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Spicy Bean Sprout Miso Soup (Vegan, Gluten-Free Option)

Crunchy bean sprouts meld with spicy, garlicky miso in this Korean-inspired twist on miso soup. Simple ingredients yet so comforting, nourishing, and flavorful!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Course: Side Dish, Soup
Cuisine: Japanese, Korean
Servings: 4


  • 4 cups dashi**
  • 2 garlic cloves minced or grated
  • 2-4 tsp gochujang** adjust to taste
  • 1 bag (16 oz) bean sprouts
  • 3-4 tbsp red or awase miso** adjust to taste
  • 1 green onion sliced
  • 2 tsp ground roasted sesame seeds (surigoma)**
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil*


  • Add dashi, garlic, and gochujang to a pot and bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling, add bean sprouts. Cook 2-3 minutes until bean sprouts are tender but still crunchy. Turn off heat.
  • Add miso to a large ladle, dip in soup, and use chopsticks to dissolve the miso into the soup. Or you can use a miso muddler.
  • Stir in green onions, ground sesame seeds, and sesame oil.


TO CLEAN BEAN SPROUTS: Add bean sprouts to a bowl or colander and rinse with cool running water a few times. Optionally, you can take off the long, stringy tails (and even the top head part, too) for a cleaner look. BUT this is time consuming and doesn't really affect the flavor.
VEGAN DASHI: You can make your own with kombu and water (here‘s an informative post by Just One Cookbook) OR use kombu dashi powder* if you’re short on time. I like to add dried shiitake to my dashi, too.
GOCHUJANG: I usually add about 1 tablespoon (3 teaspoons), but if you're sensitive to spice start with 2 teaspoons. If you're not gluten-free, I recommend this gochujang*.
MISO: I do not recommend white miso for soup since it's sweeter and not as strong in flavor, but you can use white miso if it's all you have. My favorite miso is Marukome's Ryotei no Aji (without dashi). 
SURIGOMA: Japanese markets sell pre-ground and roasted sesame seeds (called surigoma) so you can quickly add them to dishes. However, you can easily make your own by toasting sesame seeds in a pan, and then using a pestle and mortar to grind them. 
Recipe adapted from this Cookpad recipe.