Kongjang (or kongjorim) is made with dried soybeans and Koreans eat it as a side dish for any meal. It’s sweet, chewy and sticky.



  1. Rinse the soy beans in cold running water. Drain and put them in a pan.
  2. Add 2 cups of water to the pan and soak the beans for 8 hours.
  3. Cover and boil the mixture of beans and water over medium high heat for 10 minutes. If it boils over, crack the lid.
  4. Add soy sauce, sugar, vegetable oil, and garlic. Stir a few times with a wooden spoon. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 30 minutes.
  5. Open the lid and turn up the heat to medium high heat, stirring with with wooden spoon until the beans turn shiny and a little wrinkly.
  6. Remove from the heat and sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Let cool and transfer to an airtight container. Refrigerate up to 1 month.

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  1. Odetto Ontario canada joined 2/19 & has 1 comment

    Hi, just saw your recepies on tofu. Will try them. Wondering if you have recipies of beans like kidney, chick peas, lentil beans etc. I am diabetic so was going to cut on the sugar you use. Looking for those since they are recommanded for diabetic. Thank you greatly

  2. leeleemotes Virginia joined 11/14 & has 1 comment

    Hello!!!! I was wondering if I could do a quick boil soak on the beans verses waiting hours for the beans to soak?

  3. svetclaire Montreal joined 12/17 & has 1 comment

    Hello Maangchi! My husband is Korean and I’ve been using your recipes for the past three years. I really love this soy bean side dish! I cook it very often (in the process of cooking it now actually) :). Just wanted to point out that the proportions you have in the video and the ones you described in the written recipe are a bit different – in the video you use 1/2 cup of sugar, but the written recipe indicates as 1/3 cup. As well as very important step (at least for my oven) in the video you leave soy beans for 30 min at the low heat, but in the recipe you described to leave them at the medium heat.
    Once I cooked this side dish following your written recipe, and it totally failed :( because of the medium heat the beans completely burned out.

  4. mikeba 90210 joined 1/17 & has 1 comment

    Black Beans:

    I went grocery shopping this weekend and I was looking for black beans to cook with my rice. However, I was surprised to find more than one variety of black bean. One is called (phonetically) “Seorittae” and the other was Black Beans, phonetically “Kam-man Kong”.

    Do you know the difference between the two and which is used to cook with rice?


    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

      Seoritae (서리태) is a kind of black bean, and inside, right beneath the black skin is green. The bean is larger than usual black beans and is known as a great resource of protein and a variety of minerals. It’s more expensive than usual black beans (검은콩). You can add to rice and also make a side dish((kongjorim) with it or add to rice cake.

  5. CarissaH United States joined 7/16 & has 3 comments

    How long does this keep in the refrigerator?

  6. cisbrane Austin, TX joined 9/12 & has 3 comments

    Hi! I made this today but something seemed wrong… the result was salty and not too sweet or sticky… I’m not sure what I did wrong. When boiling on high heat, it never seemed to get sticky… i used the written instructions… I’ll try it again, thanks!

  7. Lynnjamin New York joined 11/14 & has 31 comments

    Maangchi, thank you so much for this delicious recipe. I made it for a picnic yesterday. I loved how everyone just kept saying “Pass the kong please”. Do you know how happy it made me to share this dish with friends?

  8. I made kongjang and it tastes really good but I was wondering if the beans should have been softer. I cooked them according to the recipe, which was also the instructions on the bag, but they’re really pretty firm. Any feedback on this? I’m used to cooked beans being soft.

  9. manatee74 Ithaca, NY joined 7/12 & has 4 comments

    Hi Maangchi, I love your website! I’ve been you fan for a long time. Congratulations on publication of the new book! I saw it on NPR website. I bought your previous ones on kindle, but I will this time order a hard copy :)

    btw I came here today wondering how Korean people cook beans. Is there another delicious vegetarian bean dish that are not sweetened? Most Western bean dishes I know involves cooking them with olive oil and tomatoes (or bean burger) and I’m looking for variety!


  10. dianeinhye MD joined 10/14 & has 1 comment

    Hello Maangchi! I used this recipe before and the black beans turned out wonderful!!! My family loved it. I would really like to rate this recipe but don’t know how to leave a rating.

    Thank you

  11. OklahomaKimChiLover Oklahoma, USA joined 2/14 & has 2 comments


    I love love LOVE your site, and I got one of your cookbooks for Christmas, so I’m trying to introduce all my family and friends to delicious Korean cuisine. I tried making this soybean side dish for the first time tonight. I couldn’t find dry soybeans, so I used a package of frozen, shelled edamame instead, which saved a lot of time. I also substituted sesame oil for the vegetable oil because I love the flavor so much. The only problem was that it turned out very salty, almost too salty to eat. The next time I make it, should I use less soy sauce and add water to make up the difference?

