January 13, 2009


Kongnamul Kuk
Korean beansprout soup

I cook a lot of soups as a whole meal when winter sets in. One of my favorites is beansprout soup which is really very easy to make, tasty, nutritious and filling.

You can find the ingredients, including the bean sprouts and tofu in most major supermarkets these days.

Here's the recipe :

Kongnamul Kuk
( Serves 2 as a full meal with Rice )

6 cups beef or chicken broth
2-3 cups bean sprouts, rinsed several times
Tofu; soft ( 1 pkg.) cut into bite-sized cubes
Green onions, finely chopped
Pork or beef ( optional )
2 eggs, beaten
Sesame oil ( 1 tsp.)
Black pepper

Bring broth to boil and add sesame oil and any chopped cooked leftover beef or pork if you wish to ( Tofu is actually a good substitute for meat if you want protein ) . Add the bean sprouts. Reduce heat to medium and cook until bean sprouts are just tender, about 5 minutes. Add tofu and cook another 3 minutes.

Add the chopped green onion to the beaten eggs. Bring soup to a boil and drizzle the egg mixture on top of the boiling broth. Do not stir. Cover and steam for 2 minutes. Serve with rice and kimchee. Enjoy.

Using the same recipe above you can substitute spinach for the bean sprouts.

For the life of me I don't understand why Korean food is not more popular. I like it SO much better than Thai or Chinese. It's very unpretentious and earthy. One of the popular one-dish Korean meals, Bibimbop ( lots of fresh veggies, meat and egg with spicy sauce atop rice ) is , I'm happy to see, catching on with many Americans.


  1. It sounds delicious and perfect for the kind of weather you keep getting! Keep warm and safe out there...gail

  2. MMMM, soup of the day, wonderful soup! I'm going to make carrot-ginger-lentil soup tomorrow, one of my absolute favourites. Just the thought is making me hungry. But I'm going to try this one too.
    Interesting about the lack of popularity of Korean food, Carolyn. I have a few recipes that are Korean, but am always on the hunt for new foods to try.

  3. Looks yummy, Carolyn. I have never liked tofu...even cooked...unless it's 'really' cooked. Would this short time heated with the broth allow it to absorb enough flavor? It sounds like it might. Now, the only problem for me would be the kimchee. I don't like the smell of it, so I'm afraid to try it:) I've been near it and couldn't stand it...but that's just me:) I know I should give everything a try at least once. Probably the only way I would ever go that far is if you served it to me! But overall, you have shown a wonderful winter meal, and a lovely post. I was happy to see it today. Jan

  4. Thanks, Jan. Tofu is only as good as the sauce it's cooked in. I don't like the texture of the firm tofu and always use the softer version which is smooth and absorbs the flavor quickly.

    Kimchi is like some of the smelly cheese; bad smell but good taste. That's because of the fermentation process. I didn't like it at first but it grows on you.

  5. Thanks, Gail. We are in a deep freeze in Chicago today and another 2-4 inches on top of the foot high we have on the ground. ARGGGG!

  6. Thanks, Jodi. Hope you like it. This soup can be made using spinach instead of bean sprouts.

    Do you have a recipe for "bibimbop?" It's really quite good and also easy to make.

  7. Sounds delicious Carolyn! I'm not a big fan of tofu, but I do like it in soups. I can even get my husband to eat it in hot and sour soup! I think he might like this too, especially with the kimchee.

  8. I make soup a lot, too. In fact, I should have read this recipe before making the soup with leftover pork roast yesterday. I would have had to buy the ingredients, though. I made up a soup with onions and peppers from the garden that I'd frozen, and some pistou Larry helped me make from my basil that I'd also frozen. I added frozen peas and carrots and some whole grain spaghetti, broken in half. I served it with parmesan cheese and some whole wheat toast I cut up and dried in the microwave to make my version of croutons.

    I have a friend from Korea who is currently living in Virginia. She hopes to get a green card so she can get a job and work on becoming a U.S. citizen. When she lived in my town, she did some cooking for me, and tried to teach me some. She made some Bibimbop one day. I remember her getting me to say the word. I think that's the day she was trying to teach me how to use chop sticks. There were some shredded things in bowls, and all of a sudden I blurted out, "They have eyes!" when I noticed one of the bowls must be a fish of some kind. I forgot what she called them, but I ate another bite or two to be polite.

    I hope you don't mind I rambled about the memories and thoughts your post stirred up in me!


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