korean kongnamul guk (soybean sprout soup)
We had a very simple soup the other day called kongnamul guk (beansprout soup) and it couldn't have tasted better with its mild and refreshing broth. We are accustomed to eating spicy jjigaes (soup/stew) that Korean food is known for, so it was a nice change of pace to get something light and clean. The broth is made from boiling myeolchi (dried anchovies), kelp, and garlic cloves, providing an aromatic fishy smell that reminds me of the coastal fishing towns that I used to frequent in Korean. If you don't have access to these ingredients, substituting them with minced garlic, salt, and gochugaru (red pepper flakes) will be just as good. And for those suffering from the occasional hangover, this soup is just for you. Koreans enjoy this "hangover" soup as a pick-me-up after a hard nights drinking (see also bugeo guk, dried pollack soup) but it can be regularly found alongside the main dish and banchan side dishes in most Korean homes. Though we do not serve soup on a regular basis in our homes, if I can convince the missus to clean the sprouts prior to cooking then this will be a regular at our table.