Asian Recipes/ Entrees / Appetisers/ Korean/ Recipes/ Side Dish/ Soup

Korean Bean Sprout Soup – Kongnamul Guk

23/11/2022

Try this amazing bean sprout soup alongside your favourite Korean recipes. Kongnamul Guk is simple and satisfying, and ready in less than 10 minutes!

A bowl of Korean bean sprout soup.

Why We Love This

This easy Korean bean sprout soup recipe is the perfect way to use up leftover bean sprouts.

Kongnamul guk is so quick to make with a light and refreshing flavour that’s as comforting as it is nourishing. Fun fact, it’s even regarded as a hangover cure and a remedy for the common cold in Korea!

Serve it alongside spicy Korean dishes like chicken bibimbap or tteokbokki to soothe that fiery burn.

Related: Korean Bean Sprout Salad / Japanese Miso Soup

A ladle stirs the bean sprouts around the soup in a large pot.

What is Kongnamul Guk? 

Kongnamul means soybean while guk refers to soup style dishes in Korean cuisine. 

Kongnamul guk (콩나물국) is a light soup consisting of soybean sprouts and spring onion simmered in a dashi stock seasoned with soy sauce and garlic. Gochugaru chilli flakes are sometimes added for a little extra heat and flavour.

This soup is usually served with rice (bap) and side dishes (banchan) such as kimchi, braised tofu or pickled daikon.

What You’ll Need

  • Bean Sprouts – Whether you use soybean sprouts or mung bean sprouts, make sure they’re washed and drained before you get cooking. 
  • Dashi Stock – We tend to use Japanese style dashi stock in our Korean and Japanese recipes as it’s widely available in larger supermarket chains and Asian grocery stores. If you have access to Korean stock, feel free to use that instead. Otherwise, sub with vegetable stock or chicken stock. The flavour will be different but still delicious.
  • Gochugaru – Totally optional, but we love the extra heat and flavour from Korean red pepper flakes. Leave it out if you prefer a non-spicy soup.
  • Other Ingredients – Soy sauce, spring onion / green onion and garlic. 
Ingredients laid out to make Korean bean sprout soup.

How to Make Korean Bean Sprout Soup

First, gather your ingredients: See recipe card below for measurements.

  1. In a medium pot, bring the dashi stock to the boil. Add in the bean sprouts and cook for around 4 minutes.
  2. Reduce to a simmer and add the spring onion / green oniongarlicsoy sauce and optional gochugaru.
  3. Serve alongside bibimbap as side dish or pour over bowl of rice. You can also eat it hot or cold – your choice!
Chopsticks holding up bean sprouts above a bowl of soup.

Wandercook’s Tips

  • To Serve – This soup is equally delicious served hot or cold. Why not serve it warm in winter and cold in summer?
  • Storage – Keep leftover soup in an airtight container for around 2-3 days.

FAQs

What’s the difference between Korean dashi stock and Japanese dashi?

The most common and basic style of dashi stock is known as kombu dashi in Japan or dashima yuksu in Korea. Both are made with kelp slices simmered in water and are suitable for vegan diets.

For more umami flavour, you can use Korean myeolchi yuksu (made with dried anchovies and kelp). This is similar to Japanese hon dashi (made with dried bonito fish and kelp). While similar, Korean meolchi yuksu has a stronger fish flavour from the dried anchovies. 

It’s pretty easy to find kombu dashi or hon dashi stock powders at supermarkets or import stores where we live, which is why we use this for all our cooking.

Variations

  • Make it Even Spicier – Add kimchi or season with shichimi togarashi or rayu chilli oil for heat and savoury flavour.
  • Add Protein – Try it with firm tofu diced into small cubes. 
  • Add Noodles – Add udon noodles or Korean sweet potato noodles. Note, they’ll soak up some of the broth so you may need to add more to keep it nice and soupy. 
  • Extra Veggies – Simmer the broth with spinach leaves, bok choy or small chunks of pumpkin to make it a meal.
  • Make it Vegan – Use kombu broth (kelp only, no bonito or anchovy) or vegetable stock only.
A small white bowl filled with Kongnamul Guk.

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★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and a star rating below!

Kongnamul guk in a white bowl with chopsticks and a spoon.

Korean Bean Sprout Soup – Kongnamul Guk

Try this amazing bean sprout soup alongside your favourite Korean recipes. Kongnamul Guk is simple and satisfying, and ready in less than 10 minutes!
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Course: Appetiser, Side Dish, Soup
Cuisine: Korean
Servings: 6 side serves
Calories: 59kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: $5

Ingredients

Instructions

  • In a medium pot, bring the dashi stock to the boil. Add in the bean sprouts and cook for around 4 minutes.
    300 g bean sprouts, 6 cups dashi stock
  • Reduce to a simmer and add the spring onion / green onion, garlic, soy sauce and optional gochugaru.
    1 spring onion / green onion, 2 garlic, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp gochugaru
  • Serve alongside bibimbap as side dish or pour over bowl of rice. You can also eat it hot or cold – your choice!

Video

YouTube video

Recipe Notes

  • To Serve – This soup is equally delicious served hot or cold. Why not serve it warm in winter and cold in summer?
  • Storage – Keep leftover soup in an airtight container for around 2-3 days.
  • Make it Even Spicier – Add kimchi or season with shichimi togarashi or rayu chilli oil for heat and savoury flavour.
  • Add Protein – Try it with firm tofu diced into small cubes. 
  • Add Noodles – Add udon noodles or Korean sweet potato noodles. Note, they’ll soak up some of the broth so you may need to add more to keep it nice and soupy. 
  • Extra Veggies – Simmer the broth with spinach leaves, bok choy or small chunks of pumpkin to make it a meal.
  • Make it Vegan – Use kombu broth (kelp only, no bonito or anchovy) or vegetable stock only.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Korean Bean Sprout Soup – Kongnamul Guk
Amount per Serving
Calories
59
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
2
g
3
%
Saturated Fat
 
0.4
g
3
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
0.3
g
Sodium
 
952
mg
41
%
Potassium
 
307
mg
9
%
Carbohydrates
 
5
g
2
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
2
g
2
%
Protein
 
7
g
14
%
Vitamin A
 
139
IU
3
%
Vitamin C
 
7
mg
8
%
Calcium
 
85
mg
9
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Hey hey – Did you make this recipe?We’d love it if you could give a star rating below ★★★★★ and show us your creations on Instagram! Snap a pic and tag @wandercooks / #Wandercooks
Korean Bean Sprout Soup - Kongnamul Guk

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