jja jang myun

Jja jang myun is a guilty rib-sticking noodle dish from China that is widely popular among Koreans as well. Koreans have their own version of the dish with black bean sauce while the Chinese version uses a brown bean sauce. The sauce may differ slightly but both dishes consist of noodles tossed in a bean sauce cooked with meat and often garnished with sliced cucumber. I’ve tried both versions but I noticed how the Chinese eat their dish often depends on the cook; I’ve never tasted two that were exactly alike from different restaurants. The recipe below is my way of combining both the Korean and Chinese versions.jja jang myunjja jang myunjja jang myun

Serves 4

Jja jang myun


30 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

  • 1 lb Chinese egg noodles
  • 3/4 cup stock or water
  • 3 tbsp brown bean sauce or black bean sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2-3 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into medium dice
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup of water
  • sliced cucumber for garnish
  • bean sprouts for garnish

Instructions

  1. Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain, rinse under cold water and set aside.
  2. Combine the stock or water with brown or black bean sauce, sugar, and soy sauce. Adjust the seasoning according to taste and set aside.
  3. Heat oil in a large pot or wok over high heat. Add the ground pork and cook until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, onion, zucchini and stir. Cook until the vegetables are softened, about 3 minutes and add the black bean sauce. Bring the sauce to a simmer, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the cornstarch slurry to the sauce and let it thicken the sauce, about 5 minutes.
  5. To serve, arrange the cooked noodles in a bowl and spoon the sauce on top. Garnish with sliced cucumbers and fresh bean sprouts. Serve hot.
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**Helpful tips and common mistakes

If you want to try this dish but are hesitant because of the calories I suggest you use different noodles such as Asian style vermicelli flour noodles or even spaghetti.

I have a difficult time finding brown bean sauce so I usually use black bean sauce. Brown bean sauce also goes by other names such as yellow bean paste, broad bean sauce, sweet noodle sauce, and hot bean paste.

If you want to make this more like the Chinese version, omit the onion and substitute 4 scallions, sliced. Omit the zucchini as well. I personally like the addition of more vegetables just to make it lighter.

Getting ready for the lunch crowd!
jja jang myunThe bean sprouts are also an optional garnish but, again, the vegetables help lighten up the dish.

The first time I approached this recipe I did not add any vegetables except the cucumbers and found it be to just on the border of being salty. This time with the addition of zucchini, onions, and bean sprouts this dish came out nicely. It was a fresher take on the traditional jja jang myun with still a hearty black bean sauce. You can also serve the extra sauce on rice!jja jang myun

 

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