If you’re a Korean drama fan, you’ve probably watched scenes of Koreans slurping up bowls of cooked noodles doused in a dark, chunky sauce with meat and vegetables. Jjajangmyeon, a comfort food that brings delight with every slurp and a cultural icon at par with kimchi.
Although a native dish in China called zha jiang mien, it was introduced to the Koreans by Shandong immigrants about 1000 years ago. Treated more as a dish that’s served for special occasions like birthdays, festivities and weddings during the old days, it has now shifted from a special treat to fast food. If you step into Korea, you’ll see many red neon signs of jjajangmyeon joints than the yellow arches of McDonalds.
While jjajangmyeon is easily available just a phone call away for delivery in Korea, it’s relatively impossible to find a really good jjajangmyeon here. But all is not lost if you are hit with huge craving of a hearty, satisfying, umami-rich bowl for black bean noodles after binge-watching a Korean drama. We have the recipe here for you.
• 340g fresh jjajangmeyon/udon noodles. You can substitute for ramen noodles too
• 5 tablespoons Korean black bean paste or chunjang
• 3 tablespoons oil
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 120g meat of your choice
• 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
• ½ teaspoon grated ginger
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 1 large onion
• 100g cabbage
• ½ zucchini
• Julienne cucumber for garnish
• 1 cup chicken stock or water
• 1 tablespoon corn starch dissolved in ¼ cup of water
- Cut your meat into ½ – ¾ inch cubes and marinate them with ginger, salt and pepper. Similarly, cut your vegetables in similar sizes as your meat.
- Add the black bean paste in a small pan with some oil, sugar and oyster sauce. Fry it over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
- In a large pan, heat a tablespoon of oil and stir fry the meat till it’s no longer pink. Add in the vegetables and cook till it is soft.
- Stir in the black bean paste and mix well until all the meat and vegetables are well coated with the paste.
- Add in the stock or water and bring to boil. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Stir in the starch mixture and cook till the sauce thickens. Add in more sugar to taste.
- Boil the noodles till al dente. Dish it out into serving sizes. Spoon the sauce over the noodles and garnish with julienne cucumbers.