Wednesday, May 02, 2012

korean seasoned mung bean sprouts

I am NOT a big fan of bean sprouts of any sort. They taste "too raw" and the "sproutiness" scares me. My mom makes these little fresh spring rolls with bean sprouts in them all the time and almost everyone swears they are delicious... everyone except me that is, because I do not like anything with bean sprouts in them.

And those of you who have gone to eat pho with me know that you get to have all the bean sprouts to yourselves because I wouldn't add them to my soups at all.

As much as how I dislike bean sprouts, I was of course skeptical to try the seasoned bean sprouts that were offered as one of the side dishes at a Korean restaurant. I tasted a few sprouts and they were super yummy! I have since then been enjoying these bean sprouts every time I go to a Korean restaurant. 

Per my previous blog post, I have been learning about and tasting all sorts of Korean food. I am hoping I will be able to make a few dishes well, and when that happens I will certainly share my thoughts!

So back to the bean sprouts... I read up a few different versions of the Korean bean sprouts recipes and made my own last night!

They turned out very well!

They were tasty! When I talk to my parents next I will tell them I cooked bean sprouts and I enjoyed eating them. They will be proud!

After rinsing 1 1/2 lbs MUNG BEAN sprouts under the water, boil or parboil them for a couple minutes.

When I was at the Korean market there were both mung bean and soy bean sprouts. After reading up online I went for the mung bean ones for this dish.

Boiling or parboiling the bean sprouts helped remove a lot of the rawness/"sproutiness" that used to scare me!

After boiling the sprouts for a couple minutes, strain, and let cool.

You can cool down the sprouts faster by running cold water through the boiled sprouts, but I planned to use the "cooling time" to work on the seasoning, so I just let the sprouts sit in the strainer.

While the sprouts cool, lightly toast about 1 Tablespoon white sesame seeds.

I found an old jar of white sesame seeds in our cupboard, and while they were a bit stale, I was able to eliminate the stale scent after placing them in a hot pan for 30 seconds!

To make the seasoning "dressing," mix 2 Tablespoons sesame oil + 1 Tablespoon sugar + 1 Tablespoon minced garlic + the toasted 1 Tablespoon white sesame seed + (2 Tablespoons chopped green onions). Set aside.

I believe most recipes call for regular (or light/white) sesame oil, but I used black (dark) sesame oil because that was all I had at home. The darker sesame oil had a more pungent toasty fragrance, which I didn't mind, but regular sesame oil probably would have been even better.

Also, I didn't have any green onions at home, so I didn't add any to this batch. Chopped green onions would probably add another little layer of flavors to the dish.

After the strained sprouts were cooled, sprinkle about 1 teaspoon salt over the sprouts. Mix and let stand 5 minutes. The salt will slightly season the sprouts, and help "pulling out" excess water from them.

After allowing the salt to do its "thing" with the sprouts for 5 minutes, squeeze the sprouts to get rid of excess  liquid from the sprouts.

In a mixing bowl, toss together the strained and "squeezed" sprouts and the prepared seasoning/dressing. Chill and serve!

Simple and delicious!

Ingredients At a Glance!
1 1/2 pounds mung bean sprouts
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
(2 Tablespoons chopped green onions)
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1 Tablespoon sugar 
1 Tablespoon toasted white sesame seed

"Look Mom! I eat bean sprouts!"

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