  12. UniChoi Miami joined 2/14 & has 1 comment

    I have been using your website for a very long time. However, this is the first time I’ve had a problem. I bought my soybeans from the local Whole Foods market because there isn’t a local Korean super market where I live. As I started rinsing the soybeans in running cold water, my soybeans began peeling. What does this mean? Please help.

  13. Sali joined 6/12 & has 12 comments

    Oh! I made this today without even knowing it was an actual recipe. :D
    I just had some cooked soybeans left over and thought “these would be really tasty in a thick sauce”. I didn’t use garlic and possibly used less sugar than here. I also used a little potato starch to thicken it because I was impatient and hungry, haha. Otherwise it’s the exact same thing. Amazing. I had it with rice and steamed vegetables. Delicious~

  14. cluvy Singapore joined 12/11 & has 7 comments

    I made half a recipe yesterday and I have none left today. These are so addictive. I think soaking for at least 12 hours or more is best so the soybeans are fully hydrated. Cooking not fully hydrated beans end up too crunchy for my preference. I did cook them longer as I like them a little soft. I shall be making more tonight!

  15. DominiqueEchard North Carolina joined 5/09 & has 36 comments

    Be careful not to make the same mistake as me – keep a close eye on the beans, not so much the cooking time. My instinct and nose told me that I needed to add some water to the pot since the beans weren’t quite done, but the sauce was about to burn. I caught it almost too late – was tending to my kimchijeon at the same time LOL So now this is a little sweet, little salty and a touch smoky! I’ll eat it all the same, it is great.

  16. crin Toronto joined 7/11 & has 1 comment

    i just wanted to know,
    if i leave the beans soaking for over 8 hours will it still be okay?

  17. shygongurl Hannahle888@gmail.com joined 3/11 & has 3 comments

    Can I make a few more and leave it longer in the fridge? How long can I keep it in the fridge until it spoiled?

  18. oksipak California joined 1/11 & has 72 comments

    This is such a great snack and side dish. I love it. Thanks so much Maangchi for divulging the recipe. It’s fantastic! I made some tonight and it tastes like what I remember long ago.

  19. mokpochica Michigan joined 1/09 & has 89 comments

    I can’t believe it has taken me so long to find this recipe and make these. It has been one of my favorite side dishes since I first tried them back when I lived in Korea. My family loves these kong so much that I made a double batch today.

  20. bo Hawaii joined 7/10 & has 49 comments

    Is there any Korean version of Natto?

  21. hi maangchi, tried this recipe, i did soaked the beans for 8hrs,and cooked it per recipe instruction, however i find it a little hard still, but the sauce is already reduced too the consistency same as video,but i like it still, though a little tough, should i instead soak it overnight? should the bean texture be like of those canned beans? which is mushy like boiled potatoes or should it have a little bite still?

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

      I think your kongjorim is well made. Kongjorim should never be mushy. Good kongjorim is a little chewy and soft at the same time. So if you feel your kongjorim is too tough, soak it longer or boil it longer (12 minutes instead of 10 minutes?). Soaking time of beans depends on the types of beans and how hard dried they are

  22. BxlSprout Brussels, Belgium joined 5/10 & has 46 comments

    Hi Maangchi, I’m making my third batch of these already :) you really have to watch the boiling down process like a hawk or the sugar solution will burn (that was my first batch). From eating the second batch, my husband will like it (ok, me!) better if I throw out the soaking water and add fresh water. Doing so gets rid of oligosaccarides, which cause gas…
    I too like them made from black beans, it’s a pity that the soaking water is full of the beautiful colour but it’s better this way.
    By the way, i’ve been eating delicious Korean food every day and I’m losing my baby weight! Thank you!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

      oh, you eventually made it!
      “I’m losing my baby weight!” awesome news!
      “it’s a pity that the soaking water is full of the beautiful colour but it’s better this way.”

      Use the beautiful purplish water when you make your rice! Add some soaked black beans to the rice. We call it kongbap. Kong is beans and bap is steamed rice.

      • BxlSprout Brussels, Belgium joined 5/10 & has 46 comments

        Oh, thanks for the tip on kongbap :) Now I understand why a lot of rice I ate in Korea had a tint to it.
        Last time I used it to water my basil seeds and they grew like wild overnight!
        It’s now the fifth consecutive week of slowly losing baby weight by eating lots of healthy Korean food and taking a gentle evening stroll with my daughter in the baby sling. Thanks Maangchi! You empowered me.

