Korean Bean Sprout Salad (Sookju Namul)

Korean bean sprout salad (Sookju Namul) in a white bowl

The Spruce Eats / Christine Ma

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 2 mins
Total: 7 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
40 Calories
3g Fat
3g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 40
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 3%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 237mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 8mg 38%
Calcium 19mg 1%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 82mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Sookju namul, or Korean mung bean sprout salad, is one of the most popular side dishes you're likely to find in Korea. It's fresh, delicious, and it's easy to make. It is also versatile, complementing almost any Korean meal.

In fact, it's not unusual to find Korean bean sprouts as an ingredient in bibimbap (Korean mixed rice with vegetables and meat) or served alongside the popular daikon radish and carrot salad. You also can stir these bean sprouts into soup or simply use them as a side dish with rice.

While some people argue that uncooked bean sprouts provide a better crunch, Korean bean sprouts traditionally are blanched in boiling water just long enough to cook them slightly, but not long enough to make them mushy and unpalatable. Watch the bean sprouts closely and don't get distracted, since even an extra 30 seconds of parboiling can destroy their crispness.


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients gathered for Korean bean sprout salad (Sookju Namul)

    The Spruce Eats / Christine Ma

  2. Parboil the bean sprouts in boiling water for 2 minutes.

    Bean sprouts parboiling in a pot of water

    The Spruce Eats / Christine Ma

  3. Remove them from the boiling water and rinse the sprouts in cold water. Gently squeeze the bean sprouts between your hands to get rid of the excess water.

    Bean sprouts squeezed of water and on a plate

    The Spruce Eats / Christine Ma

  4. Toss the bean sprouts with the scallion, garlic, sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds, soy sauce, and salt.

    Bean sprouts tossed with scallions, garlic, and sesame seeds

    The Spruce Eats / Christine Ma

  5. Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving.

    Korean bean sprout salad (Sookju Namul) on a white plate

    The Spruce Eats / Christine Ma


  • Rinse the mung bean sprouts thoroughly before using.
  • Bean sprouts spoil quickly, so unlike many other Korean sides, this dish cannot be kept for a long time in the refrigerator.
  • It's possible to buy sprouted mung beans for this salad in Asian markets that sell fresh produce or even online. But if you can't locate the sprouted beans you want, it's also a fairly simple matter to sprout them yourself, even without a dedicated sprout maker. It only takes about two to three days to grow sprouts from mung beans—just be certain you purchase beans that are intended for sprouting.

Recipe Variation

  • It's also possible to use other sprouted beans for your Korean bean salad. Sprouted soybeans are commonly used, although you will need to blanch them longer than your mung bean sprouts (4 to 5 minutes, as opposed to 2 minutes). You may find the best Korean bean salad is made with mung bean sprouts, which perfectly complement the light sesame, garlic, and scallion sauce.

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