Kongjang (Soy Braised Soybeans)

Kongjang is a classic side dish that’s made by braising soybeans in a sweet and savory liquid. It’s a popular banchan that’s easy to make with a few ingredients. 
Soy braised soybean side dish garnished with optional sesame seeds


Kongjang (콩장), also called kongjaban (콩자반), is a sweet and savory braised soybean dish. It’s a staple side dish in Korean homes. 

On weekends, I try to make a few side dishes, banchan (반찬), to help make my weeknight meal preparations easier. During the week, I make a quick soup, stew, or meat dish and serve it with the pre-made side dishes.

I mentioned in the previous posts, that those side dishes that are made to last relatively long and served with meals over several days (or weeks) are called mit-banchan (밑반찬), meaning basic side dishes. There are a number of them, ranging from stir-fried dried anchovies to pickled perilla leaves. We grew up on these mitbanchan dishes. They were a big part of every meal, including home-packed school lunch boxes. 

Soy braised black soybeans served in a small plate as a side dish

What kind of beans to use

Kongjang is typically made with dried black soybeans, but you can also make it with yellow soybeans. Black soybeans are called geomjeongkong (검정콩)  or seoritae (서리태) in Korean and available at Korean or Asian grocery stores. Be sure to pick out rotten/broken beans before soaking. 

Showing Dried Black Soybeans before soaked

The soaked beans should be cooked in water first before you add the sugar and soy sauce for slow braising. This will keep the beans from getting hard. Cooking in an open pot helps reduce the liquid and gives the kongjang beans their unique shiny and wrinkled look.

The result is sweet and savory beans that are a tad chewy, which is a nice contrast to steamed rice they accompany!

This kongjang recipe was originally posted in March 2013. I’ve updated it here with new photos and minor changes to the recipe. 

Soy braised soybean side dish garnished with optional sesame seeds

Have you tried this braised soybean recipe?  Please rate the recipe below by either clicking the stars or leaving a comment! And make sure to share your creations by tagging me on Instagram! Stay in touch by following me on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

5 from 2 votes
Soy braised soybean side dish garnished with optional sesame seeds
Kongjang (Soy Braised Soybeans)
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 
Kongjang is a classic side dish that's made by braising soybeans in a sweet and savory liquid. It's a popular banchan that's easy to make with a few ingredients.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Korean
Keyword: banchan, kongjaban, kongjang, side dish, soy sauce, soybeans
Servings: 8
Author: Hyosun
Ingredients
  • 1 cup dried black soybeans (seoritae, 서리태) or yellow soybeans
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine (or mirin/mirim)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons oligodang (올리고당), or rice syrup (조청) or corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon roasted sesame seeds - optional
Instructions
  1. Rinse the dried soybeans a couple of times. Drain. Soak the beans in 2 cups of water for 2 - 3 hours or until the beans are softened. (The time required may vary depending on the beans.)

    Soaking soybeans in water
  2. Pour the beans and soaking water in to a medium size pot. Bring it to a boil. Continue to cook, uncovered, over medium high heat for about 10 minutes. Stir a couple of times so the beans don't stick to the bottom of the pot.

    Boiling black soybeans
  3. Add the soy sauce, rice wine, and sugar. Reduce the heat to medium. Boil, uncovered, until the sauce is mostly evaporated and reduced to a couple of tablespoons, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. (Keep your eyes on the pot during the last few minutes to avoid burning the beans.)

    Braising soybeans
  4. Add the syrup, stirring well to coat for a minute or two before turning the heat off. Sprinkle with the optional sesame seeds. The beans will be soft at first, but they will get a bit chewier in the fridge.

    Braised soybeans
Recipe Notes

Kongjang will keep well in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

 

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Comments

  1. Is rice wine the same as Mirin or are you referring to Soju?

  2. This is one of my favorite side dish! I love sweetened beans. 🙂

  3. Anonymous says

    Can brown rice syrup or honey be used in place corn syrup? Will it give the sweetness and sheen?

  4. This is one of my favourite side dishes! Haven’t had it for ages.. (like a decade) 🙂 Thanks for reminding me.

  5. Yeah, I don’t think I’ve had this in about a decade either. My mom used to always have some of this and some other banchans in her fridge. I’ll have to try this and see if my kids will like it.

  6. butterfingers says

    Eversince I encounter this recipe of yours, this dish is frequently in my fridge! Thanks.

  7. michael north says

    I am making this today had such a hard time finding black soybeans so I am using yellow ones can’t wait to eat this trying to switch my diet and I believe Korean food is so much healthier and less processed already made your garlic recipe the mit banchan dishes are awesome! thank you

  8. I love the kong jang but always bought it from the Korean chain store in Atlanta because I live about 120 miles away. I will try to make it by myself this weekend. Wish me a luck!

  9. Abu Sarwar says

    Seoritae bean is linked to a study in Korea which reduces enlarged prostate. Can you please tell me where to find in USA.

  10. I’m an American married to a Korean that recently relocated to Hong Kong. Funny, when we lived in Seoul we didn’t cook Korean as often but now we can’t get enough of it. Every dish I’ve made from your site has met with smiles from my husband, declarations that it’s perfect and requests to make it again and again. Black beans are happily on the menu for tonight, a frequently repeated dish.

    Just wanted to pop in and say thanks! You’ve made us a little bit less homesick.

    • Hi Deborah! I’m so happy to hear that! And thank you so much for taking the time to write me a note! Hope you and your husband fully enjoy Hong Kong and all the Korean foods you make there.

  11. Alice Siar says

    We bought some braised black bean from Gwangjang Market. It was all black & skin were all intact. However I followed your recipe to braise them the black bean skins were all loose & off the beans. Would like to know why it is so? What’s the cause of it. Thanks.

    • hmm how long did you soak the beans? That can happen if the beans were soaked too long. You can tell from the photos mine were all black with skin all intact too.

  12. Geun Yoo says

    I just made a batch, but I’m wondering how long will they last in the fridge?

  13. Hi there, I’m Indonesian and I want to make my own chunjang, can I use konjang for the ingredient?
    I really want to make jajangmyeon but hard to find chunjang in here. When I try to find chunjang recipe, it needs fermented black soy beans. But I don’t know how to ferment black soy beans (it is easy to find black soy beans here). Read wikihow or ehow, mentioned that need culture to do that.
    If you know how to make fermented black soy beans in easy way, and chunjang your version, would you mind sharing it? I really appreciate it. Thank you so much.
    Oh just to let you know, I love your blog, and already tried some of your recipes like dak mandu, mak kimchi, putbaechu doenjang muchim, subak hwachae, pumpkin hotteok, dakgangjeong. I posted the recipes and link back to Korean Bapsang. Your blog is my reference when I want cook Korean food.
    Thanks,
    Monica

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