This simple recipe for Korean Bean Sprout Salad “Banchan” is a great addition to any meal.
This summer, I’ve been a bit obsessed with the little Korean side dishes called Banchan that accompany traditional Korean meals. Perhaps because it’s been so hot lately, or that I opt for simple quick dishes in the summertime, these little cold side dishes are especially appealing and a fun way to enjoy a variety of fresh vegetables.
Korean Banchan can be put together in minutes, using almost any vegetables you have on hand, whether you find them at the farmer’s market or local grocery store, in your CSA box, or your own garden. For example, banchan can be prepared using raw or blanched vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, zucchini or summer squash, cucumbers, scallions, napa cabbage, or bean sprouts.
Today, I made Bean Sprout Salad “Banchan” using mung bean sprouts that I bought from a local Asian supermarket. If you’re not familiar with these crunchy, juicy sprouts, you must give them a try. Mung bean sprouts are simply that – mung beans that have been sprouted.
When I was growing up, I remember sprouting our own mung beans. It was a fun kid’s “science” project. The best part was having fresh mung bean sprouts to enjoy at the end of the project. Mung bean sprouts are mild in flavor, so all they need is a drizzle of sesame oil, a sprinkle of salt, fresh scallions to add some brightness, and some fragrant toasted sesame seeds. If you like a little spice, feel free to sprinkle on some Japanese seven spice powder (Shichimi Togarashi).
This Korean Bean Sprout Salad “Banchan” recipe can be used for all different vegetables, such as broccoli or snow peas. In fact, I often make a variety of these little salads and serve them on top of a bowl of Cold Kim Chi and Cucumber Soba Noodles, creating a rainbow of colors and textures.
Bean Sprout Salad
- 1 pound fresh bean sprouts
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 scallion, minced
- toasted sesame seeds
- Japanese seven spice powder (Shichimi Togarashi), for garnish
- Blanch bean sprouts in boiling water for 30 seconds; rinse with cold water and drain well.
- Toss bean sprouts with sesame oil, salt, and scallion.
- Sprinkle with sesame seeds and Japanese spice powder.