Black Bean JaBan

콩자반, KongJaBan

Kongjaban is a common Korean side dish made from black beans. It is very popular for lunch boxes because it is easy to make and it lasts a long time in the refrigerator. The bean flavor mixed with soy sauce and sugar gives it good flavor.

Yield: 1 Pint

Short Korean Lesson

  • GeomJung (검정) = Black
  • Kong (콩) = Bean

Video Instructions

Main Ingredients

  • 1½ Cups Dried Black Beans
  • 3 Cups Water
  • ½ Cup Soy Sauce
  • 4 Tbsp Corn Syrup
  • 4 Tbsp Sugar
  • ½ Tbsp Sesame Seeds



Wash 1½ cups of dried black beans several times and soak them in water for 30 minutes.


In a pan add the black beans and 3 cups of water.


Boil them on high for about 20 to 25 minutes: until the water is reduced in half.


Add ½ cup of soy sauce.


Then add 4 Tbsp of corn syrup and 4 Tbsp of sugar depending on your tastes. You can skip the corn syrup and use sugar or honey instead.


Reduce the temperature to medium-high, and cook them for 20 to 25 minutes: until the liquid is almost gone. Watch carefully not to burn them.


Sprinkle ½ Tbsp of sesame seeds on them, and cook them for 5 more minutes on low. Turn off the heat.


My husband likes this side dish. :) I hope you will like it too. Thanks!


  1. BananaQs says

    Trying to lessen the sugar intake I only used honey. It was ok but definitely not as sweet. But the beans aren’t nice and shiny like your picture or my grandma’s. Where did I go wrong? Thanks btw with all of your yummy recipes that make it possible for us to remember what is was like being at home.

  2. Olivia says

    Hi Aeri,

    Thank you so much for sharing your cooking knowledge with all of us! I have a question about the black beans. I understand that the black bean usually used in this dish is a black soybean called seoritae (서리태). It is difficult for me to find in rural USA. Can I substitute using an American black bean?

    Thank you so much!

  3. lauren says

    Hi Aeri. Im korean but raised in the US since I was 2 so korean is my second language. Its so great to find a site with 전통 korean food but in english so I can understand them! Thanks alot and keep up the great work!

  4. Sung says

    Aeri ㅠ.ㅠ I soaked the beans overnight, and the beans didn’t turn out well~~ You said to soak them for 30 minutes on purpose, right? ^^” Thanks so much for your recipes! I’m just learning how to cook and I’m learning a lot from you! <3 Love your daily Bible verses as well hehe~

    • says

      hi Anchan,
      sometimes.. strong honey flavor can ruin the flavor for the dish.. so I will can use sugar instead… (maybe some sugar and some honey..)

  5. Emily Jang says

    Hi Aeri, I am a huge fan of the look & feel of your website and even more so your recipes!! I just tried this one and my husband said it’s the best he’s ever had. It’s also my favorite banchan in Korean restaurants. I’m slowly trying to learn all my favorite Korean recipes! Thank you so much for these recipes…I’ve already bookmarked over a few dozen recipes. I’m really excited!!! ^_^

  6. says

    Thanks for this Korean Foodie blog. I am really interested in Korean food and I felt like I hit the jackpot when I stumbled upon your site, heh.

    I had some issues with this recipe, though. I soaked the black beans for half an hour and then I boiled on high for 20-25 minutes, with 3 cups of water as requested. However after just a few minutes, the water was mostly gone and I had to keep adding water.

    I boiled until about 30 minutes.. and then added the other ingredients. The same thing happened.. Even on the medium, the water would disappear well before the beans were finished cooking.

    I am so confused. :oops:

    • says

      hi Allison,
      Oh.. I’m sorry to hear that you had some problem. Sometimes it seems like.. some beans have been dried longer than others.. that case it might take longer to soaked and cooked (to make them softer).. so if you try it again.. make sure your beans becomes not hard anymore.. (more than half cooked) tasting one cooked bean.. before you add the seasoning ingredients..and finish cooking rest…you can also use the cover the lid to boil the beans.. so you will lose the liquid slower.. thanks

  7. Mary Ann says

    Hi Aeri
    I lived in Korea yearsago and still cook Korean food almost every other week. So your receipes taste the most authentic. I need a recepie for Lotus root in Soy Sauce. Hope you can help.

  8. Jessica says

    Hi Aeri! I’m so glad I came across this recipe of yours! I ate this when I had a vacation in Korea n loved it! I even asked the restaurant if they could sell me some so I can bring hone but unfortunately they don’t sell it.

    Anyway, I’ll be making this dish this weekend n I want to clarify sone things just so I’ll get it right.

    1) Is the soy sauce used light soy sauce (more watery n less saltish) or dark soy sauce (saltier n thicker)?

    2) Do you cover the pot when cooking it? Do I need to constantly stir the beans to prevent them from getting burned?

    Sorry for asking so many questions. (´・_・`)

    • says

      hi Jessica,
      I’m very sorry for late reply. :cry:
      Korean soy sauce is a little different from Chinese soy sauce. (light and dark) so whatever you use, adjust the saltness with your taste with that soy sauce. I don’t cover the lid..and you can just stir sometimes.. :) You didn’t ask many questions.. don’t feel sorry. I’m sorry again for my late reply. thanks

  9. ymase says

    Hi Aeri

    I’ve tried this dish twice. I noticed that the bean becomes chewy when stored in the fridge.

    The second attempt I decided to boil the beans longer. It was soft but becomes chewy after I refridgerate it. Is this normal?

