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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Kongnamuk Muchin (Seasoned Soybean Sprouts) 콩나물 무침

Korean food and I - they have got to be a love at first try kind of a relationship between us. I have had my heart rooted for them the very first time I had them, and banchan was one of the many others that had captured my heart there and then, what I shall possibly call the best part of a Korean meal now even. I love the concept of having them served in small portions, in an array of varieties enough to fill as good as half of a table for four, and how they are all meant for sharing. I love how each portion despite small never poses a problem because they are replenished as one gets polished off while you are left craving for more still. And I love how they are presented and served just slightly ahead of the main meals to whet your appetite beforehand. The fact that they are made to stay through the meal accompanying the main dishes means you get to savor many different flavors mixing in the mouth at the same time - the beauty of Korean cuisine in my opinion lol. With bits of banchan plus bits of plain rice and bits of whatever main courses you have got your eye and tummy on, the idea may sound and look complex on the whole, a little intimidating even but never too overwhelming. I'm not sure if these are how they are done traditionally, but I really am liking this idea more than alright so long as I can execute enough self control to not over indulge in the banchan line and left with little or no space for the main meals as it goes. 

This seasoned soybean sprouts, is just one of the many many selections that I have come to simply adore. Crunchy, a little raw in taste with a tad of nutty flavor, to be liking it could be an acquired thingy for many but one that came rather easy to me. The very first homemade banchan of mine, this is one with genuine simplicity and taste that they make a delectable banchan just like many others and simply keep Korean mealtimes really interesting.

Kongnamuk Muchin (Seasoned Soybean Sprouts) 콩나물 무침
Makes about 6 helpings of a side dish
1lb soybean sprouts, trimmed
2 spring onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tbsp hot pepper flakes
1/2 tbsp sesame seeds

1. Rinse the soybean sprouts under cold running water until the water runs clear. 
2. Heat up a pot with a cup of water over high heat. Add in a tsp of salt and bring to boil.
3. Once boiling, bring in the soybean sprouts and spread around the pot in an even layer. Cover and let boil for 8 minutes undisturbed. Drain and let cool lightly.
4. Add in the spring onions, garlic, sesame oil, salt, sugar and hot pepper flakes. Toss to mix evenly.
5. Sprinkle the sesame seeds over the top. Serve warm or chilled.

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