Zhajiangmian in Chinese or Jajangmyeon in Korean is a popular Chinese-Korean noodle dish. Both dishes involve tossing noodles with a thick meat sauce usually based on soybean paste in Zhajiangmian and fermented black bean paste in Jajangmyeon. Zhajiangmian originates from Northern China, and because of trade and its proximity to the Korean peninsula, Jajangmyeon was derived from its Chinese counterpart. Both dishes are popular all year round, but in Korea, the dish is associated with Black Day or Singles Day when single people who did not receive gifts on Valentine’s Day gather and eat Jajangmyeon. Black Day is celebrated on April 14 of each year. Try this delicious recipe for your next meal with your international student!
For the sauce:
- 4 tbsp Korean black bean paste chunjang or jjajang/yellow soybean paste
- 1 tbsp sweet bean sauce, hoisin sauce, oyster sauce (optional)
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
- 1 star anise
- 2 stalk scallions, chopped
- 1 tsp ginger, minced or grated
- 4 oz pork loin, diced, 7oz
- 1 tsp rice wine or mirin
For the vegetables
- 150 g beansprouts, 5oz
- 4 ounces cabbage
- 1 large cucumber, julienned
For the noodles
- 4 servings noodles jajangmyeon/udon noodles (even Spaghetti works well)
- Bring pot to boil and cook noodles. Drain and rinse under cold water for a few seconds.
- In a bowl, dilute black bean paste and sweet bean sauce (or hoisin/oyster sauce) with water. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Add star anise, scallions (the green part), and ginger, carefully not to burn aromatics. Leave to sizzle until fragrant. Stir in pork and then rice wine. Cook until color becomes pale.
- Pour in the combination of bean sauces. Bring it to a boil, then simmering for 20 minutes.
- Then boil on full heat to thicken the sauce to the desired consistency (or add 1 tbsp of potato or corn starch dissolved in 1/4 cup of water if a thicker sauce is desired). Stir in the white part of the scallions.
- Blanch beansprouts in boiling water (cucumber is served raw later). Take out to drain.
- Place the noodles in 4 serving bowls. Top with the sauce and then cooked beansprouts and cucumber.
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