Korean soybean sprout salad on a white plate

Korean Soybean Sprout Salad (Kongnamul Muchim)

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Over the past few weeks, I published a lot of information about bean sprouts. I wrote about mung bean sprouts and soybean sprouts in Korean cooking. Then, I compared the differences between the two. Next, I published a recipe for Korean mung bean sprout salad (sukju-namul muchim). Now, finally, I am sharing this recipe for kongnamul muchim, otherwise known as Korean soybean sprout salad!  

Kongnamul muchim is a common side dish people serve in their households. Crispy and crunchy, it is the perfect light and refreshing side dish for every Korean meal. In Korean households, people typically make two types of kongnamul muchim. On one hand, they make a spicy version using gochugaru (red pepper flakes). On the other hand, they make a mild version without the hot Korean pepper flakes. 

In this post, we will learn how to make the milder variation. Look for the spicy kongnamul muchim recipe in the future!

Kongnamul Muchim Tips & Tricks:

Here we list some helpful tips & tricks to help you make this Korean soybean sprout salad recipe. We hope these tips help you cook at home! If you have any questions, leave a comment below or email us at carvingajourney@gmail.com.

A closeup side shot of kongnamul muchim. This salad has green onions, carrots, and garlic mixed into the soybean sprouts.
Korean Soybean Sprout Salad Is Light and Refreshing!
  • Like when making mung bean sprout salad, always start by washing the soybean sprouts by running them under cold water.
  • Next, sort and remove any soybean sprouts that are going bad. This can take a few minutes–I usually sit and watch a TV show as I go through the bean sprouts! Any spots that are squishy to touch or browning should be removed. 
  • Often, home cooks in Korea remove the ends of the soybean sprout roots. This makes the salad more attractive on the table, the stringy brown-looking roots aren’t always attractive. 
  • Then, quickly boil the soybean sprouts for no more than four minutes. This kills any food-borne illness while keeping the bean sprouts crispy. 
  • Make sure to keep the lid on the pot. Often, the sprouts smell when you cook them. No one wants a strong, smelly kitchen! 
  • Once you drain the boiling water, rinse the sprouts under cold water. This stops them from continuing to cook while hot! If you want, keep the water used to boil the sprouts. You can use this to make kongnamul guk, otherwise known as soybean sprout soup. 
  • Gently squeeze the sprouts to remove excess water. Do this before mixing with other ingredients to keep the salad from becoming overly soggy. 

Korean Soybean Sprout Salad Frequently Asked Questions:

Now that we learned some tips & tricks for making this recipe, we will answer some questions you may have as well! If we do not answer your question about kongnamul muchim, feel free to leave a comment or email us at carvingajourney@gmail.com

An overhead shot of Korean soybean sprout salad. This salad contains carrots, green onions, sesame seeds, and soybean sprouts.
Doesn’t This Salad Look Like a Perfect Side Dish?

Is This Dish Allergen-Free? (Gluten, Soy, Egg, Etc.)

For the most part, this kongnamul muchim recipe does not contain major allergens. It does not contain any tree nuts, peanuts, fish, shellfish, dairy milk, and/or eggs. 

This recipe does contain soy sauce which contains gluten. Like all my recipes, I recommend replacing regular soy sauce with a gluten-free alternative. As someone with celiac disease, I always cook gluten-free. 

If you need recommendations, check out my blog post of gluten-free soy sauce recommendations!

Unfortunately, this recipe is impossible to make soy-free because the main ingredient is soybean sprouts. If you want to try a similar recipe, I recommend making our mung bean sprout salad recipe! 

Is This Dish Vegetarian or Vegan?   

My recipe for kongnamul muchim does not contain any animal products or byproducts. In other words, this dish is naturally vegetarian and vegan! 

It is important to state that many people use fish sauce in their soybean sprout salad recipes in South Korea. If you are vegetarian or vegan when traveling to South Korea, make sure to ask about the ingredients when eating in a restaurant. For those interested in learning about living a vegan lifestyle in South Korea, check out our post about the topic! 

How Should I Serve Kongnamul Muchim?

Typically, people make this vegetable-based recipe as a side dish for a meal. They also use this recipe when making components for bibimbap. Either way, it tastes delicious! 

A side shot of kongnamul muchim on a white plate. The plate sits on a linen table cloth with plants in the background.
Try Serving This Salad With a Bowl of Rice.

Can I Make Korean Soybean Sprout Salad In Advance?

I recommend making soybean sprout salad right before serving. Soybean sprouts spoil very quickly. When cooked and mixed with other ingredients, the sprouts slowly become soggy over the next few hours. Eventually, you lose the crunchy texture.

How Do I Store the Leftovers?

To store the leftovers, place the soybean sprout salad in an airtight container. Then, store it in the refrigerator. Eat the salad within one or two days. 

Remember, soybean sprouts become soggy quickly. Leftovers will not have the same crunchy and light texture. 

We Hope You Enjoyed Learning About Korean Soybean Sprout Salad!

In the end, we hope you enjoyed learning about kongnamul muchim. If so, let us know in the comment section! 

If you would like to read more about cooking, you can find further recipes on our blog. We listed some of our favorite Carving A Journey Korean recipes below! For reference, many recipes are influenced by our blended Korean and Southern heritage.

Korean Ingredient Articles: 

Further Carving A Journey Korean Recipes:

If you have any questions or comments, you can also email us at carvingajourney@gmail.com.

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Korean Soybean Sprout Salad (Kongnamul Muchim)

0 from 0 votes
Recipe by Emily Course: Recipes, Side DishCuisine: KoreanDifficulty: Easy
Servings

2

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

5

minutes

Ingredients

  • 300 Grams of Soybean Sprouts

  • 32 Ounces of Water (4 Cups)

  • 1/2 TSP Salt

  • 2 TSP Sesame Oil

  • 2 TSP Sesame Seeds

  • 1 Garlic Clove, Minced

  • 1 Green Onion, Cut Thin

  • 1/2 Small Carrot, Cut Into Matchsticks

Directions

  • First, rinse the soybean sprouts in cold water. Then, remove any rotting beans or skins. Place 4 cups of water in a medium pot. Next, add the soybean sprouts to the pot. Cover, and bring the pot to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, continue to cook for 5 minutes. Do not open the lid as it cooks.
  • Drain the soybean sprouts. (If you desire, keep the broth created by boiling the sprouts. This makes a good broth for soup.) Shock the sprouts with cold water to stop them from cooking.
  • Squeeze the soybean sprouts to remove any extra moisture.
  • Finally, toss the sprouts with sesame oil, salt, garlic, green onions, carrots, and sesame seeds. Serve right away.

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