Soybean side dish

Kongjorim 콩조림

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. 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.

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

  3. 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 12,047 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.

  4. 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.

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

  6. 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!

  7. 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?

  8. 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

  9. 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?

  10. 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.

  11. Hi

    Thank you for the great recipe. This is my first going to your web site and you have almost every recipe that I have been searching for. The soybean sidedish is the first one that I am trying to cook. I have one question. After I boiled the soybean during the first 5 minutes in high heat, the skin of the soybean came off. From your video I didn’t see that happen to your soybean. Please advise. Thanks again for the outstanding web site. Zoe

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,047 comments

      hello, Zoe,
      Thank you for your nice comment!

      How many hours did you soak the soybeans?

      Next time you make this side dish again, soak them less hours than you did.

      Usually soaked soybean skins are not separated unless you scrub them. I’m showing how to remove skins of soybeans in my kongguksu video.

      • Hi Maangchi,

        Wow, thanks for the speedy reply! I wished I had seen your reply before I started picking the skin with chopsticks. lol. I am actually trying two of your recipes today. The other one is Sikhye (barley malt drink). I am now in the process of waiting for the fermented barley water to cool down so I can put it in my refrigerator to enjoy soon. One question though, my barley water and rice turned out to be darker in color than yours. Is it because I did not filter the barley water enough? Also, the rice looks smush. Once again, I am so excited to try all your recipes. Btw, you look very beautiful and talented in all your videos. Your family must very lucky to have such a great chef. Bravo!!! Fondly, Zoe

        • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,047 comments

          For kongjorim recipe, don’t remove the skins of soybeans.

          “my barley water and rice turned out to be darker in color than yours. Is it because I did not filter the barley water enough? Also, the rice looks smush.”

          It sounds like your shikye is well made! Grayish color is very normal! You can add more water to your shikhye to dilute if you like clear shikhye. If so, you will have to add more sugar, too.

          The rice in shikhye turned out mushy? I think you fermented the rice too long.

          Good luck with your Korean cooking!

  12. Hi Maangchi,
    could you kindly let me know how to make Root Lotus sidedish. I tried in korean cusine before, it was yummy.

  13. Have you any tips for using anything besides soybeans? Once in a restaurant I had it made with barley and the texture it gave the grain was wonderful – I assume I’d have to adjust the water but if you have any experience I’d be grateful!

  14. Hi Maangchi, Thank you for the recipe. I used peanuts instead of soybeans and it turned out good. But there is a problem, are the sauce supposed to be thick because the peanuts seem to be too sticky (maybe I cook it too long). Thank you again.

  15. I used to buy this side dish at a local food store before but never figured out how it is made. Got around to try this dish since it’s a fave of my hubby. And not to mention that it’s something that we can both enjoy since it’s not spicy at all. Tried a small part of it at first successfully and made more since hubby really liked it and demanded I make some more. This I have to oblige.
    This got me hooked on soybean stuff recently. I’m into making soy milk, tofu and even thinking of soy yogurt now. at a time.
    BIG thank you for this recipe. No pics for now though. I can’t find the pic that I took.

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