Asian Sesame Salad with Kongjang and Egg

This winter our friends at Firefly Fields gifted us with a 5 pound bag of dried soybeans. At that point, I’d never before cooked with soybeans. So I started searching for recipes, and I came upon this one for sweet and sour soybeans, or kongjang. I substituted local honey for the agave, and I added cornstarch at the end to thicken them. And we loved them! The umami was so strong, one of our kids even asked if we were eating bacon. Nope, not this time–soybeans!

We also discovered that kongjang works perfectly as a salad topping, especially when combined with our super fresh salad mix, grated carrots and cabbage, pastured-raised egg, toasted sesame seeds, and garlicky vinagaigrette.

As always, the quality of your ingredients makes all the difference! Good thing you can purchase Firefly Fields organic soybeans, local honey, and our organic, grown-at-our-farm greens and veggies for this recipe right from our farm stand!

Asian Sesame Salad

Asian Sesame Salad with Kongjang and Egg

A delicious, savory salad perfect for a main dish.
Prep Time45 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 10 minutes
Course: Salad
Servings: 6 people


  • cutting board
  • chef's knife
  • saucepan, medium
  • spoon


  • 1 cup dried soybeans soaked overnight
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 9 cloves garlic, divided minced
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 6 eggs hardboiled
  • 2 shallots, medium minced
  • 1.5 tsp kosher salt
  • 5 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 pound salad mix
  • 1 carrot grated
  • 1/2 cabbage, small grated
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds toasted


  • For the kongjang:
  • Place soybeans in sauce pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook for 30-40 minutes, uncovered. Remove from heat and drain.
  • Heat the same sauce pan over medium heat. Return drained soybeans to the pan, then add honey, soy sauce, sesame oil, and 4 minced garlic cloves. Bring to a boil, stirring occassionally. Immediately lower heat, then cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes, or until soybeans are at desired tenderness *see note. Stir occassionally during simmering.
  • Uncover and stir. In a small bowl, mix about 1 Tbsp cold water to cornstarch, stir to dissolve, then add cornstarch to soybeans. Stir until thick. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • For the garlic vinaigrette:
  • Placed 5 minced garlic cloves and minced shallots in a pint or quart-sized ball jar.
  • Add kosher salt and sugar. Muddle together with bottom of wooden spoon.
  • Add rice vinegar, canola oil, and sesame oil. Shake jar until mixed.
  • For salad assembly for 6 meal-sized salads:
  • Peel 6 hardboiled eggs. Slice into 4-5 rounds.
  • Fill each plate or salad bowl with 2-3 ounces of salad mix.
  • Divide toppings (grated carrot, grated cabbage, konjgang, sesame seeds) into 6 equal parts. Sprinkle each salad with carrot, cabbage, and kongjang.
  • Add hardboiled egg slices (one egg per salad) to top of salad. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Drizzle dressing just before eating. Enjoy!


*soybeans are slightly different than other beans in that they have a firmer texture. Ideal finished texture will be slightly firm, but not crunchy. 


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