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Sides, Vegetarian

Seasoned Bean Sprouts (Kong Namul)

Seasoned Bean Sprouts (Kong Namul)
Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

When I take friends to a Korean restaurant, I always feel I spend more time explaining than actually eating. Whenever a dish is placed on the table, everyone points and asks, "What's that?" as they wave their chopsticks cautiously about ... Read more

Total time: 20 minutes | Serves 8 to 10
  • 1 pound bean sprouts
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons dried Korean red chile flakes

Step 1Wash the bean sprouts in cold water, removing any empty husks. Place them in a pot and add the water. Do not fill the pot. Cover, bring to a boil and cook about 5 minutes. (Do not lift the lid). Combine the sprouts, onions, garlic, sesame seeds, oil, salt and red chile flakes in a bowl. Serve warm or chilled.

Note: "Namul" describes a certain group of greens, herbs, sprouts and vegetables. It is also used to describe a certain banchan made from these plants. Usually the vegetables are sauteed or steamed and mixed with a sesame oil-and garlic-based seasoning. Salt is often used in place of soy sauce to preserve the natural color of the vegetable. Korean chile flakes can be found at Korean markets.

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