The history of Doenjang begins before the period of three kingdoms. Books from the Chosun dynasty explain the way to make good Doenjang, saying that if doenjang in a house tastes bad, food in the house tastes bad. This means doenjang has been an important food in Korea for a long time.
The main ingredients of Doenjang are sea water and Meju. The basic way to make Doenjang is to take Mejus and put them into big jars with sea water. Bad bacteria and odor are removed by adding charcoal and sun-dried chili peppers. Liquid is then taken out to make Korean soy sauce. This sauce takes about 20 to 30 days to make. The Mejus are taken out from the jar and tempered. Salt and soy sauce is added on this paste and the paste is put in jars again. After sun-drying for several days, it becomes Doenjang.
There are several kinds of Doenjang; Chungukjang, Makjang, Dambukjang, BbamjangBbagaejang, Patjang, Jipjang, Garoojang, and Borijang. Each is made in different ways using different ingredients or at different times of the year. For example, Chungukjang is made within two to three days, whereas the other take longer time to make. Patjang uses red bean. Makjang is made in Spring. Moreover there are several attempts to improve doenjang using additional ngredients, such as green tea.
Many traditional Korean foods, which are well known as healthy food, uses Doenjang as their ingredients. Doenjang Jjigae and Chungukjang JJigae are examples of this. Also, Korean have doenjang when they eat Ssambop, Samgyupsal, etc.
According to recent research, Doenjang has several materials that prevent cancer. Doenjang is very nutritious. Since Doenjang is a fermented food like yogurt and cheese, it is said that the older it is, the better it is.
- "Antimutagenic Foods - Doenjang's active compounds are genistein and linoleic...". newsrx.com. http://www.newsrx.com/newsletters/Cancer-Weekly/2003-05-20/0520200333318CW.html. Retrieved 30 April 2010.
- KM.Hwang et al., Doenjang Extract Has Anticancer Activity and Induces Apoptosis in AGS Human Gastric Adenocarcinoma, Journal of Food Science and Nutrition Vol.10 No.2, 2005. June
- Cancer Weekly, Doenjang's active compounds are genistein and linoleic acid, published on 2003. May