Jja jang myun is a rib-sticking noodle dish from China that is widely popular among Koreans. 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 garnished with cucumber. I love both versions equally but today I'm dedicating this recipe to the Korean variation. Enjoy with a side of tangsuyuk for the full Korean experience!
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
Jja jang myun is one of those dishes that everyone loves. I have yet to meet anyone, child or adult, that dislikes these noodles. Yes, they are that tasty. And the plus side? It's easy to make!
To make the sauce, saute the pork until browned. Add the vegetables including the onion, zucchini, and garlic and saute just until they become soft. Add the black bean sauce along with water, soy sauce, and a dash of sugar and let it come to a simmer.
We want the sauce to be slightly thick so that it can coat the noodles. That's where the cornstarch slurry comes in handy. I remember my friend tried making jja jang myun but forgot to add the cornstarch. Let's just say, it ended up being a soup rather than a sauce. Season the sauce with salt and pepper and keep it warm while you prepare the noodles.
There are different variations on even the Korean version of jja jang myun. Some people like to add potatoes or use ground beef. As long as you have the black bean sauce, the vegetables and meat can be easily substituted. Top the noodles with fresh cucumbers and bean sprouts for some crunch and enjoy! Have leftover sauce? Spoon it on some rice and top it with a fried egg.
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