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Braised Black Soybeans, Kongjaban

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quick n easy
kid friendly
prep time: 
5 min
inactive time: 
240 min
cooking time: 
40 min
total time: 
285 min

Kongjaban, or Braised Black Soybeans, is another popular traditional Mit-Banchan in Korea. "Mit" means bottom or foundation. "Banchan" is a side dish served with rice at every meal. So Mit-Banchan means fundamental side dishes served at every meal. Kongjaban is supposed to be a bit salty with a sweet kick. It’s a great way to enjoy black soybeans which are high in protein and calcium, and loaded with antioxidants.

A typical Korean meal consists of a bowl of rice, a main dish, a soup or stew and a few different banchans (side dishes). By having pre-made Mit-Banchans in your fridge, you don't have to cook several side dishes for every meal. People often make a big batch of Mit-banchan and keep it in the fridge for weeks. Then it's served at daily meals along with other freshly made banchans. Mit-banchan is usually saltier than other banchans, so it's eaten a little bit at a time, with rice. The saltiness preserves the dish for a long time.

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main ingredients

1 cup  Black Soybeans 검은콩/서리태
2 cups  Water 물

for seasoning sauce

¼ cupSoy Sauce (regular) 왜간장
2 tbsCheongju, Korean Rice Wine 청주 (optional)
2 tbsSugar 설탕
1 tbsMul Yeot / Malt (Maltose) Syrup 물엿
1 tspSesame Seeds 깨

Optional Ingredients and Substitutions
Mulyeot: adds sweetness and nice shine but can be omitted or replaced with jocheong (rice syrup) or honey.

How to store
Refrigerate it in a sealed container. If kept well in the fridge, it can last 2 weeks or more. But check the smell to see if it’s still okay to eat after a week or two. The soybeans will be soft right after cooking, but they will become a bit chewier in the refrigerator.

To keep it safely for a long time, make sure you don’t touch the food with used spoons or chopsticks when transferring it from the container to the serving table. Also, it’s better to keep them in a few small containers so you don’t have to keep opening the container every time you eat. Every time you open the container you are increasing the chance of contamination.

You can also freeze it to keep it for months; although some believe freezing and thawing may slightly alter the taste.

More questions? Please leave your questions below in the comments section. We will do our best to answer as soon as we can.

Ingredient amounts in the recipe instructions are for the default serving size.
Click to enlarge photos.
Ingredient amounts in the recipe summary are for the default serving size.

1. Soak

Wash 1 cup of dried black soybeans thoroughly 2-3 times. Soak them for 4 hours (or more depending on the dryness of the beans). Drain water out in a strainer.

image: JKJBAA01.JPG


  • 1 cup dried soybeans
  • 2-3 times

Soak image: clock.png 240 min


2. Boil

Put the soaked beans and 2 cups of water in an uncovered pot and bring them to boil. Keep boiling (uncovered) on high heat for 5 minutes while stirring. Skim off foam.

image: JKJBAA02.JPG

Bring to boil

  • 2 cups water and beans

Keep boiling

  • uncovered
  • High Heat image: highheat.png image: clock.png 5 min

3. Braise

Add 4 tablespoons (=¼ cup) of soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of rice wine (optional) and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Lower the heat to medium. Braise uncovered for 25-30 minutes or until the sauce is almost gone. Stir frequently. If the soy beans are still too hard when the sauce is almost gone, add more water and braise again until the water is almost gone.

image: JKJBAA03.JPG


  • 4 tbs (=¼ cup) soy sauce
  • 2 tbs rice wine (optional)
  • 2 tbs sugar

Braise uncovered

  • stir frequently
  • Med Heat image: medheat.png image: clock.png 25 min

or until sauce is almost gone

4. Finish up

Add 1 tablespoon of malt syrup and mix well. Turn off the heat and sprinkle 1 teaspoon of sesame seeds.

image: JKJBAA04.JPG

Mix in

  • 1 tbs malt syrup

Turn off heat


  • 1 tsp sesame seeds

5. Serve

Serve on a side dish plate. Enjoy! You can store it in the fridge for a couple of weeks. You can serve as it is or heat it up just slightly in the microwave.

image: JKJBAA05.JPG

Serve and enjoy!