|Doenjang: Fermented Soybean Paste|
Since long ago Doenjang has been called the food of five virtues. Firstly it retains flavor after cooking, and secondly it stays fresh a long time.
It also removes other food's odor, lessens hot taste, and goes well with any food. Doenjang is a fermented food (like Kimchi). Its basic ingredients are beans, barley, and sticky rice.
Studies show Doenjang promotes digestion, is high in protein, increases immunity and has an anti-cancer effect. Our Korean ancestors considered making Doenjang a holy act. Three days before making Doenjang they avoided unfortunate events and on the day they made Doenjang they took a bath. Doenjang is still an important part of Korean cuisine that reminds us of home.
To make Doenjang
1) Roast then boil fresh beans on hot fire.
2) Take the cooked beans and make into a ball about the size of a fist. Leave this to dry for a while in a cool place. This mixture is called Meju.
3) With Meju, mix barley porridge, sticky rice porridge and pepper.
4) Ferment in a pot. Keep in a warm dry place.
5) When Doenjang is fully fermented dissolve in water with vegetables or meat and boil to make a stew.
6) Eat with rice.
Doenjang has a distinctive smell that can put 'first-timers' off, but don't be dettered as once you are used to the taste it is unforgettable, and it is a must for every foreigner looking to sample Korean cuisine.