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Meju blocks

By Maangchi

Check out my homemade meju!

hanging meju

These are blocks of crushed soybeans. When they’re ready I can use them to make doenjang and gukganjang, a traditional Korean soy sauce.

meju

One of the reasons many Koreans don’t make their own meju anymore is that it takes a lot of effort and you need the space to prepare them, the time to dry them, and the patience to wait for them to get perfect. I don’t have a patio or any soil here in New York City, and I sometimes wish I lived in the countryside so I could make and grow all kinds of food. But after making gochujang with Jamie Frater in New Zealand, I came back to New York and made homemade gochujang in my apartment.

With care and attention, my gochujang turned out delicious. The taste of homemade gochujang can’t be compared to store bought gochujang. It’s deeper, richer, and much more complex. It’s like comparing processed cheese to aged cheese.

That inspired me to try to make meju in my apartment, too. I don’t have a patio so I hung these blocks in a well-ventilated place where they can get sunlight from the window.

Every time I look at my babies hanging it makes me happy. I hope my experiment is successful. It’ll be a long time before I’ll know how well it works!

Wish me luck!

drying meju blocks

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