Korean Black Beans (Kongjaban)

Kongjaban (Korean Black Beans) | www.kimchimom.com

Throughout my blogging “career”, I’ve had many moments where I’ve just wanted to disconnect and just take everything offline. Lately this feeling has been triggered by what I’ve been reading online about friends and fellow bloggers getting their material plagiarized or being harassed by meanies. Such a waste of energy, don’t you agree? Ninety percent of the time, I bide my time in my food blogger bubble surrounding myself with who I think are good and hardworking folks (namely the Sunday Supper crew!), but I need to be reminded that as much as there are jerks (I’m being nice) out there, there are as many good people.

I’m not perfect and believe me, I have my not-so-nice moments, but I really don’t understand those who consciously spend their energy and time harassing strangers. It just does not make sense to me. As bloggers, writers, creators, we all striving to have our work seen or voices heard. I’m all for the encouragement and support for each other. It took a lot of courage to make that first step into the blogging world, and certainly a lot of heart, soul, and energy goes into maintaining our work. Life’s too short to be crapping on others for no good reason. Let’s move on, shall we?

I can’t offer any Can’t We All Get Along Cookies like my friend Nance, but I can give you a recipe for beans. Maybe I should call these Let’s Hug It Out Beans. :-)

Notes: Kongjaban is a little salty and a little sweet with a lot of nuttiness and perfect with a bowl of rice. They are so addictive, you can’t stop at one. If you don’t have corn syrup, just double the amount of brown sugar. Also note that the resulting beans should be firm, not rock hard nor soft. 


8 ounces (a little over 1 cup) dried black beans
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
3 Tablespoons corn syrup
2 Tablespoon sesame seeds

1 – Soak the beans in cold water for about 2 hours.

2 – Drain and rinse. In a large pot, add beans and add enough water to just cover the beans (about 2 cups of water). Bring the beans to a boil. Simmer on high for about 5 minutes. Stir in soy sauce, brown sugar, corn syrup.

3 – Lower the heat to medium and let simmer for another 25-30 minutes.  Taste and make sure the beans are firm and not rock hard nor mushy. The water should be mostly gone and the beans should be glistening.

4 – Take the beans off the heat and stir in the sesame seeds.

5 – Once cooled to room temperature, the beans can be transferred to an airtight food storage container and refrigerated. It’ll keep for a while. :-)


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  • Nancy

    Yes! I love the name “let’s hug it out beans”. Thanks for linking to my post. I fully agree – I don’t understand how people can be that disgustingly vicious. I’ve been so fortunate to fall in with the Sunday Supper crowd – you guys have been so warm and supportive. I couldn’t have asked for better blogging friends. This bean dish is so simple and yummy. I’d definitely hug whoever makes it for me!

    • kimchi_mom


  • http://yummysmells.blogspot.com/ Sarah R

    My black beans take a lot longer than 15 minutes to cook, even when soaked – black beans take at least an hour! Do you use a precooked bean?

    • kimchi_mom

      HI Sarah – The beans for this dish are more par-cooked versus fully cooked. The result is similar to that of cooked edamame. The beans should not be soft for this dish.

  • http://twitter.com/FarmgirlGourmet Heather Scholten


    • kimchi_mom

      Thanks Heather!

  • Miss Kim

    Kongjaban was one of my favorite banchans (side
    dishes) growing up. But I haven’t had in a while. Seeing this post makes me
    crave some again.

    As a new blogger, I have yet to have my experiences with haters and plagiarizers. But
    you are absolutely right. Life is way too short to stress over those people who
    have no integrity or anything better to do with their time. But I must say, the
    sadistic side of me kind of wonders what my first negative feedback by a “meanie”
    would be…lol Maybe part of it is from the frustration of being clueless of what
    people think so far. Any type of feedback would be welcomed at this point. I have so much to explore in the world of blogging. I’m sure you can relate on some level how I feel (how you felt in the early stages of blogging) hehe…or maybe not.

    • kimchi_mom

      I’ve had one blogger copy an entire recipe of mine. I emailed her and politely asked her to just delete the “method” part of the recipe and link it back to my site. She was totally nice and did what I asked her. I think I was lucky. So you have to tell me about your blog and the send me the link! I would love to check it out!

  • http://twitter.com/MyKoreanKitchn Sue

    Your picture looks gorgeous!
    And it really drains my energy if I have to battle for my stolen copyright. Not
    very nice.

  • Gina

    I am beyond excited to try this~ Also I read your “about,” and I am so inspired now! I’ve been realizing that my meals are not at all well-rounded (hubby is a carnivore so they are 75% meat!)…how awesome would it be to have a fridge full of banchan to pull out whenever I wanted! Love your blog~!

    • kimchi_mom

      Hi Gina! Thanks so much for visiting! I hope the recipes work out for you! My kids will only eat veggies if they’re prepared Korean style so it’s a lot of banchan in our household!

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  • Diane

    Just had beans like this at a Korean BBQ yesterday and the search was on to find the recipe. Thank you very much. Mine should be done in about 3 hrs.