    I like this dish b’cos I didn’t know how to cook black beans before and it taste delicious. too.

  10. Judith says

    Hi Aeri,

    Thanks so much for sharing all of these awesome recipes! Your website is quickly becoming my #1 go-to site for Korean food references. Speaking of which, the black bean side dish is one of my favorite Korean side dishes. I’ve tried making it 3 times so far and am still fine-tuning it. One question that I have is, in the end when there’s residual liquid in the pot, do you store the beans soaked in the liquid or do you remove the liquid and then store the beans by themselves? I hope that makes sense.
    Anyway, love your website (and videos!). I’m looking forward to more tasty stuff!

    - Judith

    • says

      hi Judith,
      I keep all the beans and the liquid together.. the liquid helps keep the bean not too try..and gives flavor to the beans too.. so..^^
      Thanks ~~~

  11. shernel says

    I made these night although they turned out great they weren’t as crunch as the ones I bought from the korean market. Is there anyway to give them a cruncher texture?

    • says

      hi shernel,
      2 things you can do..
      Reduce the time for soaking the beans in water… because the reason you soak the beans in water before you cook them is… to make the beans softer.
      and.. increase the amount of corn syrup.. instead reduce the amount of sugar… corn syrup makes the bean texture harder.. ^^

  12. says

    Oh my gosh, i missed everything! Sister, whenever i go into a korean restaurant, i crave for this all the time, it’s was awesome , i love it!! SO DELICIOUS! Thanks for sharing, but i can’t get the bean here…><

    • says

      Hi chuiyew,
      Oh~~ you love this. ^^ aha… the price for Korean food in a Korean restaurant over there is expensive ??? Have a great week.

      [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ’0 which is not a hashcash value.

  13. tjenelle says

    Hi aeri thank you for the recipe this may sound stupid but do you eat this with chopsticks or a spoon?
    thank you for all your dedication!

    • says

      Hi tjenelle,
      haha.. your question is not stupid..but cute.. my husband gave you an answer.. he said.. greedy person eats it with spoon..and patience person eats it with chopstick. lol My answer is… you can eat it with whatever you feel comfortable to eat. It’s kind of salty you might want.. one or two pieces for your spoonful of maybe chopstick is more logical ?? hehe thanks for cute question.

      p.s Aha, if you wondered about Korean table manner for eating.. I can say.. we use spoon for rice and soup.. or some broth from side-dish…. and chopsticks for noodles or side-dishes. hehe thanks !!

  14. layping says

    finally, i made this today. it was a sure winner with my hubby and children. as for me, i’m not so fond of beans but i must say this is delicious. please post more side dishes! i like your recipes so much ;-)

  15. crzycpl says

    Hi Aeri! It has been a long time since I’ve visited your website and I’m glad to see you are still updating it with new recipes. I’ve seen Koreans eat this dish before but have always wondered what it was. Thanks for sharing this recipe! I am visiting Seoul in December and can’t wait to try out all the food!!

    • says

      Hi crzycpl,
      Happy to see you again~~ wow you will visit seoul in December ??? oh… please take me with you…. hehe joke. I hope you have wonderful time and try lots of delicious Korean food. I envy you..:) thanks

  16. s_bunny says

    Hi Aeri!! Thank you so much for your wonderful site, I am soooo glad I came across it. I am visiting my korean market today to buy the ingredients. I plan to make a few of the side dishes you have posted here to begin my journey of learning to make korean food. I have a question for you – do you use dry uncooked black beans? I have some canned black beans at home, and I believe those usually come cooked already. Does this change how long I cook the beans?

    • says

      hi s_bunny,
      Nice to meet you !!! :)
      yes, I used dry uncooked black beans… actually my husband suggested me to try black beans from can as you mentioned..I didn’t try it yet.. so can’t tell the result..but I might try that way too someday. but clear thing Korea..we use dried black bean..not from can.. ^^

  17. Jessica says

    Oh man, kongjaban is my favorite banchan, but my mom never makes it for me. Now I can make it for myself! Thanks Aeri!

    • says

      Hi Jessica,
      haha… you like kongjaban ??? My husband likes it…but not me.. oops..hehe Yes, now you can make it for yourself. I hope you like this recipe. thanks :)

  18. JT says

    Aeri! I actually like to eat this with jjuk. One question though. Do you rinse the beans after you soak them and use fresh clean water to boil them in?

  19. Jennifer says

    Hi Aeri,

    I’m making it right now. I’m sure it will be great like all of you other dishes! My daughter loves this dish.

    Did you have your baby?

    Thanks as always!

    • says

      Hi Jennifer,
      Oh, you already tried this one??? hehe..I hope your daughter likes this recipe too. Thanks !!! Oh.. baby?? not yet.. It will be November 17th.. :)

  20. layping says

    hi, i had done a soy bean side dish. so, i am really for black bean’s. thanks for your recipe. good to try s’thing new ;-)

  21. farleen says


    i have never had this before! i might try this and let you know if i like it. I’m sure i will though… :)

    nice choice of dishes and i like the korean paper underneath. :) miss you! ;)

    • says

      hi farleen,
      oooooooooo !!! haha.. cute…
      To be honest, this is one side-dish I don’t like… sh~~~ My mom tried to feed me this when I was little… I didn’t want to eat… It’s still not my type of food. lol… but my husband loves it… so I will see if farleen likes it. Oh.. you nocited the Korean paper..hehe I like that too. thanks :)

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