This super-low-effort kimchi bean sprout stir-fry comes together in about 10 minutes from just a handful of ingredients that require very little prep. With savory tender pork, spicy pungent kimchi and crunchy bean sprouts, it’s an umami packed festival of colors, flavors and textures that tastes like it took a lot more effort to make.
The trick to all the flavor is twofold. The first is the kimchi, which is loaded with over a dozen ingredients, like ginger, garlic, onions and cabbage that are lacto-fermented, boosting their umami producing amino acids. I find that some supermarket brands of kimchi taste more like spicy sauerkraut than kimchi, so be sure to find a full-flavored kimchi to get the most flavor into your stir-fry. Homemade kimchi is the best, but if you don’t happen to have a Korean grandma in your life, you can check out my kimchi recipe for a detailed tutorial.
The second trick, is one I covered a few weeks ago in my sesame snap pea chicken recipe, and it’s to marinate the meat and then coat it with potato starch before stir-frying. The starch helps the thinly sliced meat to retain its moisture and flavor and prevents the stir-fry from getting watery.
While mung bean sprouts would also work, I like the more substantial texture of soy bean sprouts for this dish as it adds a nice crunch, with little edamame-like beans at the tips of each sprout. They also tend to be a little longer and lankier than ordinary bean sprouts making this dish like a low-carb version of my kimchi pasta.
Kimchi Bean Sprouts
- 6.5 ounces pork, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon sake
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons potato starch
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 4 ounces kimchi
- 4 ounces soy bean sprouts
- 1 scallion (finely chopped)
- Add the pork, sake and soy sauce to a small bowl and stir to combine. Add the potato starch and mix in well.
- Heat the sesame oil in a frying pan over medium-heat until hot.
- Add the marinated pork to the pan. Use a spatula to break up the pork so there are no clumps and spread the pork into a thin layer. Let the pork brown on one side and then stir fry until it’s about 80% cooked.
- Add the kimchi and stir-fry until the pork is well coated with the juices from the kimchi.
- Add the bean sprouts and stir-fry until the bean sprouts are cooked through and there is no liquid left in the pan.
- Adjust salt to taste.
- Garnish with the scallions and serve.
Yield: Makes 2 servings
Marc Matsumoto is a culinary consultant and recipe repairman who shares his passion for good food through his website norecipes.com. For Marc, food is a life long journey of exploration, discovery and experimentation and he shares his escapades through his blog in the hopes that he inspires others to find their own culinary adventures. Marc’s been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, and has made multiple appearances on NPR and the Food Network.