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Kongnamul in Chili Garlic Oil: A Korean-Inspired Recipe

Typically, kongnamul is made with sesame oil, but I decided to use chili garlic oil.

Typically, kongnamul is made with sesame oil, but I decided to use chili garlic oil.

Kongnamul is a popular side dish in Korean cuisine. The traditional recipe includes mung bean sprouts, scallions, garlic, sesame oil, sesame seeds, and chili pepper flakes.

Sesame oil, which is produced from sesame seeds, is one of the most commonly used ingredients in Korean cuisine. However, not all people appreciate its strong taste and smell—so I decided to use chili garlic oil, instead. The final dish came out almost the same, but without the strong taste of sesame oil.

Try this easy-to-make recipe and let me know what you think in the comments section below!

ingredients for kongnamul in chili garlic oil

ingredients for kongnamul in chili garlic oil


  • 60 grams mung bean sprouts
  • 3 tablespoons (approximately 1 small) tomato, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili garlic oil, store-bought or see the link to instructions below
  • Salt
  • Water


For preparation:

  • 2 medium bowls
  • 3 small bowls
  • measuring spoons
  • chopping board
  • knife

For cooking:

  • pan
  • cooking spoon

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

4 min

1 min

5 min

1 serving


  1. Pour water in a pot. Season it with salt.
  2. Bring the water to boil.
  3. Upon boiling, blanch the mung bean sprouts. Cook for one minute. While waiting for the mung bean sprouts to cook, prepare a bowl of ice-cold water. After a minute of cooking, remove the mung bean sprouts and immediately submerge them in the ice-cold water.
  4. Remove the mung bean sprouts from the water and dry them completely, using a strainer.
  5. In a bowl, add mung bean sprouts, onion, tomato, and chili garlic oil.
  6. Mix all the ingredients thoroughly. Add salt to taste.

Tips and Techniques

  • Seasoning the blanching water with salt makes the sprouts tastier.
  • Submerging the blanched sprouts in an ice-cold water bath stops the cooking process and keeps the mung beans crunchy.
  • If you prefer, you may use homemade chili garlic oil.
  • You may adjust the saltiness of the kongnamul, if desired.
  • You can try growing mung bean sprouts at home; it's organic and cheap.


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