Sakamoto Namul (Marinated Bean Sprouts)

You can make a lot of sakamoto namul (marinated bean sprouts) ahead of time, making it perfect for meal prep or a party. #beansprouts #koreanfood #banchan #vegetables

this recipe for sakamoto namul, or marinated bean sprouts, was first published in march 2014. everything else (the pics + my words) has been updated (as of june 2018!).

imagine a huge vat of bean sprouts lounging in a potent marinade chockful of garlic and soy and sugar. it’s unassuming amongst its somewhat more elaborate neighbors, tsukemono and inari (not these ones but dang they’re cute), but still lures you in. and that’s how i ended up eating three large portions of marinated bean sprouts at a new year’s day party, even with all the other japanese yummies surrounding me.

my mom asked her sister for the recipe, and said sister got it from one of her husband’s aunts, though i’m not sure of how that aunt ended up with the recipe. there’s a slight contradiction in the name sakamoto namul; sakamoto is a japanese last name, but namul is a korean word for a certain kind of fern/vegetable. from my mild research, the recipe came from arnold sakamoto, who owned/owns a small business (restaurant? grocery store? catering? who knows) in hawaii. the hawaiian context makes a lot of sense to me, since hawaii is such a melting pot, and japanese and korean cuisines influence the food so much.

sakamoto namul is a great side dish (honestly if i had it with kimchi and some marinated cucumbers and rice, i’d be set for lunch), or a wonderful snack for those times you’re afflicted with the munchies. it’s garlicky and a little bit pickle-y, but there’s also a hint of sesame oil to mellow everything out. in case you want to play around: grated ginger in place of some of the garlic would be nice, and/or a sprinkling of toasted almonds on top could help satisfy all of your crunch cravings.

Sakamoto namul, or marinated bean sprouts, is perfect for serving with other Korean side dishes (banchan), like marinated cucumbers and kimchi. #beansprouts #koreanfood #banchan #vegetables

1 year ago: no mai fan | rosemary no churn ice cream pops
2 years ago: apricot melon basil popsicles | strawberries and mint cream
3 years ago: kimchi fried rice on thursdays | laura vitale’s granola bars
4 years ago: thomas keller’s chocolate chip cookies | chicken dijon

5 from 2 votes
You can make a lot of sakamoto namul (marinated bean sprouts) ahead of time, making it perfect for meal prep or a party. #beansprouts #koreanfood #banchan #vegetables
Sakamoto Namul (Marinated Bean Sprouts)
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins
Sakamoto namul is an easy, Korean-style marinated bean sprout dish.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Hawaiian, Korean
Keyword: banchan, bean sprouts, fish sauce, garlic, green onions, hawaiian, korean, scallions, sesame oil, shoyu, side dish, soy sauce, vegetables
Servings: 10 people
Calories: 69 kcal
  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 T vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 T fish sauce
  • 1 T rice wine vinegar
Bean Sprouts
  • 2 12 oz packages mung bean sprouts
  • 2 green onions sliced
  1. Mix the above ingredients to create the dressing.
Bean Sprouts
  1. Place the bean sprouts in a bowl. Pour boiling water over and rest for 5 minutes. Drain well and squeeze the sprouts gently.
  2. Toss the sprouts, dressing and green onions together. You can start munching on it immediately, but the bean sprouts absorb the dressing really nicely if you wait a couple hours.

This marinated bean sprout dish, sakamoto namul, is garlicky and tangy and crunchy and so addictive. #beansprouts #koreanfood #banchan #vegetables

more korean food

The inside of this spam kimbap looks like a kaleidoscope, with pickled radish, spinach, carrots, eggs and Spam. #spam #kimbap #korean #sushi

spam kimbap

Closeup of this kimchi cucumber naengmyeon, with the ribbons of cucumber, cherry tomatoes, orange-y kimchi sauce and a hard-boiled egg.

kimchi cucumber naengmyeon

This bean sprout side dish, called sakamoto namul, comes together in less than 10 minutes, making it perfect for a weeknight vegetable dish. #beansprouts #koreanfood #banchan #vegetables
Sakamoto namul, or marinated bean sprouts, are flavored with soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar and garlic, and make for the perfect easy side dish.

22 Replies to “Sakamoto Namul (Marinated Bean Sprouts)”

  1. Does “sakamoto” mean beansprouts?

    1. i’m pretty sakamoto is the name of the original creator of the recipe. i thought namul meant bean sprouts in korean, but according to wikipedia, it’s a catch-all for edible grasses/leaves and their associated dishes. who knew?! 😉

  2. I’ve never tried sakamoto before… need to taste it! Looks real good!

    1. sakamoto is the name of the person who made the recipe, so i think you mean bean sprouts (; i love how crunchy and fresh they are, and if you’ve had pho or spring rolls ever, then i bet you’ve tried bean sprouts before!

  3. I always seem to overlook beansprouts but I shouldn’t, this sounds great!

    1. sameeee. when i’m eating pho, i dump the whole plate of bean sprouts in my bowl haha but otherwise i tend to forget about them!

  4. I love bean sprouts! I never get enough of them! I love the way these are prepared and flavored. YUM!!5 stars

  5. These sound so delicious! Pinning and hope to make soon! Thanks for the recipe, Heather!

    1. they are really tasty! especially because they look so unassuming upon first glance (:

  6. We love this and it looks so yummy 😀 We already had dinner but it’s always room for it hehe
    Have a wonderful day,

    Patricia & Miguel

    1. thanks! and honestly i love having prepped vegetables in my fridge- such a healthy snack (:

  7. Are the bean sprouts raw before the pickling stage?

    1. sort of! they get a soak in hot water to help them soften up, so they’re definitely not as crunchy as they are when totally raw.

  8. These look so yummy, I just want to bite into them! I don’t think I have ever had marinated bean sprouts, but I love bean sprouts, so I definitely need to try 🙂 XOXO

    1. you’ll have to try it! especially since it’s so easy- just dump whatever seasonings you want on them and let it sit (:

  9. I feel like that would be a nice little sushi side dish!5 stars

    1. oooh yes!! or even wrapped into a sushi roll it’d be tasty i bet (:

  10. I am a big sucker for bean sprouts! (Soy sprouts too). It’s a good veggie for you and the marinated ones are the best! I love that it is easy to make and it’s so low in cals. Thanks for sharing!

    Nancy ♥

    1. tbh i love marinated anything (;

  11. I wish I saw this sooner. I bought a bag of bean sprouts the other day and just randomly put gochujang and a bunch of random things and it was not edible haha! I think I turned Terry off to bean sprouts in the process, so I’ll need to make this to get him to like it again! 😀

    1. oh no really?! gochujang makes everything better (; if you love bean sprouts when you get banchan at a korean restaurant, then these might be more up your alley (:

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