Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bean Sprout Salad

콩나물무침[kong-na-mool-moo-chim]
Although bulgogi and Korean BBQ are most well known Korean dishes to many Westerners, they are not part of typical Korean diet as those dishes are only served on special occasions. Contrary to popular beliefs, I think one of the defining characteristics of Korean cuisine is the use of wild and domesticated vegetables in various forms. Typical lunch or dinner table in a Korean household consists of a bowl of rice, soybean soup, kimchi, and a couple of side dishes made with various vegetables. Bean sprout salad is one of the popular side dishes.

This is a really simple recipe but there is one very important component. That is, boiling bean sprouts could be somewhat tricky because you can either have the lid closed or open but NEVER both. If you open the lid while the water is boiling and close it again, the bean sprouts would smell kinda fishy. Therefore, either not use the lid at all from the beginning, or boil the bean sprouts with the lid closed until you see the steaming coming under the lid, turn off the heat, cool off for about 5 minutes with the lid still CLOSED, then rinse the bean sprouts in cold water.


Ingredients:

bean sprouts 400g (tail trimmed)
salt (1/2 tbl)
Korean soy sauce (1 tbl)
garlic (2 cloves, minced)
green onion (2 tbl, chopped)
sesame oil (1 tbl)
chili powder (1/2 tbl)


1.
Trim the tail end of each bean sprout and wash them in water and drain. (This step is optional)
2.
Add some salt and boil the bean sprouts in cold water with lid closed until you see the steam coming off the lid. Then turn off heat and wait for another 5 minutes with the lid closed. Be sure not to open the lid in between.
3.
Wash the cooked bean sprouts in cold running water and drain.
4.
Prepare the sauce by mixing 1 tablespoon of Korean soy sauce, 2 cloves of minced garlic, 1 tablespoon of chopped green onion, 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, and half tablespoon of chili powder. If you prefer it spicy, you can add more chili powder to your liking.
5.
Thoroughly mix the sauce into cooked bean sprout.

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