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The 2 Jangs of Korean Kitchen – Gochujang, Doenjang

Korean food is getting famous these days, thanks to the K-Dramas where almost every episode shows one or the other delicacy relished by the cast.

Some historian say that the history of these pastes goes back before the famous 3 kingdoms. In Samguk Sagi, a historical record of the Three Kingdoms era, it is written that doenjang and ganjang along with meju and jeotgal were prepared for the wedding ceremony of the King Sinmun in February 683.

For the chilli paste, it has commonly been assumed that spicy jang varieties were made using black peppers and chopi before the introduction of chili peppers by Japanese in 1592. But some of them say that Korea had different version of chillies and so they made their chili paste using them.


Both of these pastes are made with a common process of fermentation. It is a known fact that Koreans have amazing fermenting skills. This skill in fermenting was also applied to Kimchi, Gochujang and Doenjang, all popular among Korean since long ago.

Doenjang – The Soybean Paste

chilli paste

This can be eaten with vegetables or can be used as a seasoning or dip. It is rich in flavonoids and beneficial vitamins, minerals, and plant hormones (phytoestrogens) which are sometimes claimed to possess anti-carcinogenic properties. Studies suggest that it also can aid to normal growth of blood vessels and can reduce the chances of blood vessel related diseases. It also helps in reducing visceral fat.

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Gochujang – The Red Chili Paste

chilli paste

Gochujang is used in various dishes such as bibimbap and tteokbokki, and in salads, stews, soups, and marinated meat dishes. Gochujang may make dishes spicier but also can make dishes sweeter and smokier.

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