Kongjaban 콩자반 (Korean Sweet Black Beans)

Today we made a healthy side dish to counter-balance all the meat we have been eating. It’s called kongjaban (sweet black beans), a dish that has been pre-soaked for a lengthy time (to aid in digestion and reduce flatulence, supposedely) and cooked in some soy sauce combination. It’s a sweet and nutty banchan side dish, and they provide a good dose of protein for vegetarians and meat-lovers alike. Kongjaban is a common Korean side dish that doesn’t take too much fuss in prepping or cooking. Also, you can make a bigger batch that will not only save for long periods in the refrigerator, but provide that extra side dish that Koreans need for a complete meal.

Servings: 10~12 people

Soak time: 3 hours to overnight
Cook time: 45 minutes
  • 2 cups black soy beans, washed (seorittae)
  • 5 cups water
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 5 tbsp corn syrup (mulyeot)
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp sesame oil (optional)
  1. Wash and soak black beans in water for a minimum of 3 hours to overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. In a pot add the black beans and 5 cups of water. Boil on high for about 15~20 minutes or until water is reduced by half.
  3. Add ½ cup of soy sauce, 5 tbsp of corn syrup, and 2 tbsp of brown sugar. Substituting the corn syrup in place of sugar or honey is acceptable.
  4. Reduce to medium and cook for another 20 minutes or until the liquid is almost gone.
  5. When cooled, refrigerate in a glass or plastic tupperware. Serve cold or semi-chilled as a banchan side dish.
*To save cooking time and make for easier digestion, the beans should be pre-soaked a minimum of 3 hours to overnight in the refrigerator. When ready for use, rinse clean under cold water several times.
**This healthy side dish can be stored for up to a month in the refrigerator, so it is wise to make enough that will last at least several weeks.

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