Korean Sprout Soup

Last Updated on Thursday, 30 June 2011 11:49 Written by Flax Thursday, 30 June 2011 08:53

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 the fact that they are a great diet food, sprouts are also a really great energy food.  Sprouts represent a moment when a seed is in a state of transformation and  using a tremendous amount of energy.  When we eat sprouts we are consuming a tremendous gift of natural energy.  In addition, the transformation process basically means that nature is practically pre-digesting the food for you.  This is why sprouts give us more energy, and quicker energy, then any other food.   Try having a bowl of sprouts next time you are tired and see  what happens.  I personally think it works way better than a cup of coffee.

Sprouts are also extremely cooling.  The Asians often cook sprouts to avoid this problem.  This soup is great dish to eat all year round with the added advantage of being extremely simple.  It takes about five minutes of preparation time and another twenty minutes of cooking time.  It is served with brown rice and kimchee (spicy Korean pickles), both of which can be made ahead of time.  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, add 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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Soba Noodles with Wakame

Last Updated on Sunday, 17 October 2010 02:35 Written by Flax Monday, 11 October 2010 12:01

I promise you, I found all of the ingredients in my regular super-market. “Health Food” is now so trendy it’s not even weird anymore.

For all of you who don’t know what these ingredients are, Soba noodles are Japanese noodles made out of buckwheat flour. (We are used to seeing buckwheat as kasha.) Wakame is a type of seaweed that most resembles a scallion that has been chopped into little pieces and cooked. For that reason, I find it quite simple to hide it in foods that have scallions in them.

Why do I need to hide it? So my kids won’t guy, “Yuck! Seaweed!” What they don’t know, won’t hurt them. In this case, it will actually help them, and they really can’t tell that it’s in there anyway. So what are a few tricks between mothers.

1 package soba noodles
1 pinch wakame, soaked for 10 minutes in cold water
2 scallions, sliced on an angle
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 tsp sesame oil
1/4″ ginger, grated
soy sauce, to taste
miso, to taste
1/2 tsp sesame seeds, for garnishing

Prepare the noodles according to the instructions on the package. Rinse well in warm water and drain. Squeeze out the excess water from the wakame and add to the noodles. Add the remaining ingredients and serve.


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Colorful Cabbage Salad

Last Updated on Monday, 4 June 2012 09:16 Written by Flax Thursday, 7 October 2010 12:11

Colorful Cabbage Salad

The abundance of summer fruits and vegetables contain a virtual rainbow of color.  Having a deliciously beautiful summer salad always helps to brighten up the table.  The salad recipe below, uses my favorite color combination, purple, green, and white.

This salad is especially nutritious as it uses hiziki.  Hiziki is a long, thin seaweed that I find blends nicely with salad.  While many of us are aware of the benefits of eating dark green leafy vegetables, not everyone realizes that sea vegetables are the most nutritious of the dark green leafy vegetables.  Hiziki contains more than ten times the amount of calcium than milk, eight times  more iron than meat, and in addition, a virtual abundance of vitamins, minerals and amino acids.  Additionally, hiziki aids in weight loss, normalizes blood sugar levels, benefits the thyroid, helps to detoxify the body and is useful in preventing and healing tumors and cancers.


  • 2 cups shredded purple cabbage
  • 1 cup mung bean sprouts or sunflower sprouts (the photo is with sunflower sprouts.)
  • 2 scallions, sliced on a diagonal into pieces 2 cm. long (1″)
  • 1/ tsp hiziki, soaked for 10 minutes in cold water
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 4 drops stevia
  • 1/2 tsp fresh, grated ginger

Squeeze the excess water from the hiziki. Place all the ingredients into a salad bowl. Mix and Serve.

Serves 4-6

Sima Herzfeld Navon is a nutritional healer and teaches healthy cooking classes.

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