What is Korean black bean paste (Chunjang)? Let’s learn!
Korean black bean paste (Chunjang, 춘장) is made from a salty fermented soybean and coloured with caramel. It is an essential condiment to make “Korean black bean sauce noodles (Jajangmyeon, 자장면)“.
It has a slightly bitter and salty taste on its own, so some sugar is added when making Korean black bean sauce (Jajang, 자장: stir-fried Korean black bean paste with meat & vegetables).
While Korean black bean paste may have been introduced by a Chinese merchant into Korea, it is different to Chinese black bean paste as it evolved to meet Korean’s taste buds.
The above container of black bean paste (500g) was purchased for $3.30 (AUD) and this or a similar one should be available from any Korean/Asian grocery store.
An alternative to this Korean black bean paste is Korean black bean sauce powder, as below. It is easier to use than the paste as all you need to do is dissolve the powder with water. However, it doesn’t give as deep flavour as the paste.