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!
I’m introducing 2 versions of soybean sprout soup to you in this video: a spicy version and a non-spicy version. (Note 12/20: the spicy version is featured in this updated recipe and video)
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. The full recipe and an updated video for her traditional spicy kongnamulguk is here, but below is a nonspicy vegetarian variation of her classic soup that I developed in this video for people who prefer a milder version.
- 1 package of soybean sprouts (500 grams)
- kosher salt
- green onion
- roasted toasted sesame seeds
- toasted sesame oil
- Rinse and drain a package of soybean sprouts a few times over. Pick out any rotten sprouts.
- Put the soybean sprouts into a pot and add 5½ cups of water.
- Add 1½ ts kosher salt, ½ cup worth of kelp, and 2 cloves of minced garlic.
- Slice half a medium sized onion and put it in the pot.
- Close the lid and bring to a boil over medium heat for about 15 minutes.
- When the soup boils over, open the lid and stir it with a spoon.
- Lower the heat and simmer another 25 minutes.
- Take the kelp out of the soup.
- Add 2 chopped green onions and 1 or 2 ts of toasted sesame oil.
- Turn off the heat.
- Grind roasted sesame seeds in a grinder.
- Put the soup in a bowl and sprinkle some sesame seed powder on top, just before serving.