Black bean paste

Chunjang 춘장

Black, salty, and just a little sweet, this paste is used for making the sauce for jjajangmyeon. It’s dark and made from a mixture of soybeans, flour, and caramel that is fermented.

You can buy it at Korean grocery stores.

After opening, store it in the refrigerator.

black bean paste

black bean paste

This is Haechandeul brand, which is what I usually get unless something else is on sale. : )

Recipes that use black bean paste (chunjang):



  1. Amirhussei2 My profile page joined 6/15
    Posted June 30th, 2015 at 10:07 am | # |

    Is hard to fine this paste in Malaysia,,, hmmm any suggestions?

  2. kfoodlove France My profile page joined 2/15
    Posted April 17th, 2015 at 3:38 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi,

    I really love your youtube channel and your recipe .
    I would make my own black been paste, but
    i don’t know how do it. Can you explain me
    how make a black been paste, please !


  3. sh3ll Australia My profile page joined 3/13
    Posted March 7th, 2013 at 10:39 pm | # |

    Hi I bought the powdered version of the sauce, since they ran out of the paste. Do you know how much I should use? Thanks

  4. daianafeijo Porto Alegre, Bras My profile page joined 5/12
    Posted May 8th, 2012 at 11:18 am | # |

    hi dear :)
    how can i do this chunjang? I can’t find to buy this in Brasil, so i’m looking for a way to do chunjang, and after jjajangmyeon :)

    thanks!!! :D

  5. ZatyAziz Malaysia My profile page joined 10/11
    Posted October 6th, 2011 at 12:02 am | # |

    How to make blackbean paste???
    i wanna make it…

  6. Simi-ka Germany My profile page joined 9/11
    Posted September 3rd, 2011 at 11:21 am | # |

    Can I make Black bean paste on myself somehow?

  7. nanuzhk My profile page joined 4/11
    Posted April 11th, 2011 at 9:05 am | # |

    I have a question, but first I should write that I absolutely loooove jja jang myung. I discovered the instant kind a while ago, and have since ordered it several times in asian food restaurants. But I just discovered that I am sensitive to gluten, and I am trying to avoid it as much as I can. I bought rice noodles (can’t think of the top of my head what kind they are but they were recommended to me) instead of the noodles used for the dish; but then I noticed that the bean paste I got also has wheat in it. So my question is: is there a brand of black bean paste that is gluten free?
    Thank you ;)

  8. MadHatter My profile page joined 9/10
    Posted October 15th, 2010 at 9:52 am | # |


    can you please tell me if there is other dishes you can use this for besides Jajangmyeon?

    • Godisgood Vancouver, Washington, U.S. My profile page joined 5/11
      Posted December 9th, 2011 at 6:33 am | # |

      I was wondering the same thing :-)

  9. MGTOB Chicago My profile page joined 2/10
    Posted October 2nd, 2010 at 1:29 am | # |

    I made Jajangmyeon from your recipe last month (D’lish by the way) just curious how long the black bean paste will last in the refrigerator, or if I should freeze it.

  10. bananaboat My profile page joined 4/10
    Posted April 28th, 2010 at 9:03 pm | # |

    Hi! I’m going to try and make your Jja Jang Myun and was wondering if the Lee Kum brand black bean sauce is the same as using black bean paste. Are they the same thing? or should I find actual black bean “paste”? Thank you!!!

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted April 28th, 2010 at 11:11 pm | # |

      No, you need Korean black bean paste (sold at a Korean grocery store) to make jjajangmyeon.

  11. 1234..
    Posted December 7th, 2009 at 12:25 pm | # |

    does black bean paste have any non-halal ingredients????

    • Pure_Hapa Redondo Beach, California My profile page I'm a fan! joined 8/09
      Posted December 17th, 2009 at 7:30 pm | # |

      I don’t think so. There is nothing in it but bean paste, sugar or corn syrup, rice paste and salt.

      • ina78 Jerteh, Terengganu, Malaysia My profile page I'm a fan! joined 4/09
        Posted April 5th, 2012 at 6:01 am | # |

        Pure_Hapa, what about hot pepper paste, do you know what the ingredients in it?

        • Atamis Malaysia My profile page joined 8/12
          Posted February 22nd, 2013 at 12:27 am | # |

          Ina, hot pepper paste consist of Alcohol. Thanks

          • ina78 Jerteh, Terengganu, Malaysia My profile page I'm a fan! joined 4/09
            Posted February 22nd, 2013 at 9:33 pm | # |

            Thank you so much for the information….

