Maangchi's recipes by category
Manngchi's most popular recipes
My most recent recipes
Convert your ingredient units
Salty and strong, Korean soup soy sauce (guk-ganjang: 국간장 but also called joseon-ganjang: 조선간장, aka “Korean soy sauce”) is not just for soup, it’s also good for seasoning stews, meat, seafood, and vegetables. It’s very different from the commercial soy sauce you’re used to. That darker and sweeter soy sauce was invented in China and introduced to Korea through Japan, and Koreans call it jin-ganjang. It is good as a dipping sauce or a light flavoring agent, but it’s not robust enough to flavor a whole pot of soup—and it’s too dark for that anyway.
Korean soup soy sauce has a richer, more savory flavor. It is light in color, and it doesn’t change the color of a broth much, which is why it’s perfect for adding flavor to a big batch of soup without changing its appearance.
I’ve never found a commercially made guk-ganjang that satisfied me, so I don’t buy it: I substitute fish sauce if I don’t have homemade. In many of my videos you see me using fish sauce because that’s what most people have available and what I recommend they use, but in my day-to-day cooking I use my homemade guk-ganjang, if I have it.
This recipe is a by-product of making fermented soybean paste (doenjang). All you have to do is boil the soy sauce left in the jar after the bean blocks have fermented. It’s a simple step, but it does require attentiveness: Do it wrong, and the soy sauce will have an off flavor and eventually attract mold.
Some Koreans never do this step, they just use their soy sauce straight away without boiling it. They like the taste and just remove any floating mold they see. Even if you boil the soy sauce, you might find a bit of fungus growing on top of your soy sauce some day, especially if you keep it for years. Just remove it, it can’t hurt anything. Some families keep their ganjang for hundreds of years, passing it down from generation to generation! It changes as it gets older, it gets darker and the flavor deepens.
Makes about 7½ quarts
Posted Friday, January 15th, 2016 at 5:00 pm
Tagged: 국간장, 국간장 만드는법, guk ganjang, gukganjang, 조선간장, joseon ganjang, Korean cooking, Korean cuisine, Korean fermented food, korean food, Korean kitchen, Korean sauce, Maangchi soy sauce, soup soy sauce, soup soy sauce recipe
Originally posted on January 15, 2016 at 5:00 pm by Maangchi
My monthly letter to my readers includes my recipe roundup, behind the scenes stories & photos, funny & touching stories from my readers, interesting Korean food links, and news about upcoming events!
Copyright © Maangchi LLC.
All rights reserved.