA joined 2/17
    Posted May 6th, 2017 at 6:06 am | # |

    Made the spicy version. Yummy!


    See full size image

  2. SweetSadie joined 5/15
    Posted January 10th, 2016 at 6:11 pm | # |

    I only have the small dried anchovies, am I able to use them? How much? (if possible)

  3. moonlightsonata egypt joined 2/15
    Posted May 15th, 2015 at 3:51 pm | # |

    Hi maangchi oni thanks alot for your recipes
    i am from egypt >>> in egypt we don’t eat soybean we only feed it to animals or put it in meat to make humarger
    when i saw your recipe i started to grow soybean at home (i succeded )
    and tried two of recipes 1- soybean soup = i like the spicy version
    my dad loved it ( he is kinda hard to please when it come to food )
    and i tried soybean side dish
    definitly going to grow more soybean
    thaaaaaaaaaaaaanks alot maangchi oni

  4. I love this soup! It was so easy. I want to add the rice, but I cannot find a store to buy sweet black rice or barley rice. Can you help? It sounds so good! I did find sweet brown rice.


    See full size image

  5. hzitao324 Philippines joined 12/14
    Posted March 28th, 2015 at 10:39 pm | # |

    Maangchi! Can I use other kinds of dried fish as a substitute for anchovies?

  6. kateinkigali joined 3/15
    Posted March 19th, 2015 at 8:36 pm | # |

    dear manngchi,
    i just discovered you! i just started a batch of kmichi tonight and i so want to make the soybean sprout soup, i have a quick question, in the photos above i see a bowl of kmichi and also rice, could you tell me what kind of rice and is it prepared in any special way.
    i love your site and can’t wait to try all the recipes.
    thank-you!

  7. hzitao324 Philippines joined 12/14
    Posted December 20th, 2014 at 9:19 am | # |

    Can I use other kind of oils rather than sesame oil??

  8. kmc1710 Orlando joined 10/14
    Posted October 14th, 2014 at 7:23 pm | # |

    Can I substitute the anchovies with fish sauce? I still can’t work up the courage to deal with those, much less clean them out! Until I can get myself to do that (or I manage to find someone else who will), would fish sauce work?

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted October 14th, 2014 at 7:45 pm | # |

      No, if you can’t find dried anchovies, skip them or use beef or chicken stock. Fish sauce is very salty.

  9. gwiyeogirl Oregon joined 8/14
    Posted August 28th, 2014 at 2:01 am | # |

    많이 맛있어요!! 감사합니다~
    While I was browsing your site looking for recipes for 반찬 to make for my Korean class picnic, I found this recipe too. I’m so glad I did!
    이 주말에 저는 오이소박이김치 하고 감자조림 만들거예요!! ^^
    Wish me luck Maangchi! My teacher and her friends are going to judge all the dishes the students make. :)

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted December 20th, 2014 at 9:45 am | # |

      How did your oisobagi and potato side dishes turn out? Good luck with your Korean cooking!

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