Korean Mung Bean Sprout Salad (Nokdu Namal)

I have been making quite a lot of food recently. More specifically, searching for interesting recipes and trying to emulate them (I believe the term is “cooking”). Easter has come and gone, which gave us a delightful four days’ holiday, and much of that time Jo or I spent preparing for the traditional Easter lunch and testing out new and tasty (or sometimes not so) recipes.

One thing that strikes me when I attempt something new, is the amount of time it takes to create something that is, more often than I would wish, not really worth the effort. I am not saying that they become a failure, or disliked, but they do not add anything new to something I could do without the effort of reading/obeying the recipes.

So I am starting to look at simpler recipes, ones that I normally overlook, to spice them up a bit. And so, my first venture into less time-consuming cooking began yesterday with Korean Mung Bean Sprout Salad. The ingredients did not really offer any surprises, and the end result was pretty much how I had expected it to be. The main ingredient, sprouted mung beans, is something that we do eat on occasion, though it was exactly what I wanted: an easy, tasty, quick side dish that would lift a simple main dish.

Preparation: 15 minutes
Ingredients (serves two):

150 g/about 5 oz mung bean sprouts
1 teaspoon soy sauce (or more if you use low-sodium soy sauce)
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 small clove garlic
ground pepper
1 green onion
toasted sesame seeds

Blanch the mung bean sprouts in boiling water for a minute. Quickly drain and, if you wish to serve the salad very cold, rinse it with very cold water. Drain once more.

Crush the garlic and chop it finely. Mix it with the soy sauce, the vinegar, the sesame oil, the ground pepper and the salt (if you need it).

Put the sprouts in a big bowl and combine with the dressing. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and chopped green onion.

This salad can be served very cold or at room temperature.