North/South Korea – Kongnamul Muchim

by Evelyn Brutz

This is a very nutritious side dish served as BANCHAN. This dish is a combination of beans sprouts with other vegetables and some nuts and noodles are also added to give it a nice base to the dish. This dish has the main ingredient that is beans sprout. This is a side dish like a salad, named in Korea as Banchan. It has amazing seasonings addition with some lemon juice for tanginess and chili pepper to have a kick of spice. Korean food is famous for spiciness. This dish is very light and nutritious. This is a purely vegetarian dish with no addition of meat in any form. In some exotic restaurants, meat in the form of thin fish slices is added but that is rare.

This dish has few varieties according to the addition of some other vegetable addition. Like aster sabers, spinach, doraji, bamboo shoots, etc. For nice texture and flavors, noodles are added in any form for carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are an important part of a nutritious diet. We can get protein from legumes and beans, seasonings have flavor and taste, for carbs we have to add an element that will go best with these crunchy vegetables and also a healthy version.


Banchan is the side dish of Korean cuisine. It is mostly grilled and steamed dishes. Soups and Stews are not included in this category. This is a very nutty and crunchy dish. It has vegetables, beans, and bibimbap. Some raw vegetables are adding crunch to this dish and seasonings are making it more flavorful and tasty.

In Korean cuisine, this banchan is a category is known for different side dishes and dry dishes. Soups and gravies are not included in this category. This category is included in the Korean Royal cuisine. It is at the number 3 cheop.

Following are the varieties of banchan :

  • Kimchi
  • Jorim
  • Jjim
  • Jeon
  • Namul
  • Bokkeum


This is the Korean cuisine that traditionally originated at the JOSEON DYNASTY. It is also called in the Korean language as Joseon Wangjo Gungjung yori. The Korean Joseon dynasty ruled from 1392 to 1910. This is the original and authenticated tradition of Korean Ancestors. Yugi is the handmade Bronze Culinary on which  It is said that 12 dishes were served along with rice, stews, pickle, soup, desserts, etc.

There are different bowls and serving platters specified for the Royal Culinary:

  • SURA, for boiled rice and grains like Azuki beans, Steams rice, sweet rice, vegetable rice, boiled rice, etc.
  • JUK is the thick consistecny porridge and rice.
  • MIEUM is the chestnuts and sweet gewy rice
  • GUKSU is the dish specified for noodles and pasta.
  • MANDU is steamed and boiled dumplings, momos, etc.
  • TANG is thin beef stew or soup
  • JOCHI is the stew like dishes but have much more thick consistency then tang.
  • JJIM is steamed and boiled beef pieces.
  • SEN are steamed vegetables, tofu and sometimes fish.
  • SINSEOLLO is chinese style hotpot.
  • SAENGCHAE are salads with pickle and sauces
  • JEONYUHWA are pancake like dessert.
  • GUI is roasted items
  • HOE is fish and raw beef
  • SIKHYE is the fruit punch, dessert.


This dish is influenced by Buddhists at the time of the Three Kingdom. Raw meat slices with some crunchy vegetables and lots of spicy seasonings became popular at that time in Royal Kitchen Cuisine. Court kitchen had developed at that time and different courses of the meal had been prepared influenced by the Buddhist. They have some things in common like they used to have a lot of raw vegetables in their dishes.

The history of Korean cuisine is depended upon the era of their kingdom and dynasty. There are following periods of Korean History that have developed the cuisine of Korea and then tradition and cultures were established.

  • Three kingdom period
  • Goyreo Period
  • Joseon Period
  • Colonial period

From there, there were two dynasties in which Korean cuisine is based: the Joseon period and the Three kingdom period.

Korean culture of Kongnamul-muchim

Kongnamul-muchim is the side dish that is Banchan. It is set as the center of the table along with the main course and secondary to the main dish. Table setting of the Korean meal is known as bansang.

The table setting of Banchan is based on bansang like :

  •  3 cheop Bansang
  • 5 cheop bansang
  • 7 cheop bansang
  • 9 cheop bansang
  • 12 bansang for royal kitchen court cuisine


There are many healthy nutritious factors of the dish.

