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Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs



About Soybean Paste

Soybean paste(korean name : deonjang) is made from soybeans, rice, barley, wheat or fatted soybeans. These primary ingredients are mixed with salt and aspergillus oryzae for fermenting and maturing. Or, lumps of fermented soybeans (meju) are put in brine until the brine is fermented, and the liquid is separated from the solid.

Soybean paste has been believed to have 5 virtues: devotion - it keeps its taste even when it is mixed with other ingredients; steadiness - it does not decay for a long time; merciful heart of Buddha - it removes fish and oily flavor; generosity - it neutralizes spicy tastes; and harmony - it harmonizes well with any other food.

Soybean paste is one of the traditional Korean foods carried over for generations. Soybean is loved by Korean people for its excellency in taste and effects

Traditional Soybean Paste

Soybean paste is the champion in the number of its kinds. Its name and taste change according to things that are added to it. It is also classified according to regional characteristics and conditions.

1. Makdoenjang
The remaining ingredients after scooping out soybean sauce from the jar containing meju (fermented soybeans) in brine.
2. Tojang
This sauce is either made by fermenting and maturing the mixture of makdoenjang, meju and brine or made from meju only, and matured at room temperature for a long period of time.
3. Makjang
a soybean paste made by mixing raw meju powder with brine or by mixing meju powder with a slightly fermented barley and keeping them in brine until they are fermented. For maturing, put the mixture in a pot, like Tojang, but add more water. Keep the pot in a warm place or in a place exposed to the sun to accelerate maturing. Makjang is a kind of fast-matured soybean paste and uses fermented barley and wheat. It is sweeter than beans and commonly used in southern areas of Korea.
4. Dampukjang
This sauce is a kind of processed Cheonggukjang. Make meju using boiled soybeans, and mix it with hot pepper powder, garlic and salt. Wait until the mixture is fermented. Dampukjang can also be made by adding seasonings to Cheonggukjang and maturing it. Boil soybeans, shape them into round lumps 5-6cm in diameter, dry them for 5-6 days until they are fermented. Keep them in brine in a warm place for 7-10 days. This soybean paste can be made in a short time, and its taste is plainer than regular soybean paste.
5. Jeubjang
This paste is made in the similar way to Makjang, but uses more water. Make meju lumps from wheat and soybeans and ferment them. add vegetables harvested in early autumn, such as radish, peppers and cabbage. Wait until the mixture matures. This paste has a little sour taste and is commonly used in Gyeongsang-do and Chungcheong-do. Put Jeubjang in a pot and keep in a compost pile for fermentation.
6. Saenghwangjang
Mix soybeans and malt in the hottest season, and wait until they are fermented. This paste makes full use of the multiple function and fermentation ability of malt.
7. Cheongtaejang
Steam soybeans immediately after they are harvested in an earthenware steamer, and make them into lumps in the shape of rice cakes. Cover them with bean leaves and keep in a hot place for fermentation. add newly harvested peppers to season them. Bean leaves help fermentation by allowing the growth of micro-organisms.
8. Patjang
Boil red beans, and make them into lumps. after the lumps are fermented, mix them with soybeans for further fermentation.
9. Cheonggukjang
Boil newly harvested soybeans in the early winter, and pound them together with ginger and garlic. add hot pepper powder and salt, and keep the pot containing the mixture at 40 ¡ E on the floor covered with rice straw or dried leaves for 2-3 days for fermentation. Season the mixture with pepper, garlic, ginger and salt, and pound in a mortar.
10. Jipjang
This paste is commonly used in Buddhist temples. Drain off water from tofu and mash it. add salt, and keep it in a pot for some time. Season it with powdered sesame seeds, sesame oil and hot pepper powder, and put it in a hemp cloth bag. Bury the bag under the ground. One month later, it turns yellow and is very tasty. Daehongsa Temple is famous for Dubujang.
11. Jiryejang
This paste is also called "Jireumjang" or "JJieomjang." Ground meju, and add kimchi liquid. This paste is steamed and served as a side dish. The name Jiryejang comes from the fact that it is "tasted in advance (jirye in Korean)."
12. Saengchijang
a paste made from pheasants. Wash 3-4 female pheasants thoroughly, and boil them. Remove skins and bones. Chop and pound the flesh only. Pass it through a sieve to soften the flesh. Season it with Chopi (Zanthaoxylum piperitum) powder, ginger juice and salt water, and roast it until it is not too dry or not two wet.
13. Bijijang
a soybean paste made from bean-curd dregs. Roast bean-curd dregs slightly, and put them into a cotton cloth bag. Ferment them for one and a half days, and add salt. after they are fermented fully, pan-fry them with Chinese cabbage kimchi to make a special cuisine. This paste cannot be made in hot days.

