My obsession with Korean food is reaching new heights, it’s basically soaring on the wings of eagles. My gang is getting at least two Korean dinners a week complete with pancakes and side dishes. The side dishes (called banchan) were the most mind blowing part of the cuisine for me when I first ate at a Korean restaurant. You mean they’re complimentary?! As in free?! And you can get them RE-FILLED?! There will always be kimchi but apart from that there is no restriction on the variety of side dishes that can appear on your table. At Madtongsan 2 (where I drag every unsuspecting person I can get my hands on) they serve kimchi, tuna pasta salad, pickled onion and candied sweet potatoes. Technically these beans are mitbanchan, meaning that they are prepared in advance and are ready to be used with different meals throughout the week. They get chewy after a few hours in the fridge and the sauce thickens nicely.
I couldn’t find black soybeans so I used yellow soybeans that I found at a Chinese supermarket. Korean corn syrup is stocked at most Korean Supermarkets but replace it with honey if you can’t get your hands on it.
Kongjang (Soy Braised Soybeans)
1 cup dried soybeans (black, if you can find them)
4 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp mirin
4 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp corn syrup
1 tsp roasted sesame seeds
Rinse the beans then soak for 3-4 hours in cold water (make sure there is at least twice the amount of water as beans).
Drain the beans, then place in a medium pot with 2 cups of cold water and bring to a boil.
Continue to cook without a lid for 5 minutes, stir a couples of times and skim off any foam that rises to the surface.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the soy sauce, mirin and sugar.
Simmer, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes or until most of the sauce has evaporated (stir frequently towards the end to avoid the beans sticking).
Add the corn syrup right at the end of cooking, stirring well to coat the beans.
Refrigerate the beans until cold, sprinkle with the sesame seeds before serving.