Jjolmyeon, Korean Spicy Chewy Noodles
Lost your appetite? Jjolmyeon is the cure! This spicy, sweet and tangy noodle dish is called the lover of Korean school girls. I too loved this dish when I was in high school and the love hasn’t died out even after many years.
The most distinctive feature of this dish is the noodles, jjolmyeon which is also the name of this meal itself. Jjol comes from “Jjol-git-ha-da.” which describes a chewy and elastic texture. However, the English word, chewy really does not do the justice to describe the texture of this noodle. It’s not tough or hard to chew but rather pleasant and interesting.
The unique noodles, refreshing vegetable toppings and the delicious sauce are beautifully combined to create one of the most addictive noodles dishes. The main ingredient of the sauce is gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste) so it’s important to get good gochujang for this. Try our Wholly Gochujang which is made by a fermentation expert, artisan Kang and they are both gluten-free and free of chemical additives.
This dish is especially great for hot summer days but certainly can be enjoyed throughout the year. In Korea, jjolymyeon is considered “boon-sik” which is a light meal or a snack.
For those who cannot find jjolmyeon noodles locally, you can probably create a delicious dish with this recipe using a different type of noodles. But. it won’t be jjolymyeon due to the texture difference.
|14 oz||Jjolmyeon, Korean Chewy Noodles 쫄면|
|4 cups||Water 물|
|3 tbs||Vinegar 식초|
|7 oz||Cabbage 양배추 (you can also use some red cabbage for vibrant color)|
|2 oz||Carrot (large Korean carrot) 당근|
|5 oz||Soybean Sprouts 콩나물 (optional)|
|1 tbs||Salt 소금|
|2 oz||Ssukgot (Crown Daisy) 쑥갓 (optional)|
|1 sheet||Seaweed (Gim, Laver) 김|
For the sauce
|2 tbs||Gochujang (Hot Pepper Paste) 고추장|
|3 tbs||Gochugaru, Korean Hot Pepper Flakes 고추가루|
|1 tbs||Soy Sauce (regular) 왜간장|
|3 tbs||Sugar 설탕|
|4½ tbs||Vinegar 식초|
|3 tbs||Water 물|
|3 clove(s)||Garlic Clove (whole) 통마늘|
|1 tbs||Water 물|
|1½ tsp||Sesame Oil 참기름|
|1 tbs||Sesame Seeds 깨|
Optional Ingredients and Substitutions
Vinegar: Vinegar makes the noodles soft in texture and removes the unique odour that the jjolmyeon noodles usually have.
Vegetables: You can add or replace with other spring vegetables of your choice. However, it is good to use vegetables with a less water content.
Garlic water mix: You can use minced garlic instead. However, the ground garlic blends in the sauce better and makes the sauce mature better. Also, it enhances the sweetness of the garlic as maturing.
Good to Know
Noodles: Must separate the noodles before cooking.
Sauce: If you have time, leave the sauce in the refrigerator overnight for maturing. It will make it more flavorful and give more vibrant color.
More questions? Please leave your questions below in the comments section. We will do our best to answer as soon as we can.
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 garlic water
Grind 3 cloves of garlic and 3 teaspoons of water in a food processor. You can use minced garlic instead of the garlic water mix. However, garlic water blends in the sauce better. Also, it enhances the sweetness of garlic as the sauce matures.
2. Make sauce
Mix 2 tablespoons of gochujang (hot pepper paste), 3 tablespoon of red chili flakes, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 3 tablespoons of sugar, 4½ tablespoons of vinegar, and the garlic water from step 1. Let it mature while preparing other ingredients. If you have time, leave the sauce in the refrigerator overnight. This will make the sauce more flavorful and more vibrant in color.
3. Prepare Vegetables
Wash, peel and julienne ½ cucumber and 2 oz (50g) of carrot. Wash and julienne 7 oz (200g) of cabbage. Wash and drain 1.7oz (50g) of crown daisy (optional).
½ Cucumber & 2 oz carrot
50g Crown Daisy (optional)
4. Prepare Soybean sprouts
Wash 5.3oz (150g) of soybean sprouts twice in cold water. Drain well. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and the bean sprouts in a pot of boiling water. Cover the pot and cook on high heat for 3 minutes. Rinse in cold water and drain completely. Set aside.
Wash twice & Drain
Add to boiling water
Rinse & Drain
5. Hard boil an egg
OPTIONAL: Place 1 egg (or more as you desire) in a pot of water so that they are at least half immersed in the water. Add ½ teaspoon of salt. Boil for 15 minutes. Immediately cool it in cold water and peel off the shells. Cut in half.
Hard boil egg
Cool in cold water
6. Cook noodles
Boil 4 cups of water. Separate the noodles. Add 3 tablespoons of vinegar and cook noodles in boiling water for 3-4 minutes or until cooked. Be careful not to overcook the noodles.
7. Wash and drain noodles
Immediately rinse in cold water 3-4 times and drain completely in a strainer. Divide into portions immediately.
Divide into portions
8. Cut seaweed
Cut a sheet of dried seaweed into thin strips using scissors or you can crumble it in a zipped bag.
Cut seaweed into strips
Place the cooked noodles in a bowl. Add the seasoning sauce, vegetables, egg and seaweed strips on top. Sprinkle some sesame seeds and sesame oil on top and serve. Just before eating, mix the noodles with the sauce and the toppings thoroughly. Enjoy!
Mix well & Enjoy