Japanese Soybean Paste

Miso is Japanese soybean paste which was developed by changing the taste of traditional Korean soybean paste to meet the palate of Japanese people. Japanese miso is a salty sauce made from beans that are fermented slowly. It is used in almost all Japanese foods. Though Japanese miso and Korean soybean paste are similar, they are different in many respects.

While Korean soybean paste is made from soybeans only, miso is made from beans, barley, rice or wheat flour, thus producing sweety taste. Today, enzymes grown in factories are used in making miso in many ways. Miso is fermented for various periods of time, from 3-4 months to several years. The color, flavor and touch of miso are well harmonized. transformation of Korean soybean paste to miso might be attributed to the Japanese oceanic climate. Korean climate is good for fermenting soybeans naturally.

Meju and soybean paste are fermented by fungi and enzyme that like rice straw. Soybean paste made of meju has appealed to the palate of Korean people. In Japan, however, soybeans are decayed easily because of its moist climate, so good meju, like Korean's, cannot be made in Japan.

Miso is used for dishes of meat, fish, vegetables, tofu and many others in Japan. a miso soup is so loved by Japanese people that it is an essential item in their breakfast menu. When a Japanese says "Ore no miso shiro wo tsukutte kureru? (Will you make a miso soup for me?", he is understood as saying "Will you marry me?" Japanese soybean paste (miso) is made by mixing soybeans and aspergillus orizae, a kind of mold, which is raised in rice in advance. Korean soybean paste contains a variety of micro-organisms growing naturally, while Japanese soybean paste has a single mold that is raised in advance and injected into soybeans.

Both of these pastes have advantages and disadvantages. Korean traditional soybean is better in thrombolysis and anti-cancer effects thanks to complex micro-organisms growing in soybeans. However, it is difficult to maintain consistency in its quality because soybeans are fermented naturally in Korea and it can be made only in one season. Japanese soybean paste has a single mold, so it has less effects, but consistency can be maintained in its quality.

Royal Soybean Paste

Soybean paste is the champion in the number of its kinds.
Its name and taste change according to things that are added to it.
It is also classified according to regional characteristics and conditions.

1. Mujang (Seoul)
In October, the time when meju (fermented soybeans) is made, mash boiled soybeans and shape them into small round lumps. after the lumps are fermented, put them into a pot, and add water. Two or three days later, the lumps draw and float. Season the paste with salt, and cover the pot for 3-4 days for maturation. Insert slices of pickled radish, pear and boiled beef into the paste.
2. Yesan Soybean Paste (Chungcheong-do)
Boil barley and soybeans, and mash and shape them into lumps to make meju. One month after the lumps are fermented, crush them into fine flour. Mix them with steamed glutinous rice flour, adding soybean sauce for salting. Put this mixture into an earthenware jar, and insert pickled cucumber, peppers, eggplants, boiled beef brisket and dried prawns into the mixture, layer by layer. Cover the jar by sealing the lid tightly, and keep it in a horse dung pile or a compost pile until the paste is fully fermented.
3. inyang Soybean Paste (Gyeongsang-do)
Keep soybeans soaked in water until they are softened, and boil them. Grind wheat with a stone mill. Put wheat flour over soybeans being boiled, and keep boiling until they are completely boiled. Shape the mixture into fist-sized balls, and dry the balls for 2-3 days. Crush the dried balls into flour, and mix it with glutinous rice paste and fermented malt syrup. Put this mixture into an earthenware jar, and insert eggplants, cucumber, radish, gourdes into the mixture. Cover the jar and keep it in a rice straw pile or in a pile of rice bran ash. Keep the jar warm by burning rice straw around it until the paste is fully fermented.
4. Milyang Soybean Paste (Gyeongsang-do)
While boiling soybeans, add rice flour and wheat flour. Shape the mixture into fist-sized balls. Dry these balls and crush the dried balls into flour. Whenever necessary, mix the flour with blue peppers, eggplants, radish, sea tangle and abalones. Season the paste with hot pepper powder, garlic and other spices, and wait until it is fully fermented.
5. Georeumjang (Gyeongsang-do)
after boiling soybeans for a while, add barley. Shape boiled soybeans and barley into lumps, and cover the lumps with mulberry and paper mulberry leaves for fermentation. Crush the lumps into fine pieces, and mix them with cucumber and eggplants. Keep the pot containing the mixture in a compost file. The name "Georeumjang (compost soybean paste)" comes from this way of keeping the paste.
6. Naju Soybean Paste (Jeolla-do)
Crush fermented malt into flour, and mix it with steamed glutinous rice. after waiting for one night, add eggplants, cucumber and pepper leaves. Put the jar in a compost pile or in a heated rice bran pile for fermentation.
7. Cheongtaejang
Steam soybeans immediately after they are harvested in an earthenware steamer, and make them into lumps in the shape of rice cakes. Cover them with bean leaves and keep in a hot place for fermentation. add newly harvested peppers to season them. Bean leaves help fermentation by allowing the growth of micro-organisms.
8. Jeonju Soybean Paste (Jeolla-do)
Boil glutinous rice until it becomes slightly watery. Mix it with meju powder and malt syrup. Insert peppers, eggplants, radish and pepper leaves into the mixture, and keep the pot at the warm part of a room until the paste is fully fermented.
9. Jopijang (Jeju Island)
Cut leaves of Japanese peppercorns into small pieces, and mix the pieces with soybean paste. Put this mixture in a pot, and wait for about two days.


