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Bean Sprout Soup (Kongnamul Guk)

Learn how to make Korean bean sprout soup. It’s a light and refreshing soup packed with vitamins!

Bean Sprout Soup with Rice (Kongnamul Gukbap) | MyKoreanKitchen.com

Today I’m introducing my Korean bean sprout soup recipe. (Well, technically, I shared this recipe 11 years ago and this is just an update.)

Korean bean sprout soup is called Kongnamul Guk (콩나물 국). Kongnamul means soybean sprouts and guk means soup.

Soybean sprouts are widely used in Korean cooking. As an example, Korean soybean sprout salad (Kongnamul Muchim) is a popular side dish you can make with them. (The spicy version of soybean sprout salad recipe is available in my Banchan cookbook. If you’re after a non-spicy version you can adapt the seasoning sauce from my bean sprout salad recipe here.)

Now some of you might ask, can I use mung bean sprouts instead of soybean sprouts for this bean sprout soup? Well, my answer is maybe.

Mung bean sprouts are not very common in soup. I do not know why. Sprouts for soup are often (if not always) soybean sprouts.

That being said, I’ve used mung bean sprouts in my spicy ramen noodles once before and I absolutely loved it. So, I will leave this up to you to decide.

Bean Sprout Soup | MyKoreanKitchen.com

Soybean sprout soup is kind of your everyday soup in Korea. Probably because soybean sprouts are very cheap and readily available. You can buy one pack of soybean sprouts for around US $1 to $2 and you can make a soup for 6 people or more with that!

Soybean sprout soup is also a popular hangover soup.

Apparently, the soup helps people recover from a hangover quickly. If I reword it using chemistry terminology, “the roots of the sprouts contain lots of asparaginic acid and this reduces the acetaldehyde that is formed after drinking alcohol.” Did you get that? 😉

Soybean sprout soup is also good for recovering from a cold, because it has lots of vitamin C. Apparently this vitamin C is mostly stored in the yellow bean part and it’s most active when the sprouts are about 5 days old from germination.

Now let’s make some sprout soup! My daughter absolutely loves it. Hope you like it too.

P.S. This is a basic version of my soybean sprout soup recipe. There are several different variations you could make by adding different ingredients (e.g. Korean chili flakes, Kimchi or tofu) but I will cover those at a different time.

Ingredients for Korean Soybean Sprout Soup, 2 to 3 servings

  • 120 g / 4.2 ounces soybean sprouts
  • 4 1/2 cups homemade Korean soup stock (dashi)
  • 1 Tbsp green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt (or more to taste)

How to Make Korean Bean Sprout Soup

1. Prepare the soybean sprouts. Discard any bad beans and rinse under running water (You can trim the root if you wish, but it is also one of the most nutritious parts of the bean sprouts. Besides, it can take a long time to trim too. So it’s up to you what you do here.)

2. Pour the soup stock (dashi) into a pot and boil over medium high heat. (You could use just plain water instead of using soup stock. However, it will lack depth of flavour and you will need to add a lot more seasoning (e.g. salt, soy sauce or salted shrimp) to make it taste right. Also, soup stock can be made on a different day to save your time. )

3. When the stock boils, add the soybean sprouts and boil for a further 3 to 4 minutes. (I cooked uncovered.) Add the garlic, salt, and green onion. Boil another 1 minute then remove from the heat.

How to cook bean sprout soup

4. Serve.

Korean Bean Sprout Soup | MyKoreanKitchen.com

How to Serve Korean Soybean Sprout Soup

You serve the soup with steamed rice and other Korean side dishes. Typically, you dunk the whole bowl of rice into a soup bowl, mix and eat them together. It’s called Kongnamul Gukbap!

Korean soybean sprout soup | MyKoreanKitchen.com

Also, while it is most common to serve the soup hot / warm, it is also possible to serve it cold as well. At some Korean restaurants, they serve this bean sprout soup as a complimentary dish when a customer orders spicy food (e.g. bibimbap and kimchi fried rice).


Bean Sprout Soup with Rice (Kongnamul Gukbap) | MyKoreanKitchen.com

Bean Sprout Soup

How to make Korean soybean sprout soup
4 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Korean
Keyword: bean sprout soup
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 3
Calories: 40kcal
Author: Sue | My Korean Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 120 g soybean sprouts (4.2 ounces)
  • 4 1/2 cups Korean soup stock (dashi)
  • 1 Tbsp green onion
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt (or more to taste)

Instructions

  • Prepare the soybean sprouts. Discard any bad beans and rinse under running water (You can trim the root if you wish, but it is also one of the most nutritious parts of the bean sprouts. Besides, it can take a long time to trim too. So it’s up to you what you do here.)
  • Pour the soup stock (dashi) into a pot and boil over medium high heat. (You could use just plain water instead of using soup stock. However, it will lack depth of flavour and you will need to add a lot more seasoning (e.g. salt, soy sauce or salted shrimp) to make it taste right. Also, soup stock can be made on a different day to save your time. )
  • When the stock boils, add the soybean sprouts and boil for a further 3 to 4 minutes. (I cooked uncovered.) Add the garlic, salt, and green onion. Boil another 1 minute then remove from the heat.
  • Serve.

Notes

*1 Tbsp = 15 ml, 1 Cup = 250 ml
**Cook time includes preparing for the homemade soup stock (dashi)

Nutrition

Calories: 40kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Sodium: 390mg | Potassium: 59mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 20IU | Vitamin C: 5.7mg | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 0.4mg
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Written by: Sue

Last Updated: May 13, 2019

Hi, I'm Sue and I am the creator of My Korean Kitchen. Thank you for joining me in this delicious culinary journey!

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9 thoughts on “Bean Sprout Soup (Kongnamul Guk)”

  1. Just made this as I had 1kg of bean sprouts! It’s such a comforting soup! I used lots of garlic. Do you think it will keep well in the fridge or freezer? thanks for sharing.

    • Great to hear you enjoyed the recipe!
      You should be able to keep the soup in the fridge for 2-3 days.

      If freezing, I suggest you divide the soup per serving portion prior to freezing. That way you only defrost the portion you need. Hope this helps!

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