On our walk to Lucy’s house from mine in the morning of the inauguration, talking about this and that and what we should do for brunch, she mentioned soybean sprout rice at her place. And so it began.
Soybean sprout rice (콩나물밥) is considered to be the staple low-budget, healthy dish in Korea because its ingredients are inexpensive and the result always reliable. And for no specific reason, I’ve never tried to make it on my own. But I’ve spent a plenty of time doing this growing up:
Before starting anything with the soybean sprouts, they must be washed, sorted, and sometimes trimmed, although I’ve heard that the ends of the sprout holds a lot of nutrients. Let’s say just a handful for 4 servings of rice.
- When the sprouts are sorted out remove excess moisture.
- Put short grain rice in a rice cooker or pot as you normally would, and place the sprouts on top.
- Pour just a little less water than usual because the bean sprouts will sweat and add more water, and let the rice cooker/pot get to work!
- Prepare the topping while the rice is cooking. Soysauce + chinese leeks + scallions + red pepper flakes + sesame oil and seeds.
- Add crushed laver to top it off.
While Lucy was doing that, I started to prepare for Dwenjang soup.
To make dwenjang soup,
- Put dashima or kombu, and onion and garlic in a pot of water and bring to boil.
- While that’s happening, chop more onions, zucchini, tofu, and potatoes
- Take out the broth materials, and add the chop veggies
- I’ve been putting the dwenjang (fermented soybean past/miso) in the beginning of the soup, but Lucy suggested to put it in last. That way, it doesn’t over cook, and preserve nutrients. Just dissolve a spoonful in the broth and let it heat up on medium heat with all the veggies.
- Keep tasting and add dwenjang to your taste. Add some pepper paste if you want it spicy. Keep it on low heat.
- Add some crushed garlic, and enoki mushrooms, cook until its just about to boil and serve topped with radish sprouts.
Finally when the rice and the soup were ready, we served our selves with banchan and watched the inauguration festivities on CNN. We’d been waiting so long for this day to come. :D (and the rice to cook)
The rice was so delicious, and waiting until the last minute to put the dwenjang paste in the soup made it taste more fresh and refreshing. I think I’ll stick to this method.
Read more about soybean sprouts here.