The small things make me happy, mostly things that are related to my family of 5 or email from a friend, or perhaps a reader who made your recipe. Those things make my heart full of joy.
You know that makes you say “awww” and you find yourself with that smile ear to ear, I just love it! However, food has been my family, friend, and long life companion, so food does make me happy, especially bowlful of these happy noodles covered with black bean sauce.
I try not to eat it often, but every once in a while you have a special craving for it. If you never tried this popular Korean takeout adopted from China, then you have to try it!
I wished many times that I made childhood memories with it, but heck, it’s never too late to make adult memories…
It might look not as appealing on the first look, but you would be really surprised by the taste.
My husband loves them as well as my oldest son, but unlike my daughter and I, the boys don’t like potatoes in this dish so I’ve made them numerous times without it, or I would just smash the potatoes so they cannot see or taste it while eating.
It’s not like they don’t like potatoes, it is quite the contrary, they love potatoes, but just in Jjajangmyun both of them agreed that it doesn’t go well with their taste buds.
I love adding different ingredients regardless of what is the most authentic recipe, I mean we all need to suit the taste of our loved ones, right?!
So, I made it with the chicken, smoked meat, bacon, and of course most popular Pork belly. Each taste just a little bit different in its own way, but nevertheless it never lost the aroma and deliciousness.
The recipe is quite simple, not complicated at all, so why don’t you try and see for yourself? All ingredients are available in your Korean (Asian) Market, or International Stores, as well you can look up online too.
Now, I gave you what my family likes and dislikes… Of course, I love it anyway, I make it, and this recipe I picked up from my friend a few years ago, so it is kind of close to being authentic with a little twist of my own.
Please read the notes, because I will explain why I used certain ingredients!
Black Bean Noodles -Jjajangmyeon (Jajang-myan)
- 1 Tbs. Vegetable oil
- 4 Tbs. Black Bean Paste
- ½ Cup Smoked Pork Jowl Jowl bacon
- ½ Lb. Pork boneless ribs cut into smaller cubes
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 Garlic Cloves smashed and minced
- 2 Cups Cabbage roughly chopped
- 2 Potatoes peeled and cut into smaller cubes
- 1 zucchini cut into smaller cubes (or you can use 1 smaller Korean white radish)
Liquid and seasoning:
- 1 Cup Chicken Stock
- ½ Cup Water
- Pinch of Salt
- ½ Tbs. Sugar
- 1 Tbs. Flour/or Corn starch/or potato starch mixed with 5 Tbs. Water or just enough to be able to dissolve the starch for thickening the sauce
Noodles and Garnish:
- 1 Lb. Noodles cooked and washed under cold/iced water (preferably Korean Noodles for jjajangmyun)
- 1 small Korean cucumber cut into matchsticks for garnish
- Sesame Seeds for garnish and taste
- Drizzle with Sesame oil *if desired
In a pot/pan/wok, add oil; preheat oil until sizzling then add the black bean paste, stir continuously for a minute or two. You will see that the black bean paste starts to curl and separate from the fat. After that, with the spoon, take it out and discard the rest of the fat. Wipe off the greasy pot/wok.
Cut all the ingredients, and place them on the plate close by. Start with Smoked Pork Jowl, saute in the pan/wok for a minute or two, just when it starts to release the fat, add boneless pork ribs, season with a pinch of salt; stir until done. Take it out on the paper-towel and spill the rest of the fat, leaving behind just a glossy oily pan/wok.
In the same pan/wok, add vegetables, (one by one, not all at once) starting with onion, saute for a few minutes, then add garlic, stir, then add other vegetables stir for a minute each before adding the other vegetable, cook/stir fry for a good 5 minutes.
Return cooked pork in the pot/wok with the vegetables and stir, add Chicken stock and Water with the addition of salt if needed and sugar -stir. Cover and let it boil, then add the fried black bean paste, stir well and simmer on medium heat until all the vegetables are tender and cooked through. Add more water if necessary!!!!
Meanwhile, cook noodles, rinse or drop in the iced water, drain in the colander.
Once the vegetables are done, add thickening ingredients, a little bit at the time stir and add until it is thick enough but still liquid and in a sauce consistency.
Take it off and serve it over noodles (or rice) and add sesame seeds as well as cucumbers. You can serve it with pickled radish and extra onions/perhaps boiled or fried egg or simply whatever you feel like putting over as a garnish.
I used pork boneless ribs because it’s tender, it has a meaty part as well as fatty so it was just a perfect match. After tasting and making this dish so many times, I didn’t like bacon as regular bacon, so tried to substitute pork belly and bacon with smoked pork jowl which is also very inexpensive. It gives a wonderful taste as well as the aroma. Everything should be cut equally if possible, small cubes as a smaller than a ½ inch. This is my version, however, a friend taught me how doing it her way, and over the years I experimented and this is what my family likes. If you are NOT porking eater substitute with chicken or minced beef. I tried with both… Experimenting with different ingredients always gives you more options to enjoy any dish. If you are NOT meat eater substitute with tofu YES, you can serve black bean sauce over rice!!! Since Black bean paste is quite bitter, it is best not to skip the frying part.