All You Need to Know About Unique South Korean Dish, Jjajangmyeon or Black Bean Noodles!
Do you know about these black bean noodles from Korea? You might have seen them before, especially if you’re a fan of Korean drama, since this dish is often makes little appearances in some Korean dramas when the character is having lunch or dinner. The name of the dish that we’re going to talk about is Jjajangmyeon, or if we translate it to English, it’s called Black Bean Noodles.
Chinese cuisine is very popular among the Korean people. Jjajangmyeon is a Chinese-Korean food, which is why it’s so popular with many Koreans, and also one of the reasons it’s often being eaten by characters in dramas or reality shows. In addition to Jjajangmyeon, Jjampong and Tangsuyuk are becoming the other main dishes in Chinese-Korean cuisine that could be considered the stars of the Korean culinary world.
It all started in the 19th century. Since China’s geographical location is very close to Korea, Chinese citizens who moved to Korea brought with them dishes from their home country, combining them over time with the taste of Korea, creating a Chinese-Korean fusion.
Would you like to learn more about jjajangmyeon is? Have you ever wanted to taste them, even when you’ve never been to Korea? Well then, let’s take a look at the detailed information about jjajangmyeon down below!
Jjajangmyeon, Korean Black Bean Noodles
Since we’re talking about the tasty cuisine called Jjajangmyeon, why don’t we take a look at some pictures of the dish, first?
Looking at those pictures of Jjajangmyeon must be making you hungry.
Are you curious about what goes inside this Jjajangmyeon that make it looks black? Is it soy sauce? How does it taste? Does it contain pork or beef? Oh, all the questions about Jjajangmyeon only make us hungry again!
Jjajangmyeon is a noodle dish made with black beans, which is what gives the sauce its color. Instead of soy sauce, the sauce is a from sweet bean sauce, or chunjang. For additional protein and complimentary flavors, Jjajangmyeon can be eaten with sliced pork, beef, or seafood as you wish. It’s also usually eaten with vegetables like onion, carrot, cabbage, and cucumber. Before you start eating it, you need to mix all the elements together to get Jjajangmyeon’s authentic taste.
If you have ever watched scenes where the character in a drama or in reality show is eating Jjajangmyeon in a carry-out package, they usually shake it up first to mix it. You can also mix it up manually with chopsticks.
Aside from the delicious taste, Jjajangmyeon is also popular in Korea because it’s quite inexpensive compared to some other dishes. We talked about the carry-out package of Jjajangmyeon before, and how it often appears on some Korean dramas or reality shows. It’s because ordering Jjajangmyeon from Chinese restaurants is easy. To order it, you can just call in the order and the restaurants will deliver it to you right away, anywhere you want!
In Korea, there is also a tradition about eating Jjajangmyeon. The day is called Black Day, and it’s a day where singles celebrate their loneliness and eat Jjajangmyeon. Black Day is April 14th, following the tradition of Valentine’s Day, which is on February 14th, and White Day, which is on March 14th.
Not only do many singles eat Jjajangmyeon on Black Day, but many of the also wear black clothes. Some restaurants offer discounts, promotions, or various challenges around eating Jjajangmyeon. It may be all about marketing, but it’s a fun tradition, right?
How Do You Make This Dish?
You must be starting to crave these noodles by now. Don’t worry, if you can’t find Jjajangmyeon in a restaurant near you, you can make it yourself! Making homemade Jjajangmyeon is pretty easy, and it’s also a lot cheaper than ordering it from a restaurant. Remember to make sure you have all the main ingredients that you’ll need, or else you can’t cook a Jjajangmyeon.
Okay, let’s get started. The first thing you need to know is what ingredients you’ll need.
Based on Chef Julie Yoon‘s blog, this is the list of ingredients that you need to make a Jjajangmyeon. It makes two servings.
- 12 – 14 ounces fresh Jjajangmyeon (or udon) noodles
- 1 boneless pork loin chop (about 1 ½ inches thick), cut into ½ inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon Mirin
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Vegetable oil for the pan
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 small carrot, peeled and diced
- ½ of a zucchini, diced
- 1 cup of chopped green cabbage
- 5 tablespoons of Jjajang sauce (Korean black bean paste. Make sure it says “roasted.”)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon Oyster sauce
- 1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
- ½ tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons water
- ½ a cucumber, cut into matchsticks for garnish
- Toss the pork with the mirin, as well as salt and pepper to taste. Marinate for a few minutes. Heat a large pan with a little oil. Brown the pork in the pan, then transfer to a plate. Add a little more oil to the pan if needed, along with all the vegetables. Cook until soft, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil.
- Stir the black bean paste, oyster sauce, and sugar together in a small bowl. Add to the vegetables in the pan and coat well with the paste. Pour in the chicken broth and bring it to a boil. Cook for about 3-4 minutes. Add the dissolved starch to the pan and cook briefly until the sauce is thickened. Add back the pork. Taste the sauce and adjust seasonings to your liking, ie: add more sugar, a splash of water, etc.
- Add the noodles to the boiling water. Cook according to the package instructions, or whenever they float to the top (if using fresh noodles), and drain. Do not overcook. The noodles should have a bit of a bite to them. Place some noodles in each bowl. Spoon the sauce over the noodles and garnish with the cucumber matchsticks. Mix and eat!
Jjajangmyeon in Other Forms
If you’re running out of some of the ingredients or you’re too busy to make Jjajangmyeon at home, why don’t you buy the instant Jjajangmyeon instead? Let’s find the details below!
Yes, Jjajangmyeon can also be found in other forms, like instant Jjajangmyeon. The concept is just like other instant noodles, so you can make it in less than 10 minutes. Let’s see what instant jjajangmyeon are available!
There are so many instant versions of Jjajangmyeon available from various brands. It’s great to know we can eat Jjajangmyeon even when we’re too busy to cook, or when we can’t find it in the nearest restaurants. You can find many of the instants jjajangmyeon brands in supermarkets that sell imported products, and search it in the Korean sections. If you still can’t find it, you can just order it online and it will be shipped to anywhere you’re at!
Now that we already talked about Jjajangmyeon, you must be craving one. Even if you’re not in Korea, you still can have it, since black bean noodles became popular dishes worldwide, thanks to the Korean wave. You can choose where you want to eat Jjajangmyeon, from a Korean restaurant, or make it by yourself. Happy eating!