Hangul: 콩나물밥 ; kong-na-mul-bap
English Name: Rice with Bean sprouts
Literal Translation: Soybean sprout rice
Todays dish is a simple one but it’ll start a bit of a mini segment centered around an ingredient that is often served as a banchan (side dish) but also featured in a number of Korean dishes. Since today is Monday, we’ll start with the rice version, kongnamulbap.
Kongnamul refers to soybean sprouts which are easily identifiable by the bright yellow bean at the end of the long white sprouts. Kongnamulbap describes the transformation of what is normally a modest side dish into a stand alone meal. Different variations exist of course, but generally the concept involves adding soybean sprouts and maybe a small helping of meat to the normal preparation process of rice.
The result is a rice based dish that emits the added aromas and flavors of kongnamul and meat. Since there isn’t much seasoning during preparation the combination can be a little on the bland side. To rectify this, the dish is usually accompanied by yangnyum jang, a potent little soy sauce based mixture that will add plenty of flavor to the meal.