Jang, Korean Food
Jang is one of the Korean people's favourite national foods with a long history.
It is made from bean and salt with zymotechnics. Koreans have long eaten bean and salt, the raw materials of jang, since ancient times. This means jang has a long history. Korean ancestors grew beans and boiled them before feeding the cattle or horses. Once they noticed the animals eat mouldy fallen beans with relish. Now they intentionally fermented and mashed the boiled beans and mixed them with salt before eating. This was how jang came. It was called the fermented beans in some regions.
Later, people developed soy sauce by mixing the fermented beans with water and salt and leaving them for several days until boiling down the sieved liquid from the mixture. The leftover material was mixed with malt powders and salt to make paste. Later when they began to grow red pepper, they prepared peppered bean paste, as well.
Like this, as jang was developed into varieties of fermented beans, soy sauce, bean paste and peppered bean paste, it became a special Korean side dish.
A mural in the early 5th century’s tumulus in Tokhung-ri, Kangso District, Nampho City, has a record that people who were mobilized for the building of the tumulus ate a storeroom of jang along with white rice, meat and wine during its construction—this shows well that jang was already in wide use in the Koguryo dynasty.
Now the Korean jang created by the Korean people’s wisdom and rich living experience, has become various in kind and more delicious. It is one of indispensable health foods of the Koreans.