            • AmerasianGoddess PCB FL USA My profile page joined 3/13
              Posted March 18th, 2013 at 1:54 am | # |

              I make the hot pepper paste homemade and there is no alcohol in it. It’s really easy to make; it just time consuming because you have to wait for it to ferment before it is “ready” and perfect. If you want to try your hand at that…

  12. Jacqueline
    Posted November 25th, 2009 at 2:29 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi,

    I bought one pack of Black bean paste from Korean grocery and the bean paste does not taste salty at all, it just smell fragrant, is it correct ? This is first time I buy Korean Black bean paste so I was quite surprised it is totally different from Chinese black bean paste which is quite salty. Is there a different version of Korean Black Bean paste in the market ?

    I followed your method in video and cook the Jia Jang Myuen, it tasted sweet, did I cook it correctly ? I’ve not tried the authendic Jia Jang Myuen before, so I’m not sure how it suppose to taste like.

  13. Kelly
    Posted November 10th, 2009 at 5:36 am | # |

    Does the brand you used contain any meat? I’d really like to make jjajangmyun, but I’m a vegetarian. Thanks!

  14. Gabrielle
    Posted November 9th, 2009 at 7:27 pm | # |

    Hello Ms. Hammer ^_^

    I made samsun jjajang bap using Haitai’s roasted black bean paste (sold in a jar), and the dish turned out salty. I was able to tone down the saltiness but not the slight bitterness of the sauce. Also, I didn’t add in starchy water to the sauce since it was already thick.

    My questions are:

    1. Does using roasted black bean paste make the sauce extra salty and slightly bitter?

    2. Maybe the roasted black bean sauce are meant for gahn jjajang instead (no need for water and starch)?

    Kamsahamnida, Maangchi-ssi!

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted November 9th, 2009 at 9:30 pm | # |

      I have never used roasted black bean paste, so I don’t know the answer. If it turned out too salty, use less amount.

      • kyo USA My profile page joined 8/10
        Posted September 21st, 2010 at 2:17 pm | # |

        I’ve recently tried making jjajangmyun not too long ago and bought roasted black bean paste by mistake. I used it anyway to try out. I realized that the roasted is much more saltier and requires a lot more sugar than what maangchi’s recipe asked for with the original paste.

  15. Joshua (Brazil)
    Posted August 1st, 2009 at 2:21 pm | # |

    Apparently, this paste is made of soybeans, despite being black. One would have to boil the beans until they’re tender enough to be mashed into a dry paste (therefore, it’s necessary to drain the water before doing this). The paste is then sweetened with either sugar or honey, and a little bit of oil is added so it gets a little more creamy-looking. I don’t really understand how it turns black, but I think it’s because of some black food coloring substance.

    But this paste is made in different ways in different regions of Asia (South China, North China, etc.). Other ingredients are added (I read about “yellow oil”, flour, and other things) depending on the area. However, if you cannot buy it in a Korean food market (as in my case), I’d try to just do the sweet paste at home, out of soybeans. Or maybe black beans, so they’re black already.

    That’s just an opinion. :)

    • wildfoodgeek texas My profile page joined 2/12
      Posted February 27th, 2012 at 5:57 pm | # |

      Asian sauces often use black soybeans. You can buy them from I use them to make dao-chi (fermented black beans) and soy sauce. You also will need some aspergillus oryzae, or koji, which I get from GEM cultures in Washington state. The first step is to soak the beans in water overnight. Then cook for 15 minutes in a pressure cooker until they are just tender, not to the stage you might consider edible, but no hardness inside the bean. Then strain and dump out onto a clean towel to cool and dry. Then sterilize some flour in a dry skillet until very hot to kill any yeasts and molds in the flour. Put the beans in a big bowl and toss with the flour. Then add the koji spores and put in some wide containers and then into a (Igloo) cooler. After two days, start taking the beans out every day and turn them. When they are coated with a Brie-like coating of white koji mold, put them into a crock. Cover them and weight them down. Then add water until covered by 1 inch of water. Then add 1/4 cup of pickling salt per quart of water and seal the crock. Allow to ferment for 4 months, then remove the beans and dry them. Save the water as it is a simple but very good soy sauce. I don’t know about the korean paste here, but would love to find out how it relates, if at all.

