Recipe for the Morning After

Last Updated on Wednesday, 7 March 2012 10:28 Written by Flax Wednesday, 7 March 2012 10:28

Kongnamulguk, or sprout soup as we say in English, is one of Korea’s national dishes.  It is a  a very healthy and nutritious soup that is really more of a meal than a first course.  Besides being a great cure for a cold, this soup is touted for it’s hangover curing abilities.  Sprouts, the main ingredient in this soup, contain aspartic acid, shown to be useful in curing a hangover.

This dish is very simple, it takes about five minutes of preparation time and another thirty minutes of cooking time.  The soup is served  accompanied by brown rice and kimchee (spicy Korean pickles).  If  you are not a food perfectionist, you can replace the kimchee with sauerkraut or any pickled vegetables.  Just spice up whatever pickles you already have in the house by adding some chilli peppers and ginger and call it kimchee.


  • sesame oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 chilli pepper, finely chopped
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 package mung bean sprouts
  • 1 large piece of kombu (seaweed)
  • 3 scallions, sliced on an angle into small pieces
  • soy sauce
  • hot chilli flakes
  • 11/2 cups cooked brown rice

Saute the garlic, onion, and chilli pepper in the sesame oil.  Add the water and bring to a boil.  Simmer for five minutes.  Add the sprouts and simmer for fifteen minutes more.  Add the scallions and remove from the flame.

Place the rice, soy sauce, kimchee (pickles) and chilli pepper on the table.  Ladle the soup into bowls and add the remaining ingredients at the table.

Serves 6.

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Quick Cabbage Kimchee

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 January 2011 02:40 Written by Flax Sunday, 27 June 2010 04:30

Kimchee are Korean pickles used as a condiment to flavor dishes. Common vegetables used in kimchees are cucumbers, radishes and cabbage. While most kimchees are left to pickle for up to a week, I used this quick recipe so that I could teach it in my cooking classes. Here the cabbage soaks in the salt for 1-2 hours and becomes lightly pickled. To make a stronger pickle, leave it in a sealed pickling jar for 4-5 days and then refrigerate.

Health wise there are many benefits to eating pickled cabbage. The pickling process adds Lactobacillus acidophilus which aids digestion by restoring healthy intestinal flora. The cabbage has the added benefit of cleansing and rejuvenating the intestinal tract. Cabbage also contains vitamin U which is helpful in healing ulcers. It is high in vitamin C and sulphur and is also beneficial in healing all wounds, reducing swellings and purifying the blood. While this recipe contains does contain salt it might still be ok for people who are on a low salt diet. This is due to the use of Atlantic Grey Sea Salt. For people who can’t tolerate any salt it is possible to make salt free kimchee. This allows you to still benefit from the kimchee while not eating any salt.


1 large green cabbage, diced
2  tbsp Atlantic grey sea salt
1 tbsp hot red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 1/2 teaspoon Minced fresh ginger root
6 drops stevia (I think the Sunrider brand is the healthiest)
4 scallions, sliced on an angle
2 tbsp whole sesame seeds

Mix contents is a large glass or ceramic bowl and allow to sit uncovered for 2 hours. Stir approximately every 1/2 hour so the top of the mixture gets pickled as well.

Serve as an accompaniment to Korean dishes.


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