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Jjajangmyeon Recipe, Korean Noodles with Black Bean Sauce
짜장면

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kid friendly
nut free
prep time: 
15 min
inactive time: 
0 min
cooking time: 
70 min
total time: 
85 min

Jjajangmyeon (or Jjajangmyun) is one of the most enjoyed (take-out) delivery food in Korea along with Jjampong (Spicy Seafood Noodle Soup). Jjam Ppong and Jja Jang Myun are the epitome of Korean Chinese food that is well known for being delivered to houses in a steel case called "Cheol Ga Bang 철가방" even back in the days when food delivery was unusual.

There are a few variations of jjajangmyeon. Gan-jjajangmyeon is noodles served with the sauce without the starch. The sauce is usually served separately. Samseon-Jjajangmyeon is made with pork and seafood such as shrimp and squid. Koreans also enjoy Jjajangbap which is essentially the same sauce served on rice.

You can buy Jjajangmyeon ingredient online here.

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7 ozCabbage 양배추
Potato 감자
Onion (Medium) 양파
8 ozPork Belly 삼겹살
½ cupBlack Bean Paste, Korean Style (ChunJang) 춘장
2 cups  Vegetable Oil 식용유
3 tbsPotato Starch 감자 전분
⅓ cupWater 물
2 lb 3 ozSutamyeon 수타면
3 cupsBeef broth (Korean style) 소고기 육수

optional garnish

½ Cucumber 오이
2 ozPickled Radish (Dan-mu-ji or Yellow Radish) 단무지
¼ Onion (Medium) 양파
Egg 계란
        
tips: 

Good to know

Sugar is often added to jjajangmyeon although it is not used in this recipe. If you like a subtle, sweet kick, add 1-2 tbs of sugar at the end.

The amount of beef broth used may differ depending on the saltiness of the black bean sauce you use. Add broth gradually while tasting, until the sauce has just the right amount of saltiness. If you pour too much, add a bit of black bean sauce to adjust the taste.

The amount of potato starch may vary too. If the sauce is not thick enough, add more starch. But remember to always mix the starch with cold water first. If you add starch directly to the sauce, it will form lumps.

You can also add squid, shrimp or clams to make "samseon ganjjajang." It's delicious! To add seafood, lightly sauté it in a separate pan. Then add them just before adding potato starch.

Optional Ingredients and Substitutions

Zucchini is another ingredient often used in JJajanmyeon. If you use zucchini, reduce the amount of cabbage.
Pickled radish (yellow radish): is served as a complementary side dish.
Beef broth: You can use regular beef broth sold in grocery markets. If you want to learn how to make Korean style beef broth, see instructions here. You can also use chicken broth or anchovy broth instead.
Pork belly: While pork belly works best for the authentic taste, you can use other cut of pork or other meat. You can also add seafoods like shrimp and squid in addition to pork belly.
Potato starch: You can use flour instead. But it won't work as well as potato starch.
Noodles: If you don't have the Sutamyeon (special noodles made for jjajangmyeon), you can use udon noodles. You can buy Jjajangmyeon noodles here. Also, Koreans enjoy this sauce with rice instead of noodles. Jjajang sauce on rice is called "Jjajangbap."

More questions? Please leave your questions below in the comments section. We will do our best to answer as soon as we can.

instructions
photos
summary
Ingredient amounts in the recipe instructions are for the default serving size.
Click to enlarge photos.
Ingredient amounts in the recipe summary are for the default serving size.

1. Make beef broth

Make beef broth using instructions here. You can use regular canned beef broth if you like. You will need 3-4 cups for 4 servings.

image: MJJMPK01.JPG
1

Make beef broth

2. Cut vegetables

Chop ⅓ cabbage, 1 medium potato, and 2 medium onions into thin small bits.

image: MJJMPK02.JPG
2

Chop

  • ⅓ cabbage
  • 1 potato
  • 2 onions

3. Julienne cucumber (optional)

Cut cucumber into fine julienne strips for garnish.

image: MJJMPK03.JPG
3

Julienne

  • cucumber

4. Cut pork belly

Cut pork belly into bite sizes. Leave the fat on if possible. Fat makes the sauce taste good.

image: MJJMPK04.JPG
4

Cut

250g pork belly

5. Fry black bean sauce

Preheat vegetable oil in low heat for 5 min. Fry ½ cup of Korean black bean paste in ½ cup of vegetable oil on low heat for 5 min. (1:1 ratio). Drain all the oil out using a strainer.

image: MJJMPK05.JPG
5

preheat Low Heat image: lowheat.png

image: clock.png 5 min

  • ½ cup vegetable oil

Fry ½ cup of black bean sauce

in the oil

Low Heat image: lowheat.png image: clock.png 5 min

6. Cook noodles

Cook noodles in boiling water for 10 min or until it’s cooked through. Wash in cold water and drain well.

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6

Cook noodles

in boiling water

High Heat image: highheat.png image: clock.png 10 min

Wash in cold water

Drain

7. Sauté pork belly

In a new pan, cook pork belly with a little bit of vegetable oil on medium heat while stirring.

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7

Sauté pork belly in

1 tbs vegetable oil

while stirring

Med Heat image: medheat.png image: clock.png 1 min

8. Cook vegetables

Add onions and potatoes into the pan with pork belly and cook for another 5 min while stirring. Add more oil if things start to stick at the bottom. Add cabbages and cook until they die down in volume.

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8

Add onions, potatoes

Cook while stirring

Med Heat image: medheat.png image: clock.png 5 min

Add more oil if necessary

Add cabbages

Cook until soft

Med Heat image: medheat.png image: clock.png 5 min

9. Mix with fried sauce

Add the fried black bean sauce and mix well. Add 3 cups of beef broth and bring it to boil with a lid. *The saltiness of the black bean sauce may differ depending on the brand. Add beef broth gradually as you taste until it has the right saltiness.

image: MJJMPK08.JPG
9

Mix in

  • fried black bean sauce

Add

  • 3 cups beef broth

Bring to boil

High Heat image: highheat.png image: clock.png 10 min

10. Make starch mix

In a bowl, mix 3 tbs of potato starch with ⅓ cup of cold water (about 1:1.5 ratio) until there is no lump. Make sure you use cold water for this mix.

image: MJJMPK10.JPG
10

In bowl, mix

  • 3 tbs potato starch
  • ⅓ cup cold water

11. Add starch mix

Lower the heat and add 4 tbs of starch mix. Stir continuously until it thickens. If it doesn’t thicken after 5 min. Add more starch mix. You are aiming to get thick gravy consistency.

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11

Add 4 tbs of the starch mix

Stir constantly

until thickened

Low Heat image: lowheat.png image: clock.png 5 min

12. Serve

Place noodles in a bowl. Top with the sauce. Garnish with cucumber. Add a fried egg on top (optional). You can serve sliced yellow pickled radish and sliced onions (splash them with a bit of vinegar) on the side. This is optional but most Koreans enjoy Jjajangmyeon with yellow pickled radish.

image: MJJMPK12.JPG
12

Place noodles in a bowl

Top with sauce

Garnish with cucumber

Add fried egg

Slice

  • yellow picked radish
  • onions

Splash with vinegar

Serve on the side

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