about 30 years ago, no other drugs than soybean paste was needed when children hurt their heads or when they were stung by a bee while playing. Their parents simply spread soybean paste on a pumpkin leaf, cover the wound with the leaf and bandaged it tight. The wound healed quickly.

Though the reason of this healing has not been discovered scientifically, Korean people learned the effects of soybean paste through experience.

Soybean paste is a traditional food of Korea handed over from its ancestors. It is loved for its effects, as well as for its excellent taste. It seasons foods and adds flavor to foods. It also contains vegetable protein as a throw-in.

Soybean is drawing attention as one of the best health foods. The primary ingredient of soybean paste, soybeans are so rich in protein and fat as to be called garden meat. It is quite functional as well. In particular, patients suffering from cardiac disorder can safely eat soybeans because they contain plenty of vegetable protein free of cholesterol.

Soybeans also help blood circulation. Soybean paste helps keep people's diet in balance because it contains rich licin, an essential amino acid, which can be deficient in those living on rice. Soybean paste is also low in cholesterol content because fat contained in soybean paste is mostly in the form of unsaturated fat acid. Soybean paste inhibits accumulation of bad cholesterol, such as linoleic acid, and promotes smooth circulation of blood.

1. anti-cancer effect
Soybean paste excels most fermented foods in anti-cancer effect. This effect remains even after soybean paste is boiled. In a study, carcinogen was injected into mice, and part of the mice were given soybean sauce. The weight of cancer tissue decreased by about 80% in those mice that were given soybean paste. Having soybean paste every day is one of the 15 rules recommended by the Korea Cancer Organization. The anti-cancer effect of soybean paste is being proven home and abroad. It was also found that soybean paste restrains cancerous cells from growing.
2. Control of high blood pressure
Histamin-leucin and amino acids contained in soybean paste exhibit excellent physiological functions of protein. They help mitigate headache and lower blood pressure. They also dilate blood vessels by eliminating cholesterol.
3. Strengthening of liver functions
Liver is one of the most important organs in our body. all nutrients we intake are distributed through the liver. traditional Korean soybean paste is good at restoring liver functions to normal and detoxicating the liver. Research has proven that soybean paste reinforces liver functions by lowering the activity of amino-transferase, the liver toxicity index.
4. anti-oxidation effect
Soybean paste has an anti-aging effect thanks to isjlavins, such as dfaidzein and daidzin, yellow pigments contained in soybeans. These belong to polyphenols. another antioxidant is melanoidin generated through the interaction of saccharides and amino acids. These antioxidants make soybean paste a safe food by preventing the oxidation of lipid in soybean paste.
5. Detoxication function
Soybean paste is excellent in neutralizing the poisons of sea fish, meat, vegetables and mushroom. It is also good at controlling snakes and insects, and neutralizing snake positions.
6. Prevention of alzheimer's
Disease Lecitine contained in soybeans helps improve functions of the brain. Saponin in soybeans prevents aging and alzheimer's disease by reducing the level of cholesterol in the blood and restricting the development of lipoperoxide. Soybean paste contains an antioxidant that retards aging, and its antioxidative function grows during the fermenting and maturing processes. Its browning is also found good at preventing aging.
7. Digestive function
Soybean paste is an appetizer, and has a good digestive function. Its presence at the table means there is no worry about indigestion. according to folk remedies, one bowl of light soybean paste soup normalizes an upset stomach.
8. Prevention of osteoporosis
Vegetable estrogen, a derivative of isoflavon, can prevent osteoporosis in women by forming bone while inhibiting bone reabsorption. Rich in vitamin D, mushrooms help calcium absorption and strengthen bones and teeth.
9. Control of glycosuria
Melanoidin in soybean paste helps control glycosuria by stimulating insulin secretion.
10. Prevention of obesity and constipation
The soybean sauce containing pumpkin, mushroom and barley is rich in fiber, and helps prevent obesity and constipation. This sauce also strengthens digestive organs by stimulating bowl movemen
11. Prevention of heart disease and cerebral apoplexy
Protein contained in mushrooms purifies blood and prevents blood coagulation. It also prevents heart disease and cerebral apoplexy by lowering blood viscosity.
12. Removal of flecks and freckles
Conjugated linoleic acid removes flecks and freckles by inhibiting the development of melanin pigment. Mushrooms and pumpkins help allergic, pimpled or rough skins recover healthy tone.

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