Question: What is Korean Daenjang?
Answer: Korean Daenjang (Doen Jang) is a fermented soybean paste that is a staple of the Korean diet. It is used as a dip for vegetables, as the flavoring base for stews and soups, and as a marinade for meats and fish. It is similar to Japanese miso, but has a thicker texture and a more powerful flavor and aroma.
To make Daenjang, soybeans are dried and then boiled and crushed and ground. The resulting thick paste is then formed into blocks (maejoo) and covered with dried rice plants to dry and begin the fermentation process under sunlight or heat. After a period of weeks or months, the blocks are placed inside thick pottery jars with salt and other seasonings.
After full fermentation, the brine and the solids are separated. The resulting liquid (brine) is unrefined soy sauce and the solid is daenjang (soybean paste).