On The Menu: Jjajangmyeon

  • Easy Jjajangmyeon

Hi!

If you’re a non-Korean friend and reading this but don’t know what the heck I wrote in the title or have any idea of what I’m making and you’re still reading, GOOD FOR YOU! Before writing this post, I asked Sam if he knew anybody that didn’t like jjajangmyeon. We could not think of anybody. Seriously. I think as a Korean, you grow up with this dish and I equate it to the Korean “mac and cheese.” Basically, this is the default go-to dish that all kids will eat. As an adult, it’s almost always ordered at a Korean-Chinese restaurant (New Garden is the bombbbbb. End of story). I’ll admit, my first couple of times trying to make this were complete disasters. I followed various recipes online and wow, they tasted awful. One was too salty, one was way too watery and one tasted too jjajang-y. So what is “jjajang?” It’s a black bean paste.  It’s salty and it’s so unique in flavor but mild at the same time. Like I said, I have not met anybody who did not like it.  So finally, after much experimentation, I think I have finally found a fool proof and super easy recipe that the whole family can enjoy (gluten free when eaten with rice “jjajangbap”). The salt is controlled and I know exactly what goes in it. I feel good about giving this to her because it’s full of veggies. Actually, most Korean dishes are full of veggies so amen to that! Abby LOVES it. She actually prefers it with rice but either way, she gets messy and LOVES it!

Jjajangmyeon: Recipe was adapted from Maangchi

  • 1/2 pound of sirloin or pork loin, fat taken off and diced into small chunks (or whatever meat you choose)
  • 1 large zucchini diced
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 1 large potato diced
  • About 1/4 cup of jjajang paste. Don’t pack it in because it’s pretty strong
  • 1.5 cups of water for sauce
  • 2 tblsp of corn starch or potato starch
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 tsp of sugar

Dice all the veggies and meat

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Fry the jjajang in some oil for a minute. It’s just to get rid of some bitterness. The jjajang I bought was the one that I found with the least amount of ingredients, no msg and no weirdo things in it.

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Heat a large skillet over medium heat and toss in all your veggies and cook until the potatoes are tender. Depending on how big you diced your veggies, this takes about 10 minutes. Then add your meat and and cook until done. Then add the jjajang sauce and stir everything together. As you can tell in the picture, I got excited and added the jjajang first, then the meat. Oops!

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Add about 1.5 cups of water and cover the pan for about 15 minutes under med-low heat. While that’s happening, dissolve your starch in the 1/4 cup of water

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Remove lid from your pan and slowly add the starch mixture into the sauce while mixing. It’ll thicken up quickly so pour slowly.  The sauce will become shiny and so yummy looking!

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Check for seasoning. I usually add a dash of salt and a teaspoon of sugar at the way end to balance out all the flavor. Boil some noodles or cook some rice. We used these noodles:

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Then it’s ready! You can garnish it with cucumbers but we don’t get that fancy around here.

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This is an old picture. I think this was one of her first times trying it but obviously it was love at first bite!

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Enjoy!

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