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          Doenjang guk[Soybean Paste Soup]
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          • 요약설명 Soup Made with Healthy Soybean Paste

          Doenjang-guk (soybean paste soup) is a soup made from a special fermented bean paste (Doenjang) and meat, seafood, or vegetables. It is a marriage of healthy soybean paste with nutritious vegetables rich in fiber and vitamins. Also called Tojang-guk.

          Doenjang from the Birthplace of the Soybean
          Soybeans are believed to have originated in the southern part of Manchuria, in the historical territory of Goguryeo (one of the ancient Korean kingdoms). This means that Korea is most likely birthplace of the soybean. The cultivation of soybeans in Korea dates back to at least 4,000 years ago. Koreans also enjoy a long history of eating Doenjang, made by fermenting soybeans. Our ancestors believed that the tastiest Doenjang is made on the Malnal (the day of the horse according to the Chinese zodiacal signs) of the first month of the lunar calendar. It might seem that there is some profound source behind this belief, but as a matter of fact, the reason is rather simple: they believed that Daknal (the day of chicken) and Malnal (the day of horse) must be the best days for making Doenjang because Daknal is pronounced similarly to ‘Dal-da’ (sweet in Korean) and Malnal sounds like ‘Mat-it-da’ (delicious). These days were chosen from among the first twelve days of the Lunar New Year. If they missed the first Malnal, they waited for the next Malnal to come around. There are also other theories as to why Doenjang was made on the day of the horse. Some say it’s because soybeans, the main ingredient in Doenjang, is a favorite food of horses. Others claim it represents the hope that the color of the Doenjang appear as rich as horse’s blood. Doenjang was not just a foodstuff; it was a sacred thing. Therefore, people avoided any impurities starting three days before making it and washed themselves thoroughly on the day of preparation. It is said that women even made Doenjang with their mouths covered with paper in order to keep the sauce from being tainted with any negative energy coming out of their lips.

          The Centenarians’ Secret to Longevity
          Recently, soybean paste has been a focus of global attention as a healthy condiment rich in functional compounds that are anti-cancerous. In a survey taken among Koreans over 100 years old, 94.9 p

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