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Dec 30, 2011 04:45 PM

Suggestion for Doenjang usage

I went to a nice Korea restaurant and on my way I stopped by a Korean supermarket to buy a few things. I know how to use all of the other things except this one, Doenjang, particular this brand and this style:


Any easy thing I can do with it? Do I use it much like its Japanese and Chinese counterpart? Thanks.

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  1. Main traditional uses of doenjang is as a mother sauce for ssam jang, and for doenjang chigae. Some times I also use it as a marinade, or it can be turned into a dressing of sorts. But if you've never worked with it before, definitely start by making some chigae and some ssam. A simple but perfect ssam can change the way you view leafy greens.

    1 Reply
    1. re: joonjoon

      Thanks Joon. I will Definitely look up a recipe for chigae. I actually had some of the doenjang straight -- it tastes very good. It somewhat reminded me of the darker Chinese soybean paste, but milder I think. I may just put it in everything.... just to see.

    2. Probably the most popular way to use doenjang is for doenjang jjigae. Here's a link to a simple jjigae recipe: . Though not included in the recipe, I usually add a handful of enoki mushroom and sometimes some gochujang (hot pepper paste) if I want something a little spicy.

      10 Replies
      1. re: yummfood

        Thanks. I ran across that website, but didn't take a closer look. I will now. I hope it is not too difficult to make.

        1. re: yummfood

          I just read through and watch the video. This is very healthy..... I don't recall my Korean friends eat this healthy.... there are only 4 little shrimps. :P

          I don't have dried anchovies, but I can get some coming next weekend at the local Chinatown. Thanks.

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            Doengjang jjigae is actually very easy to make! Also, minus all the Korean bbq, Korean cuisine is pretty healthy...a lot of veggies and tofu, a lot of pickled foods, and low fat.

            1. re: yummfood

              My experience must have been very skewed then. :)

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                Well, an average Korean doesn't eat Korean BBQ all that often, a few times a month maybe - even though it's come to represent Korean cuisine in this country. But then again sushi isn't daily fare in Japan either.

                1. re: uwsister

                  Yes, that's what I was thinking too. Most Japanese do not eat sushi everyday.

              2. re: yummfood

                If you think about it, Korean BBQ is also healthy - for every morsel of meat you're consuming a ton of veggies with it.

                1. re: joonjoon

                  I must have been eating a very different kind of Korean BBQ (not healthy)... :P

              3. re: Chemicalkinetics

                Doenjang jjigae is very good, you can make it as simple or complicated as you like.

                You can also add a bit of doenjang to almost any soup, spicy or not.

                Use it as a base for dipping sauces (ssamjang and others), or as a marinade ingredient.

                Some people like the flavor it gives to grilled meat and fish (thin with a little water, lemon or lime juice, wine, or wine vinegar, brush on very lightly just before done).

                1. re: hannaone

                  "Some people like the flavor it gives to grilled meat and fish (thin with a little water, lemon or lime juice, wine, or wine vinegar, brush on very lightly just before done)."

                  So use it like a "finishing sauce"? Thanks.

            2. Darn it! I just saw this at a Chinese grocery and passed it by because my husband expressed concern about the ability of our fridge door to support the weight of my condiment collection! Now I'm really wishing I would have ignored him like I usually do. Just one more excuse to head back into Chinatown soon, I guess!

              1. In recipes where soy sauce is called for, you can experiment with substituting some thinned doenjang for the soy sauce (or just adding some doenjang), and the result will be thicker in texture and more complex and nutty in flavor. You can use it to make sauces and dressings.  For example, you can make a soy sauce based dressing for cold soba noodles with some thinned doenjang substituted for some of the soy sauce, and your sauce will stick to the noodles better

                This is a big medicinal food as well as a basic culinary ingredient.  It's thought to increase longevity, it has multiple anticancer properties, and (uncooked) it's a probiotic.  It's also a natural antibiotic for external use; prior to the discovery of penicillin, it was used to disinfect wounds.  It's nutrient dense, a good source of vitamins, minerals and lysine.

                1. I made Doenjang jjigae. I didn't use enough water or may be I stirred too much. The tofu was broken into too many pieces.

                  As you can see in the first photo, I used Chinese (Asian) cucumbers, and I omitted the potato. In the last photo, you can see I use a special rice noodle instead of rice because I bought too many fresh rice noodle and has to finish them fast. Thanks for the suggestion for Doenjang jjigae again. Next time I not stir as much.