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Sides, Vegetarian

Boiled Black Beans (Kong Jang)

Boiled Black Beans (Kong Jang)
Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

When I take friends to a Korean restaurant, I always feel I spend more time explaining than actually eating. Whenever a dish is placed on the table, everyone points and asks, "What's that?" as they wave their chopsticks cautiously about ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour plus 30 minutes chilling | Serves 8 to 10
  • 1 pound Asian dried black beans
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon yut (Korean malt syrup)
  • Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish

Step 1Thoroughly rinse the black beans in cold water, taking care to remove any debris. Place the beans in a pot and cover with the water. Bring to a boil and simmer until the beans have softened slightly and the water is reduced drastically, about 50 minutes. If there is too much water, cook the beans uncovered a little longer.

Step 2Add the sugar, stirring until it has dissolved. Then add the soy sauce and simmer an additional 10 minutes. Add the malt syrup and stir to combine.

Step 3Chill the beans at least 30 minutes, then serve them sprinkled with sesame seeds.

Note: Asian dried black beans can be found at Asian markets. Korean malt syrup is sold at Korean stores.

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