I am a fan of Asian cuisine. I love it more than I do European or American. I absolutely love the flavors. Because of this, I’ve decided to add something like an introduction of Asian food on my blog. I know a lot of people have it in their blogs, but I want to share also what I think about a kind of food. Thus, it will start with the first post… Jjajangmyeon.
Like my penchant for anything Korean, I also like Korean food. Actually, the first time I tried it, I was not too keen on trying it again. But the more I ate Korean, the more I liked it. And yes, I am now a convert. I buy kimchi whenever I can and I always have gim (dried laver) stock at home if I suddenly have the urge to eat. Gim is always good with hot rice!!
So for the first post, I am sharing about one of my favorite Korean dishes, the Jjajangmyeon.
What is it?
The Jjajangmyeon 짜장면 (spelled also as Jajangmyeon자장면) is noddles with black sauce. It is a Chinese Korean dish made of wheat noodles topped with a thick sauce made of chunjang (a salty black soybean paste). It is said to have been invented in the city of Incheon in a restaurant called Gonghwachun (공화춘). According to Lonely Planet, the restaurant is still there and it’s one of the places to visit to when you do a Chinatown walking tour in Incheon.
Some people might be scared with the appearance because of the black sauce. But i tell you it’s delicious, though it’s not for those who don’t like salty food (sometimes it’s salty because of the chujang). Most Korean food are spicy and hot, but Jjajangmyeon isn’t so it’s safe to eat. It is sometimes cooked with vegetables and a little meat and then served with yellow colored pickled radishes (another one of my favorites).
The Jjajangmyeon is a very popular dish in Korea. I think you would recognize it if you saw the drama Coffee Prince. Who would ever forget the eating contest scene??
An interesting thing in Korea is that there is something called Black Day, it’s held every April 14. All the single ladies, put your hand up because this is the die when single Korean ladies eat Jjajangmyeon, or any dish that has Jjajang (the black sauce).
How to Make Jjajangmyeon?
I really suck at cooking so I can’t make an instruction video. But hallelujah for youtube because there are a lot of people posting up instructional videos.
This is the best how to make jjajangmyeon video I’ve seen. She makes it look simple and her English is clear.
Good luck to making your own Jjajangmyeon! ㅋㅋㅋ
The Jjapageti 짜파게티
For people who can’t cook like me, there is always an alternative. And Korea, they have instant Jjajangmyeon, the Jjapageti.
It comes in two packs, the one you see above and in cup noodle form.
Usually the one in the cup noodle is prepared like cooking the noddles in hot water and then draining it leaving only a little water so a sauce base can be made and then mixing it all together.
But a Korean friend taught me a better and more delicious way to prepare it using the microwave. Open the lid, add the flavoring, put hot water (maybe half , just enough water to cook the noodles), then pop it to the microwave for 4-5 minutes. It’s really better than the old way of cooking jjapageti!
So that’s the Jjajangmyeon. If you have tried it but you think it’s too salty, try to visit another Korean restaurant. I have tried lots here in my place before I finally found one that suited my taste perfectly. 🙂
Hope this little introduction helps. ^_^
**credits: Maangchi@yt + wikipedia + lonelyplanet + as tagged