  16. Elisa
    Posted May 22nd, 2009 at 10:37 pm | # |

    Hi, is it alright to use sam jjang for jajangmyun recipe?

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted May 22nd, 2009 at 10:41 pm | # |

      no, you will have to find this black bean paste to make jjajangmyun. Ssamjang is totally different from black bean paste.
      I hope you can find this easily.

  17. Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
    Posted February 24th, 2009 at 12:37 am | # |

    Jim N Ga
    cool! ssamjang is good dipping sauce, right? Thank you!

    no black bean paste is called “choonjang” in Korean. Soy bean paste is called “doenjang” in Korean. They are totally different. Thank you for your question!

  18. bECki
    Posted February 20th, 2009 at 11:04 pm | # |

    is the black bean paste also called Soybean paste? because i went to a Chinese market called “house of rice” and they have the soybean paste. but im not sure if its the same as the black bean paste.

  19. Jim N Ga
    Posted January 3rd, 2009 at 12:46 pm | # |

    I love the Chinese Black Bean dishes. I am looking forward to trying Jja Jang Myun. I have cooked Bulgogi and Galbi for years, but had never had them with ssam jang until I ate at a Korean Restaurant here in Atlanta. I went to a Super H Mart and picked up the Soybean paste and Hot Pepper paste and used your recipe to make ssam jang dipping sauce for my ribs on New Years. Thanks for the delicious addition to our meal.

  20. Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
    Posted January 3rd, 2009 at 1:22 am | # |

    Jim N Ga,
    Thank you for good information about Chinese fermented black beans.
    Happy New Year!

  21. Jim N Ga
    Posted January 2nd, 2009 at 9:09 am | # |

    I have not tried the Korean Black Bean paste, but I am familiar with the Chinese Fermented Black Beans (also called Salted or Preserved…)


    They are dried and fermented Black Beans, typically packed with salt. These are mixed with soy, garlic, etc to make a sauce or marinade. Usually not made into a paste, but will be mashed while making the sauce. Delicious used in making Black Bean SPresipbs(Dim Sum type dish) or ina stir fry with chicken and bell peppers or also stir fired with squid.

    • wan Singapore My profile page joined 1/10
      Posted January 10th, 2010 at 11:45 pm | # |

      HI, the douchi is differently from the one for jajangmyun as it’s quite salty and may come in dry form, where individual beans can be seen. The best for making jajangmyun is the dark brown hoisin sause (different from the red variety) which is also made from douchi,but has slight sweetness. SOme shops sell them thinned with water- try to get the paste which is thicker instead of the sauce.Hope this helps.

  22. Nishu
    Posted December 27th, 2008 at 11:20 am | # |

    oh its my plesure actually you are the only one which i have to thank that you show so much nice vds and with details thnks so much

    and wish you a very very very Happy New year may this year will be 2 much lucky for you

  23. Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
    Posted December 27th, 2008 at 8:54 am | # |

    oh, thank you very much. I am going to post the information on the forum then. Thanks a lot.

  24. Nishu
    Posted December 27th, 2008 at 7:54 am | # |

    hey maangchi i am not able to send information there so i m sending here adress of korean store in New Delhi ,India

    {A-Mart korean grocery store}
    A-1 Mahipalpur Extension, NH8, New Delhi Phn No. ->2678-9999
    INA market (South Delhi)

    There japanese store that have some things that can be used in korean cooking like
    Short Grain Rice
    Soy sauce
    And varieties of every meat and fishes + seafood
    the is store is
    Yamato-YA (B-6/9 Local Commercial Complex, Safdarjung Enclave (4165-0164). Daily 10am-7.30pm.)

  25. HangukSarang
    Posted December 26th, 2008 at 2:40 pm | # |

    Thank you Maangchi

  26. Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
    Posted December 26th, 2008 at 8:07 am | # |

    Yes, I am hoping to visit India someday!
    I’m glad to hear that you have no problem with finding Korean ingredients. It will be wonderful if you leave the information about the Korean grocery store on the forum here.

  27. Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
    Posted December 26th, 2008 at 7:50 am | # |

    Please check this. I don’t know how to make black bean paste, either.

