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What is Jajangmyeon?
Jajangmyeon is Korean comfort food at its best. It originated in China, and now is considered a type of Chinese-Korean fusion food.
It is delicious noodles topped with black bean paste. The black bean sauce is added to a stir fry that consists of diced pork, zucchini, potato, cabbage, and onion. It is then topped with some cucumber matchsticks to finish it off. You will definitely want a heaping bowlful of the jajangmyeon as it is so scrumptious!
I always love to practice pronouncing the name of the international dishes that I cook. If you are not familiar with jajangmyeon, then click here to listen to the pronunciation. Then you can practice saying jajangmyeon until it rolls off the tongue. 🙂
Black Bean Paste and Noodles
The black bean paste I used is by the Korean brand Assi. You can buy this at your local Korean market or at Amazon using this link. The black bean paste is called “chunjang” and it is fermented caramel, soybean, and flour. The taste is a bit salty and sweet, and of course the color is black. Once opened, the chunjang will need to be stored in the refrigerator.
A good option for the noodles for this dish is udon. However, I only had lo mein noodles on hand, and they worked perfectly fine! If you select any type of Asian style noodle for the jajangmyeon, it is perfectly acceptable. There are both dried and fresh varieties available in your local Korean market, and it’s fun to experiment with both kinds of noodles!
Black Food Day
April 14th is Black Food Day. What is Black Food Day? In Korea it is a day when single people get together to eat black food (typically jajangmyeon!) to commiserate over not being part of Valentine’s Day or White Day.
In Korea, Valentine’s Day is observed by women giving men gifts on February 14. March 14 then, is White Day. On this day, men return the favor by giving women gifts. Then one month later, April 14, Black Day (or Black Food Day) singles who didn’t receive gifts on Valentine’s Day or White Day get together to eat the jajangmyeon! By the way, jajang refers to the black bean paste sauce, and myeon refers to the noodles.
What To Serve With Jajangmyeon
Jajangmyeon is an awesome meal for any day, not just April 14. 🙂 It is budget friendly, and quick and easy to prepare.
A Korean meal is not complete without the national dish of Korea, which is kimchi. So you’ll want to serve the jajangmyeon with some kimchi. Kimchi is pretty much salted and fermented vegetables with seasonings. There are so many different kinds available, all delicious! You can buy prepared kimchi at your local Korean market. Or you may want to try this delicious recipe for Pa Kimchi, which is Korean Wild Green Onion Kimchi.
I also recommend that you have serve some yellow pickled daikon radish with this dish. You can also find this at your local Asian market in the refrigerated section.
I hope you will try this delicious noodle dish and bring a taste of Korea to your table! 식사 맛있게하세요!! (Enjoy your meal in Korean). 🙂
Jajangmyeon – Korean Black Bean Sauce Noodles
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 lb pork diced
- 1/2 zucchini squash diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 inch ginger peeled and minced
- 1/4 cabbage cored and cut into bite sized pieces
- 1/2 onion cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 small potato peeled and cut into small pieces
- 6 heaping tbsp Korean black bean paste I used Assi brand
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 ts Maggi chicken bouillon seasoning
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cucumber cut into matchsticks – for garnish
- Heat up a pan on med high heat, and then add the minced ginger and garlic. Stir fry constantly for 1 minute.
- Add the pork and continue stir frying until browned (approximately 1-2 min). Then add the cabbage, onion, potato, and zucchini. Cook for around 10-15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender, stirring every so often.
- Add 1 cup of chicken broth, Maggi seasoning, and the Korean black bean paste. Bring to the boil, and then turn down the heat and simmer for about 5-10 minutes.
- In the meantime, heat up water and cook your noodles of choice according to package directions.
- Add the rice vinegar as a final step and the jajangmyeon is ready to eat!