Korean mung bean sprout salad (Sukjul namul muchim)

I first tried this salad at the Korean food stall at the local market and I was instantly impressed. Not only was this stall run by the nicest bloody Korean couple that you are ever likely to meet, but the food they make is all delicious. Everything from the fried chicken to the rice to the kimchi to this little mung bean salad. Delicious. All of it.

Anyway, after trying this mung bean number, there was no way I couldn’t set about making it my own.

This is what I came up with.

*This recipe calls for you to blanch the bean sprouts. I am not exactly sure of what the translation of the word blanch might be, by I do know that Blanch is the name of one of the Golden Girls and I am also pretty sure that she has no relevance to the blanch we are talking about. Our blanch is going to be a quick stint in some boiling water. It’s going to be a vampire getting licked by the sun before hastily retreating to the shadows. It’s going to be the cheeky glance that you realise all-to-quickly that you shouldn’t take, so you hurry to turn away. The point is; we are not really cooking something here, we a simply robbing it of a little rawness.


(serves 8 – 10 as part of a banquet)

500 g mung bean sprouts
2 spring onion (scallions), cut into 2 mm slices
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
2 tablespoon grape seed or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
Salt to season

Make a bowl of really cold water, ice is good for this. The bowl needs to be big enough to fit the mung bean sprouts.
Now get a large pot of water to the boil.
Once water is boiling blanch bean sprouts for 5 seconds and then strain and plunge into iced water.
Chill for 1 minute and then strain. Set aside.
Heat grape seed or vegetable oil in a pan over low flame. Add shallots and garlic and gently sauté for 4 – 5 minutes.
Scrape shallots, garlic and oil into a mixing bowl. Add sesame seeds, chilli flakes, sesame oil and soy sauce and mix to combine – this is your dressing.
Add bean sprouts into the dressing and give that a mix too.
Taste salad and add a little salt if desired.
Serve with anything thing from bibimbap to fried rice to chicken satay to eggs on toast.

4 responses to “Korean mung bean sprout salad (Sukjul namul muchim)”

  1. This is commonly served as a little appetizer at korean restaurants. But I always ask for more , and more, and more cuz it’s just so refreshing and delicious!! And it acts like a palate cleanser in between bites of oily bbq or rich spicy rice! So simple and so awesome!

  2. Great to read one of your posts again. I love the blanching descriptions. However, I am upset at being reminded of The Golden Girls. Why did you have to bring that up?

    Lovely salad.

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