  28. Nishu
    Posted December 26th, 2008 at 7:37 am | # |

    hi maangchi i love every dish you make i live in india
    i m very lucky that korean grocery store is near my home keep making these delecious korean delacrisies and someday plz come to india:)

  29. HangukSarang
    Posted December 25th, 2008 at 12:39 pm | # |

    Hi, first I would like to say that I love your website! I’ve been watching your recipe videos at youtube, and learning how to make many yummy korean dishes. Thanks so much for sharing them with those of us who can’t visit korea.

    I was wondering if you knew how to make black bean, and red bean paste? I would like to make them at home so that I don’t have to buy them as often. Thank you!

  30. Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
    Posted December 1st, 2008 at 7:50 pm | # |


    check out the photo of the noodles.

    I used the same noodles for the most recent recipe video jjamppong.

    You can photocopy the photo of black bean paste and take it to a Korean store then.

  31. Porkhee
    Posted December 1st, 2008 at 1:14 pm | # |

    hey i have a question.
    what type of noodle do you use to make jja jang myun?
    i been craving them for like years and i want to know what type so i can make them.
    also, when i go into an oriental store, i have trouble finding the black bean paste. can someone help me?

  32. Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
    Posted October 25th, 2008 at 3:23 pm | # |
  33. Zaida
    Posted October 25th, 2008 at 1:33 pm | # |

    Hi, I have been trying to find a Korean on line store and have not been able to find one. Do you know of any?

  34. Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
    Posted October 14th, 2008 at 6:11 am | # |

    You will get it at a Korean grocery store. It’s usually sold near paste ingredients such as hot pepper paste and soy bean paste.

  35. Jenny
    Posted October 13th, 2008 at 5:40 pm | # |

    Hi, I was just wondering, since I don’t have a korean market nearby, I’ll be searching at asian markets. Where do you find your chunjang? Is it in the refrigerated section, or does it not need to be refrigerated, and found in a non-refrigerated section? Thanks :]

  36. Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
    Posted September 21st, 2008 at 8:36 am | # |

    I keep it in the refrigerator once I open it.

  37. Winny
    Posted September 21st, 2008 at 8:26 am | # |

    Hi maangchi
    i just have a question, do you have to keep the paste in the refrigerator? or you can just keep it in room temperature?
    thank you

  38. Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
    Posted September 17th, 2008 at 7:40 am | # |

    black bean paste is made of beans and it’s fermented food. I found this now.

  39. aisah
    Posted September 17th, 2008 at 12:22 am | # |
  40. Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
    Posted September 3rd, 2008 at 10:31 am | # |

    Hello Jodi,
    Yes, seal it tightly and put it in the refrigerator. That’s what I’m doing. I can keep it for about 1 month! It’s not going bad because it’s fermented food and very salty.

  41. Jodi
    Posted September 3rd, 2008 at 10:27 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi!

    Once the chun jang is opened does it need to be refrigerated? How long does it keep for?

    Thank you again for all of your great recipes!

  42. Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
    Posted August 28th, 2008 at 8:42 am | # |

    It’s nice! Now you can make your favorite Korean food even though you go back to your country. Budae jjigae is not my favorite food, but I will think about including it in my list of upcoming videos.

  43. Vanessa
    Posted August 28th, 2008 at 5:03 am | # |

    Hi, I just saw your website and it is amazing! I live in korea now and will be leaving soon :( Im definately going to cook my own meals when I leave here, thanks to your web site! Do you happen to know the recipe for Budae Jigae “Army based stew”? that’s my favorite!

  44. Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
    Posted August 20th, 2008 at 11:37 am | # |

    Show the picture of this blackbean paste to your korean grocery owner and tell him or her that you are going to make “ja jang myeon”. They will figure out what you will need.

  45. Tarawr
    Posted August 20th, 2008 at 11:17 am | # |

    Hello, I have several korean markets where I live, the only thing I found was black bean garlic sauce and black bean chili sauce, is that the same thing only a variation maybe? The owner didn’t know what black bean paste was but showed me the sauce.

  46. Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
    Posted August 11th, 2008 at 9:32 am | # |

    Hi,Chris rose,
    Yes, many people have sent me email that they were inspired to learn how to make jja jang myeon from korean dramas they watch. : )
    Unfortunately I don’t know how to make this black bean paste.
    Please do more research on the internet to find korean gorcery near you. I wish I could give you information about a reliable on line shopping store.

