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):


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  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!

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