Last week was such a good week that I ended up spending the first half of this week studying various resources online and trying to solve a personal problem. My last recipe was a spicy Korean dish that many of you were interested in trying, but might have found a bit too adventurous for your tastes. No hard feelings! Through the discussion of that recipe, I met Jhuls from The Not So Creative Cook (here’s her recipe for spicy Korean beef stir fry). She mentioned how she would like to try Jjajangmyeon, a popular Korean dish, so I have decided to write a recipe for Paula’s Homemade Jjajangmyeon.
What is Jjajangmyeon?
Jjajangmyeon is a popular dish served in Korean owned Chinese restaurants. It is a noodle dish mixed with a special black bean sauce. There are different styles to this dish, but basically you get to add whatever veggies and meat you like. Are you ready for another foodie adventure?
Paula’s Homemade Jjajangmyeon Recipe
The thing about my home cooking is that I never measure any ingredients out. I go by the look, feel, and taste of the food in progress to decide if I need to adjust anything. I’m going to try and write a good recipe for you to follow along, but trust yourself to make the right judgement!
- Jar of 볶음 짜장 (bokkeum jjajang), which is fermented black bean paste
- Some pork (or beef)
- Some shrimp
- Green onion
- Olive oil
- Starch powder
- Kalguksu noodles 칼국수 (Asian flat noodles) or thin spaghetti noodles
The key ingredient for this recipe is the jar of fermented black bean paste. Here is the one I used this time around, but there are plenty of brands to choose from.
- Chop and dice the green onions, onion, potato, carrot, squash, shrimp, and pork into tiny pieces. You can store the pieces in one large bowl, except for the green onions and pork. Put the green onion into the empty sauce pot.
- Add olive oil. I add just until it barely covers the bottom of the pot, but not too much. You don’t want oily sauce. Heat the pot on medium heat and fry the green onion pieces a bit. Add pork and continue to fry until meat is cooked.
- Add the rest of the diced pieces into the pot. Mix well so that the olive oil mixture somewhat coats most of the entire contents.
- Add 2 to 3 spoonfuls of the black bean paste and mix well for about a minute. You don’t want the mixture sitting for too long since it can burn.
- Add some water to the pot so that you can see the water level and let the pot come to a boil. Be sure to stir occasionally. In a separate bowl, mix starch and water in a 1:1 ratio. Add the starch mixture to the pot to thicken the sauce. If you want thicker sauce, slowly stir in some more of the starch mix. Add water to thin it out. Adjust as necessary.
- Add sauce to a bowl of cooked noodles, mix and eat. You can also mix with rice. I prefer using kalguksu noodles (boil for 4 minutes), but you can use thin spaghetti noodles (boil for 12 minutes) as well.
- Garnish with thin cucumber slices and enjoy.
There you have it, a bowl of Jjajangmyeon. The tricky part is getting the consistency of the sauce right. I hope you enjoy!
Fun Fact: Korea has a made-up holiday just for eating Jjajangmyeon. It’s called Black Day and it falls on April 14. This day is for all the single people who couldn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day or White Day (March 14).
Will you try Jjajangmyeon on Black Day, regardless of your marital status? Let me know if you’d like to see another Korean recipe and don’t forget to subscribe to the newsletter.