Start cooking the bean sprouts in cold water. Use a small pan, and add just enough water to cover the bean sprouts. If you add too much water it will take time to come to boil, so use as little as possible.
Put the filled pan on high heat. When it comes to a boil, stir up the bean sprouts from the bottom, wait a few seconds, then drain into a colander.
Even if you think the bean sprouts still seem a bit raw, drain them off. They will finish cooking in residual heat. Do not soak in cold water, or they'll become watery.
Once the hot water is drained off, sprinkle the bean sprouts with sesame oil while they're still hot. This coats them with the oil and makes it harder for the moisture in them to leech out. Do not squeeze the bean sprouts!
Once the bean sprouts have cooled down, flavor them with salt, pepper, and umami seasoning. If you add the seasonings while the bean sprouts ar still hot, the moisture will be drawn out and the texture will deteriorate.
Add toasted sesame seeds and it's done. This is delicious with some garlic, if you like.
Tip: Go easy on the salt, since the bean sprouts will taste saltier after some time! Mix the bean sprouts gently so that you don't break or squeeze them.
If you have some garlic sesame oil made in advance and stocked, you can make namul easily. Recipe ID: 2312035.
Mix the bean sprouts with 1 tablespoon of garlic sesame oil and a little pepper. Umami seasoning is optional. Sprinkle on some toasted sesame seeds to finish! Adjust the salt to taste.
Story Behind this Recipe
This method of making namul comes from my many of years of experience when I used to run a restaurant. The texture of the bean sprouts is the same with any method when they're freshly boiled, but there's a big difference after some time has passed. I came up with this method so that the bean sprouts would stay delicious and fresh-looking even after some time.
Here are the 7 rules for crispy bean sprout namul! -Start boiling in cold water. -Use as little water as possible. -Once the water comes to a boil, drain the bean sprouts immediately and let them cook through in residual heat. -Don't put the cooked bean sprouts in cold water. -Do not ever squeeze out the bean sprouts. -Coat in sesame oil while they're still hot. -Add the seasonings after they have cooled.