Doenjang is a traditional Korean fermented soybean paste. Beans are boiled and ground by rock into fine bits and formed into a block, which is called meju (메주). The blocks are then exposed to sunlight to be dried, during which mold special to soybean appears and the initial fermentation process begins. This sometimes produces an unpleasant fish-like smell. After the blocks have been dried, they are put in a warmer place to speed up the fermentation. Still later, they are put into large opaque pottery jars with brine and left to further fermentation, during which time various beneficial bacteria transform the mixture into a further vitamin-enriched substance, similar to the way milk ferments to become yogurt. Liquids and solids are separated after the fermentation process, and the liquid becomes Korean soy sauce (Joseon ganjang; 조선간장). The solid, which is doenjang, is very salty and quite thick, often containing (unlike most miso) some whole, uncrushed soybeans.
While traditional homemade doenjang is made with soybeans and brine only, many factory-made variants of doenjang contain a fair amount of wheat flour just like most of factory-made soy sauce does. Some current makers also add fermented, dried and ground anchovies to intensify doenjang's savor.
Doenjang can be eaten as a condiment in raw paste-form with vegetables, similar to the way some people dip celery into cheese, but it is more commonly mixed with garlic, sesame oil, and sometimes gochujang to produce ssamjang (also known as tum yum paste in Houston, TX) which is then traditionally eaten with or without rice wrapped in leaf vegetables such as Chinese cabbage. This dish is called ssambap.
It can also be used as a component of soup broth, for example in a popular stew (jjigae) called doenjang jjigae which usually includes tofu, various vegetables such as chile peppers, zucchini and welsh onion, and (optionally) mushrooms, red meat, or scallops.
|Sauces and condiments|
There is no pharmaceutical or device industry support for this site and we need your viewer supported Donations | Editorial Board | Governance | Licensing | Disclaimers | Avoid Plagiarism | Policies