  47. Chris rose
    Posted August 11th, 2008 at 9:05 am | # |


    I really want to try the korean dish Jja jjang myeon which I always see in korean dramas. =)Thanks for the tutorial. I live in Europe, in Norway. I can’t find any black bean paste in any asian markets here where I live. The only thing they have is “Black bean in garlic sauce”. I don’t think Norway has any korean stores too. I was wondering if you know how to make black bean paste by yourself and teach it to us.

    Also, I’ve been searching for korean cookbooks in bookstores here, but i can’t seem to find any recipes for black bean paste.

    Thanks for your time!
    Chris rose

    • Hanaah Lansel
      Posted June 5th, 2009 at 12:33 am | # |

      Hello Chris,

      Here is how to make Jjajang. The website describes how to make soy sauce. This is Chinese version. The soy residue that remains after taking out soy sauce at the top at the end is Jjajang. The colorr may not be as dark as commercial ones as they put natural / artifical coloring to make it look darker. Or if you let it age really long, it gets really dark as well.

      Just for the note, when making soy sauce / paste, Chinese add wheat flour to soy block, Korean do not add anything, Japanese add rice flour (white miso). Every soy paste is soy residue that remains after making soy sauce.

      Black bean paste are not made with black bean. They are made with soy bean, but use wheat flour and stirred daily so that color is black. If wheat flour is not added and not stirred, the color become brown.

    • Hanaah Lansel
      Posted June 5th, 2009 at 12:43 am | # |

      One more thing. You need nice sun ray to make the soy paste black. I am not sure if you can do that in Norway. The link I gave you, some people discuss about using artificial UV rays.. you can certainly experiment but I am not sure.

      • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
        Posted June 5th, 2009 at 9:47 am | # |

        Thank you very much for the link! The way of making soy bean paste is pretty much similar to the way of Korean doenjang.

  48. Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
    Posted June 19th, 2008 at 4:30 am | # |

    Dear Sophia,
    Black bean paste is sold either in a container or jar. yes, it’s usally displayed next to gochujang. : )

    I think it’ll be ok. To make sure, I suggest you ask the owner of the store if the sauce is for jja jang myeon or not.

  49. Sophia
    Posted June 18th, 2008 at 11:53 pm | # |


    i found your website a couple of weeks ago through youtube, and i’ve been addicted to it ever since. i’ve made the bulgogi, oee sobagi, and kong jang – all delicious!

    i went to the korean market yesterday to stock up on ingredients for your recipes, and i was looking for the black bean paste. i didn’t see a container like the one in your picture, but i found some jars labeled black bean fermented next to the gochujang. is this the right one for jja jang myun?

    thanks for taking the time to put these recipes online and answer our questions!

  50. Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
    Posted May 13th, 2008 at 10:12 pm | # |

    I usually go to korea town to buy some korean groceries near Christie subway. PAT store. Say hello to me if you see me, plz. ; )

  51. Ivy
    Posted May 12th, 2008 at 9:43 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi,

    I was wondering where do you usually shop for your ingredients in Toronto?

  52. Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
    Posted May 11th, 2008 at 8:56 pm | # |

    I am sorry to hear that you can’t find the black bean paste for jja jang. All I can say is that you can check out a korean grocery market.

  53. hankyungie
    Posted May 11th, 2008 at 2:21 pm | # |

    im vietnamese so i shop at oriental/chinese markets, but i cannot find the black bean paste? any advice?

  54. Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
    Posted March 5th, 2008 at 5:12 pm | # |

    check it out my cooking video under “grilled beef” and you will find the recipe for “ssam jaang”.

  55. jo*rose
    Posted March 5th, 2008 at 3:32 pm | # |


    Thanks for the tip! I will not use black bean paste except for jja jang myun in the future. ;)

    I tried to google kalbi and was able to find it in wikipedia ( It’s mentioned a sauce called ssamjang (쌈장) which was made from doen jaang. So it was actually the soy bean paste, the other bean paste you posted. :)

    Take care,
    Jo Rose

  56. Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
    Posted March 5th, 2008 at 7:07 am | # |

    Hi, Jo Rose,
    I don’t think so. The black bean paste is not much used for any other side dishes except for jja jang myun.

  57. jo*rose
    Posted March 5th, 2008 at 3:21 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi,

    Is the black bean paste the bean paste used when eating pork kalbi or is it another bean paste?

    Jo Rose

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