When the weather got chilly, my mother often made spicy soups for us. Out of many soups, this spicy beef and bean sprout soup (소고기 콩나물국, sogogi kongnamool-gook) was my absolute favorite.  The tender beef and the crunchy bean sprouts were such a great combination in the flavorful broth, I always dumped some rice into the soup and chowed down. I didn't need any fancy side dishes. A little bit of kimchi was, perhaps, all I needed to be very satisfied.

The soup isn't actually that spicy, to be honest. It will be perfect for kids or adults who are not keen on spicy soups. If you are well stocked with Korean ingredients in your kitchen, all you need to get is beef and some bean sprouts. Then the soup will be ready in just a few minutes. How divine!

Put thinly sliced beef into a bowl, and add minced garlic, Korean soy sauce for soup, sesame oil, and pepper. Mix well and set aside.

Here are the bean sprouts. Clean them well and remove all the greenish bean skins off the heads.

Heat a small amount of oil in a pot over medium high heat, saute the beef until they are no longer in pink.

Add water and a large piece of dried sea kelp. Bring it to boil and simmer for 5 minutes, covered.

The remove the sea kelp and discard it.

Add the bean sprouts...

and cover with a lid and simmer for 10 minutes. Remember, DO NOT peek during the 10 minutes.

After the 6 minutes, open the lid and add minced garlic, and sprinkle Korean chili flakes (as much as you desire)...

and season with Korean soy sauce for soup and Koran anchovy sauce. Taste and adjust the amount of sauces for your preference. I like to add a little bit of salt, too. Simmer for 2-3 more minutes.

At last, add sliced Korean leek or green onion, heat through. The soup is ready. Simple and quick, right?

This is the soup that I adore in the cold season. My kids love it, too.

With a little bit of rice, you have a very comforting meal ready in just few minutes. Enjoy all the great flavor melted in the soup. This is another way to enjoy Korean comfort. Hope you can try in your kitchen.

~ Holly

Spicy Beef and Bean Sprout Soup


  • 3/4 lb beef sirloin, thinly sliced
  • 16 oz (450g) bean Sprouts
  • 1 large dried sea kelp
  • 6-7 cups water
  • 2 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoons Korean chili flakes
  • 2-3 tablespoons Korean soy sauce for soup
  • 1 tablespoon Korean anchovy sauce
  • 1 Korean leek or 2 green onions, sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a bowl, combine beef, 1 teaspoon of minced garlic, 1 tablespoon of Korean soy sauce for soup, sesame oil, and some pepper. Mix well and set aside.
  2. Bring a heavy bottom pot to the medium heat. When the pot is hot, add the beef mixture and cook until the beef slices are no longer pink. Pour water and add the dried sea kelp, bring to boil. You will see some scums floating on top. Scoop out the scums with a spoon. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes, covered.
  3. Remove the sea kelp and add the bean sprouts to the pot and cover the pot with a lid. Simmer the soup for 10 minutes. (Do not open the lid during the simmering time)
  4. Sprinkle Korean chili flakes and add 1-2 tablespoon of Korean soy sauce for soup and anchovy sauce to season. Taste the soup and season more with sauces accordingly to your taste. You can also add some salt, too, if you wish
  5. Add Asian leeks (or green onions) to the pot and and simmer for another 3 minutes.
  6. Lastly sprinkle lots of freshly ground black pepper over the soup. Serve the soup hot with rice and kimchi as a side dish.

For more Korean bean sprout dishes, Click the images below to get the recipes.

Spicy Bean Sprout Salad Beef Bean Sprout Bowl Spicy Tofu and Bean Sprouts

If you enjoy trying Asian food recipes, follow DramaFever's Asian Food board on Pinterest!