Is your mouth watering all ready just by looking at the pic? Mine is. Jjajangmyeon 짜장면 is a dish that has noodles with black bean sauce. If you've watched some Korean dramas, most likely they will be seen eating this dish as it's fast and cheap. If you don't have a Korean Chinese restaurant nearby you, don't fret! You can easily make this dish at home, and it might even taste better! ;)
· 2 cups diced onions
· 2 cups diced zucchini (small cubed)
· 1 cup diced potato (small cubed)
· 12 oz / 350g pork belly (cut into small pieces with skin and most of the fat removed)
· 1/3 cup black bean paste
· 2 cups water
· 2 TBSP cornstarch or potato starch mixed with 4 TBSP water
· 1/2 TBSP sugar
· Fresh noodles (udon / black bean curd noodles)
· Cucumber (sliced) for garnish
· Sweet pickled radish (Danmuji 단무지)
In a large deep pan/wok on medium high heat, add 1 TBSP of oil and the pork belly. Fry it up until the pork is golden brown and starting to crisp up. Drain the fat/grease from the pork (I left about 1 TBSP of the grease, but you can drain it completely and add 1 TBSP of oil).
Add the potato and cook for 1 minute. Add the rest of the onions and zucchini, and cook for 2 minutes. Set aside the vegetable/pork mixture in another bowl. In the pan on medium heat, add 1 TSBP of oil and 1/3 cup of the black bean paste. Keep stirring it for 1 minute making sure not to burn the paste. After a minute you'll see the sauce getting more glossy and thick. Add the vegetable/pork mixture back into the pan, and mix it up with the sauce until vegetables are all coated.
Add 2 cups of water and bring it up to a boil. Once it is boiling, lower the heat to low, and cover it loosely for 3 minutes (or longer depending on your vegetables), but cook it until your potatoes are cooked through. Uncover and add the cornstarch mixture and sugar. Keep stirring occasionally, and the black bean sauce will start to thicken. If you feel that your sauce is not thick enough, add more of the cornstarch mixture.
In the meantime, in boiling water, add the fresh noodles and cook according to package directions. Fresh noodles don't take too long to cook - around 4 minutes. Make sure to watch them closely as you do not want to over cook them as they can become too soft. You want them to still be chewy. Drain the noodles and rinse it well under cold water a couple of times.
Place the noodles in a large bowl, pour over the black bean sauce, garnish with some sliced cucumber, and you're ready to eat! Don't forget the sweet pickled radish to eat with your jjajangmyeon! Also, if you have too much sauce or no more noodles, you can pour the black bean sauce over rice for some jjajangbap! Yum!
*Instead of pork belly (which tastes the best ;P ), you can add beef or seafood. Jjajangmyeon is very versatile. When my aunt makes it, she likes to add Korean sweet potato and shrimp. If you're a vegetarian, I'm sure you can make this without meat, just add more veggies. :)