Doenjang, otherwise known as soybean paste, is a Korean fermented ingredient used in much of the cultural cuisine. The word ‘doenjang’ (된장) derives from ‘doen’ (된) meaning ‘thick or hard’ and ‘jang’ (장) meaning ‘paste.’ This Korean ingredient has a complexly earthy and salty flavor with a rich umami profile unique to Korean cooking.
I have gotten a few emails from readers asking a few common questions: 1) how do you distinguish between the two sprouts, 2) how do people in South Korea use these sprouts differently, 3) do these sprouts taste different? So, here, we will compare the two sprouts and ask the question: ‘soybean sprouts vs mung bean sprouts, what is the difference?’
Soybeans are a type of legume widely grown and consumed in East Asia. In South Korea, they are used to make culturally significant foods such as tofu, doenjang (fermented soybean paste), soy sauce, and more. But, beyond the beans, people in Korea use the sprouts in a multitude of different ways as well. Here, we will discuss the use of soybean sprouts in Korean cooking as well as the growing season and where to buy them.