Soybean side dish

Kongjorim 콩조림

Kongjang is made with soybeans and Koreans eat it as a side dish for any meal. It’s a little sweet and sticky, like honey, and addictive to eat. You’re going to love it!




  1. Rinse 1 cup of soy beans and drain it and place in a skillet
  2. Add 2 cups of water in the skillet and soak the beans for 8 hours
  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
  4. Add ½ cup of soy sauce, 1 ts of vegetable oil, 2 cloves of minced garlic, and  ⅓ cup of sugar and boil it over medium heat for 30 minutes (cover the lid)
  5. Open the lid of the pot and heat it up over high heat and stir the beans occasionally with a spoon until the beans look shinny.
    *Tip: Beans will be submerged with shiny and sticky seasoning sauce
  6. Turn off the heat and add 1 tbs of toasted sesame seed and cool it down.
  7. Transfer it into a container and keep it in the refrigerator




  1. CarissaH United States joined 7/16
    Posted July 13th, 2016 at 4:55 pm | # |

    How long does this keep in the refrigerator?

  2. mikeba 90210 joined 1/17
    Posted January 17th, 2017 at 8:29 pm | # |

    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
      Posted January 19th, 2017 at 11:24 am | # |

      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.

  3. cisbrane Austin, TX joined 9/12
    Posted June 25th, 2016 at 2:06 pm | # |

    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!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted June 26th, 2016 at 6:16 am | # |

      If it’s not sweet and not sticky enough for you, add more sugar or rice syrup. “When boiling on high heat, it never seemed to get sticky” Did you leave the lid off?

  4. Lynnjamin New York joined 11/14
    Posted March 31st, 2016 at 12:55 pm | # |

    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?

  5. Janet-Ridgefield joined 7/15
    Posted August 23rd, 2015 at 4:24 pm | # |

    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.

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted August 24th, 2015 at 2:42 pm | # |

      The hardness of the beans depends on the kind of bean, size, and dryness. So I suggest you soak the beans longer, maybe a few more hours.

  6. manatee74 Ithaca, NY joined 7/12
    Posted June 6th, 2015 at 10:01 pm | # |

    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!


  7. dianeinhye MD joined 10/14
    Posted October 2nd, 2014 at 1:51 pm | # |

    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

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted October 4th, 2014 at 11:29 am | # |

      Thank you so much! Your comment is rating enough! : )

  8. OklahomaKimChiLover Oklahoma, USA joined 2/14
    Posted February 5th, 2014 at 11:25 pm | # |


    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?

  9. UniChoi Miami joined 2/14
    Posted February 1st, 2014 at 3:31 pm | # |

    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.

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted February 2nd, 2014 at 3:06 pm | # |

      no problem! : ) Soak for less time.

  10. Sali joined 6/12
    Posted June 19th, 2012 at 12:48 pm | # |

    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~

  11. cluvy Singapore joined 12/11
    Posted January 4th, 2012 at 4:32 am | # |

    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!

  12. DominiqueEchard North Carolina joined 5/09
    Posted December 9th, 2011 at 4:53 pm | # |

    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.

  13. crin Toronto joined 7/11
    Posted July 4th, 2011 at 9:09 pm | # |

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

  14. shygongurl [email protected] joined 3/11
    Posted March 25th, 2011 at 4:02 am | # |

    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?

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted November 21st, 2011 at 1:20 am | # |

      You can keep it for a month in the fridge.

  15. oksipak California joined 1/11
    Posted February 3rd, 2011 at 10:29 pm | # |

    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.

  16. mokpochica Michigan joined 1/09
    Posted January 9th, 2011 at 10:01 pm | # |

    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.

  17. bo Hawaii joined 7/10
    Posted September 30th, 2010 at 2:03 pm | # |

    Is there any Korean version of Natto?

  18. euvatan joined 9/10
    Posted September 15th, 2010 at 5:59 am | # |

    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
      Posted September 16th, 2010 at 2:52 pm | # |

      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

  19. BxlSprout Brussels, Belgium joined 5/10
    Posted July 5th, 2010 at 4:25 am | # |

    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
      Posted July 5th, 2010 at 10:11 am | # |

      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
        Posted July 25th, 2010 at 5:10 pm | # |

        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.

  20. slice79 joined 11/08
    Posted June 30th, 2010 at 5:25 pm | # |

    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
      Posted July 1st, 2010 at 4:32 pm | # |

      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
        Posted July 3rd, 2010 at 9:01 pm | # |

        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! :)

  21. shaoen01 joined 6/10
    Posted June 20th, 2010 at 9:48 am | # |

    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

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted June 21st, 2010 at 8:54 am | # |

      No problem! Keep stirring with a wooden spoon until the juice evaporates and the beans look shiny with the lid open.

  22. Lyn147 Malaysia joined 1/10
    Posted April 1st, 2010 at 7:12 am | # |

    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.

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted June 21st, 2010 at 8:59 am | # |

      good! This is a side dish that you can eat with bland rice so it’s a little salty. If you like to eat it as your snack, use less soy sauce than the recipe.

  23. Anonymous
    Posted January 5th, 2010 at 11:02 pm | # |

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

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted January 6th, 2010 at 9:56 am | # |

      yes, you can use honey about 1/4 cup in the recipe.

  24. Martha
    Posted November 10th, 2009 at 12:49 am | # |

    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
      Posted November 10th, 2009 at 9:37 am | # |

      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.

  25. sirdanilot
    Posted November 7th, 2009 at 10:06 am | # |

    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.

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted November 10th, 2009 at 9:40 am | # |

      yes, doenjangjjigae is served with rice.

  26. TA
    Posted October 25th, 2009 at 12:34 pm | # |

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

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted October 26th, 2009 at 12:15 am | # |

      good news! Happy Korean cooking!

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