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Gang Doenjang, Boiled Soybean paste

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quick n easy
prep time: 
15 min
inactive time: 
0 min
cooking time: 
15 min
total time: 
30 min

This savory stew is a perfect one pot dish to enjoy with rice. It features the complex flavors of doenjang and a fiery kick of gochujang. It is supposed to be quite salty but it is meant to be eaten in small amounts with rice. Gangdeonjang is traditionally served at the table sizzling in an earthenware pot.

Another classic Korean way to consume this dish is to place a dollop of the stew on rice and wrap with steamed cabbage; similar to the way you would eat yangbaeuchu ssam. The beef and shitake mushrooms in the stew give it a hearty, earthy flavor that will make this dish an all time favorite.

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Main ingredients

½ cupSoybean paste (Doenjang) 된장
4 ozGround Beef 간 소고기
1 tbsGochujang (Hot Pepper Paste) 고추장
1 ozShiitake mushroom (dried) 표고버섯 (dried)
Green Chili Pepper 풋고추
3 tbsHoney 꿀
2 tbsSesame Oil 참기름
¼ cupAnchovy broth 멸치육수

Seasoning ingredients for beef

1 tbsSoy Sauce (regular) 왜간장
1 tbsSugar 설탕
1 tbsGarlic (minced) 다진 마늘
1 tspChopped Green Onion 다진파
¼ tspGinger (minced) 다진 생강
pinch Black Pepper 후추

Optional Ingredients and Substitutions

Beef: Instead of beef, freshwater snails are often used in gangdoenjang. If you cannot find freshwater snails, you can use clams. You don’t need to marinate when using seafood. However, it is good to blanch in boiling water for 30 seconds before adding it to the dish.
Vegan option: Omit beef and use kelp broth instead of anchovy broth . Add more (chopped) vegetables such as onion and zucchini to enhance flavour.
Green chili peppers: If you cannot take spiciness of chili peppers, you can use regular green pepper or simply omit.

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 shiitake mushroom

Soak 1 dried shiitake mushroom in water for 30 min or until they become soft. Then, wash thoroughly and squeeze all the water out. If you can get fresh Shiitake mushrooms, just wash them in cold water.

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  • dried shiitake mushroom

2. Marinate beef

In a bowl, add 100g of ground beef and add 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1 tablespoon of minced garlic, 1 tablespoon of chopped green onion, 1 teaspoon of minced ginger and ½ teaspoon of black pepper. Mix well and set it aside.

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  • 100g ground beef
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 1 tbs minced garlic
  • 1 tbs chopped green onion
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • ½ tsp black pepper

3. Prepare vegetables

Wash and chop 15g of shiitake mushroom (about ½ mushroom) and 2 green chilli peppers.

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Wash and chop

  • 15g shiitake mushroom
  • 2 green chilli peppers

4. Mix seasoning ingredients

In a bowl, mix ½ cup of soybean paste, 1 tablespoon of hot pepper paste, 3 tablespoons of honey and 2 tablespoons of sesame oil.

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  • ½ cup soybean paste
  • 1 tbs hot pepper paste
  • 3 tbs honey
  • 2 tbs sesame oil

5. Saute

In a small stone bowl, sauté the marinated beef on high heat for 3 minutes. Add the soybean paste mix, shiitake mushroom and green chilli pepper, and sauté for another minute.

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In a small stone bowl

Sauté High Heat image: highheat.png image: clock.png 3 min

  • marinated beef


  • soybean paste mix
  • shiitake mushroom
  • green chili pepper

Sauté High Heat image: highheat.png image: clock.png 1 min

6. Boil

Pour ¼ cup of anchovy broth and boil while stirring until it thickens.

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  • ¼ cup anchovy

Boil until thickens

  • keep stirring

7. Serve

Serve hot in a stone bowl with bibimbap or a bowl of rice with blanched cabbage and/or zucchini leaves.

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Serve in a stone bowl