  23. slice79 joined 11/08 & has 4 comments

    Hi Maangchi.. I have tried this recipe two times and both times the kong comes out extremely dry in the center. Because it was dry the first time I made this I soaked the beans and extra day (more than 24 hours) and it still comes up pretty dry in the center.. not chewy at all. What am I doing wrong?

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

      OMG, are they real soy beans? : )

      Soaking time of beans depends on the types of beans and how hard dried they are.

      Check the step 3, and boil until your soy beans get tender (in the recipe, it says you boil 10 minutes before adding soy sauce…). If water evaporates, add more water and cook longer.

      step 3:
      Boil the beans on the stove over medium high heat for 10 minutes
      *Tip: about 5 minutes later, it may boil over, and then open the lid and turn down the heat over medium heat and cook another 5 minutes

      • slice79 joined 11/08 & has 4 comments

        The first time I tried it, I used soy beans. The second time I used black beans.. both times they were unedible! hahah. Thanks for the suggestion! I will try boiling it longer. I WILL try it again. :) I love your recipes! :)

  24. shaoen01 joined 6/10 & has 11 comments

    Hi Maangchi!,

    I tried cooking this dish, but seem to have encountered some problem. The output wasn’t very sticky and even after boiling for 30 minutes, it still seems a bit watery. Was the finishing product suppose to be sticky at the end of it? Thanks

  25. Lyn147 Malaysia joined 1/10 & has 3 comments

    Hi Maangchi,
    I tried out the kongjang recipe last Sunday. At first it was a disaster because it came out too salty and the texture of the beans was kind of rubbery hard, so the next day I added water to it and boiled for another hour or so. The texture improved and was much softer but it was still too salty. I packed and refrigerated them anyway with the intention of adding pork and water to them to make a soysauce pork dish (recycling). To my surprise, 3 days later when I took them out to recook, the saltiness had reduced alot and they tasted great. So I am eating them in their original state and as intended by you. I think the waiting period was crucial to allow the beans to absorb the seasoning and reduce the saltiness. Thanks so much for a great way of getting protein into our diet.

  26. HI Maangchi, Could i substitute the sugar with honey instead?

  27. An nyeong ha se yo Maangchi,

    My husband and I just came back from a 2 weeks holiday in S. Korea. Our trip has been great. We ate different Korean food while we were there. Being exposed and introduced to your recipes before going there has been good. We have had the opportunity to meet up with 1 Korean family from Anyang in Gyeongju. They invited us to have dinner and breakfast with them. I asked about their various banchan and was told some of which have been preserved for 6 months or so. However, they are very tasty and moist but not watery. 1 in particular is squid strip banchan and fish banchan. Do you know how to make them?
    Kam sa ham ni da.

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

      More squid side dish recipes will be posted in the future. There are so many types of banchan (side dish) made with either dried squid or fresh squid. If you want, please give me more description about the side dish.

  28. Got a package of soy beans and will make this maybe tomorrow or monday… can’t wait!!

    Is it a good combination with doenjang jjigae and rice? Or is eating two dishes with the same ingredient (tofu is after all made of soy beans) not usually done? If so I may just make it some other time or maybe make kimchi jjigae or something.

  29. I just made these and they are wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing.

  30. Hi Maangchi, your site is my “Go to” site whenever I want to cook Korean. Thanks for all the great recipes! I bought a bag of soybeans to make the soybean noodles & kongjang… but I read on another website about beans that it’s best to buy organic non-GMO (genetically modified) beans b/c soybeans are normally grown with a lot of pesticides & GMO soybeans contain much higher, and possibly dangerous, levels of phytoestrogens. So I plan on throwing out the bag that I bought & finding the organic non-GMO beans. Hope this tip is helpful!

  31. Hi Maangchi. Thanks for all your recipes. I have a question. I made this kongjorim with black beans but the beans were very dry. What did I do wrong? I doubled the recipe to make a lot and soaked for 9 hours. I followed the recipe but boiled a little longer because there was so much water. Did I boil it too long? Did I not soak it long enough?

  32. happymom& has 5 comments

    hi maangchi, i just have to say, this is my mom favorite snack! I finally made this dish right! the 1st time i burned it! but the 2nd time I finally succeeded. I am going to make this for my mom when i go back to NY! she will be amazed! thanks so much

  33. Hello Maangchi!

    I can’t wait to try this recipe! It looks so tasty, but do you think it is a healthy dish? I am trying to watch my weight! Any other healthy dishes you recommend?

  34. Hi again,

    I forgot to tell you on my previous comment that I had soaked the soybean overnight (more than 8 hours). Thanks for the tips about removing the skin.

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