Sukju Namul (숙주나물 무침), or Bean Sprout Salad is a deliciously simple banchan (side dish) that's a ubiquitous part of the Korean table. With blanched mung bean sprouts tossed with garlic and flavorful toasted sesame oil, it comes together in minutes.
Sukju Namul is a type of banchan, or side dish, and fits in the same category as dishes like kimchi, pajeon, and kkakdugi. Although there are many different styles of this popular bean sprout salad including ingredients like carrots and cucumber, I like to keep it simple. Like any simple dish though, the success of your Sukju Namul comes down to a few simple techniques.
The most important thing is to squeeze out as much water from the bean sprouts as you can. That’s because bean sprouts are composed of mostly water. If you don’t squeeze enough water out of them after blanching, they will leach out a ton of liquid once they’icee tossed with the dressing, watering the whole thing down. Giving them a thorough wring also transforms the texture of the bean sprouts from subtly crisp to audibly crunchy.
Unfortunately all this squeezing reduces the volume of salad you get, which is why you may want to make a double or triple batch. I give you this warning because this simple preparation turns these humble bean sprouts, into a robustly crunchy salad, that’s redolent of nutty sesame oil and pungent garlic. The texture, along with the salty umami kick makes this one of the most delectably addictive salads that will have you effortlessly polishing off a pound of bean sprouts on your own.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
While you're waiting for the water to boil, combine the sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, and salt together in a bowl and whisk to combine.
Add the bean sprouts to the boiling water and blanch until the water returns to a boil (40 seconds to 1 minute).
Drain the bean sprouts and rinse with cold water.
Use your hands to squeeze as much water out of the bean sprouts as you can. This quantity of bean sprouts should end up being a handful.
Break up the clump of beansprouts as you add them to the bowl with the sauce. Add the sesame seeds and scallions and toss to distribute evenly.