Soybeans are a type of legume widely grown and consumed in East Asia. In South Korea, they are used to make culturally significant foods such as tofu, doenjang (fermented soybean paste), soy sauce, and more. But, beyond the beans, people in Korea use the sprouts in a multitude of different ways as well. Here, we will discuss the use of soybean sprouts in Korean cooking as well as the growing season and where to buy them.
Recently, I wrote about mung bean sprouts and their purpose in Korean food culture. The sprouts, named ‘sukju’ or ‘sukju-namul’ are a common ingredient in popular dishes such as bibimbap, mung bean pancakes, and some stews. Sukju-namul muchim is a popular Korean side dish salad served often in people’s households. Light and refreshing, it has a crispy and crunchy texture. Let’s learn how to make it here!
While uncommon in western cooking, different types of bean sprouts have been used by many East Asian cultures in their cultural cooking. Mung bean sprouts are no exception. You can find these sprouts used all across Asia in some of the most culturally influential dishes internationally. For example, think of mung bean sprouts used in the Thai dish pad thai, the Vietnamese dish pho, and the Korean dish bibimbap. In South Korea, while used less often than soybean sprouts, people use mung beans as a fresh and crunchy ingredient to a multitude of dishes. Here, we will discuss the use of mung bean sprouts in Korean cooking as well as discuss the cultural significance of this ingredient. Let’s get started!