Spiced Doenjang Greens

Having grown up in the South, I’ve developed an affinity for many Southern food traditions. How can you say no to buttery skillet cornbread, chicken and pastry, Eastern style barbeque or oyster roasts? Along with those delectable dishes, I’ve picked up the habit of eating greens on New Year’s in order to usher in good luck. In keeping with my acquired Southern  customs and celebrating my current South Korea environment, I came up with this twist on the Southern New Year’s staple featuring baby bok choy and doenjang.


Doenjang is a Korean seasoning paste made from fermented soybeans and brine. It’s similar to Japan’s miso. Just like many condiments, doenjang companies each have their own proprietary blend with varying additions of flavor-enhancing items such as wheat, rice or dried fish. This condiment packs a punch, so be sure to go easy on it if it’s your first time using it.



Spiced Doenjang Greens


  • 1 pound baby bok choy, quartered
  • 1 teaspoon doenjang
  • 1/4 teaspoon honey
  • red chili flakes and/or black pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil


  1. Heat a saute pan over medium high heat until hot.
  2. Add in the canola oil, then the quartered baby bok choy.
  3. Saute greens until they’re 50% of the way cooked how you like them. (I prefer mine to be on the crunchier side, so I cooked them for about 5 minutes).
  4. Add in the doenjang, honey and red chili flakes and/or black pepper.
  5. Mix thoroughly to make sure all the greens are coated in the seasonings.
  6. Serve hot as is or with some freshly steamed jasmine rice.

Note: You can use whatever leafy greens you can find or like! Baby spinach, kale and collards will also work well. Doenjang can be found in the Asian aisle of most grocery stores or in the Korean section of your local International market.

Recipe versatility note: Only have hearty greens on hand like kale, mustard or collard greens? No problem! This recipe would easily work in a slow cooker or simmered on the stove over low heat to get that low and slow cooked greens taste many of my Southern friends are familiar with. Add in a cup or two of stock (vegetable or chicken would work well) to ensure the greens are hydrated and to create that delicious potlikker.


This umami-packed, low FODMAP recipe will surely be the standout on your New Year’s table. What’s a traditional New Year’s food that always makes it to your gathering? Let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to subscribe to my blog and check in for my regular posts over on InstagramFacebook and Twitter.

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