  • Itis important factor for Iron restoration.
  • It helps the body with anti nutritions and fatigue.
  • It is important for the anemic patient and iron deficiency.
  • Its daily intake reduces the risk of cancer and many cardiac diseases.
  • It has huge amount of vitamin C and Calcium.
  • It has high fiber content good for digestion and abdominal tiredness.
  • It makes bowls easy to pass.
  • It has good amount of carbohydrates and protein.
  • It is rich in collagen helps in handling good skin and muscle tones.
  • It is a good source of anti oxidants and have anti aging properties.
  • It maintian the blood sugar level.
  • Beans sprouts are labelled as functional food for the healthy body.


  • 70 calories
  • 7 g of Carbohydrates
  • 5 g of fat
  • 9 g of protein
  • 6 g sugars
  • 19 mg of zinc
  • 4 g Dietary fiber
  • 0.55 mg sodium
  • 23 mg potassium



Beans sprouts are vegetable that is formed by sprouting of the mung beans. It is grown by hypocotyls elongation. Sprouts beans are used extensively in Asia. There are different techniques for growing beans in jars with water. There are 3 to 4 days required for proper sprouting. Sprouting of the beans in a jar by using freshwater is very common in Asian Kitchens.

Proper sprouting required the following essentials.

  • Sufficient Light
  • Avoid water logging
  • Fresh water
  • Huge jar

Culinary use of beans sprouts all over the world :


DOUYA is the dish of Chinese cuisine in which beans sprouts are used. There are more dishes like

  • Hot sour soup
  • Egg Fu Yung
  • Egg drop soup
  • Fried rice


Japanese cuisine is very similar to Chinese cuisine used almost the same ingredients and cooking techniques. Moyashi is the name known for beans sprout in the Japanese language.

  • Ramen mung beans
  • Stir vegetables
  • Stir fried noodles


Korean cuisine has used beans sprouts in many dishes. Sukjunamul is a Korean name for mung beans from the Joseon Dynasty.

  • Sukjunamul (seasoned bean sprouts)
  • Ojingeo-sundae
  • Squid sundae
  • Seasoned mung beans
  • Kongnamul Munchim
  • Namul
  • Sukju


There are the following commonly used Korean vegetables that can be eaten raw by adding into different salads and snacks like these :

  • Napa cabbage
  • Capsicum
  • Bell peppers
  • Carrots
  • Cucumber
  • Canned mushrooms
  • Boiled peas
  • Zucchini
  • bean sprouts, etc.


  • Daenjang
  • Bell flower roots
  • Kochujang
  • Kkochukaru
  • ganjang
  • chamgeereum
  • saewoo jeot
  • Ssamjang
  • sesame oil
  • Korean soybean paste


  • kongnamul or soya beans sprouts : 500 grams
  • Spring onions : 2 roots
  • Carrots : 2 thinly cut
  • Glass noodles : half pack
  • Sesame oil : 2 tbsp
  • Garlic : 4 cloves
  • Ginger : small chunks
  • Soyabeans paste : 4 tbsp


  • Gochugaru : 2 tbsp
  • sesame seeds : 2 tbsp
  • soy sauce : 1/2 cup
  • brown sugar : 2 tbsp
  • Kochujang : 1 tbsp
  • Kkochukaru : 1 tbsp
  • ganjang : 2 tbsp
  • chamgeereum : 1/2 tsp


  • Take a large cooking utensil and fill it with water, wait for the water to boil then add beans sprouts into the water with some carrots and bring them boil for 5 minutes. That means beans to taste even more good and less bitter then eating it raw.
  • Drain the vegetable and cool them by rinsing it with cold water.
  • Add other vegetables like scallion and capsisum and add all the spices with soyasauce and sesame seeds.
  • Toss all the vegetables well together.
  • You can serve this salad or snack serving with chicken broth by adding this dish into chicken broth and make it beans sprout soup to serve as the starter.
  • But this belongs to the banchan category of korean cuisine in which soups and stews are not served.
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