How To Cook Jajangmyeon + The Simple Step To Make It Better

You've seen it being eaten on Coffee Prince and other K-Dramas.

IMAGE Majoy Siason

You've probably seen jajangmyeon in K-dramas such as Coffee Prince being scarfed down in the noodle-eating competition. If you're single in Korea and it's April 14, this black bean dish is the dish commonly eaten to celebrate Korean Black Day.  

This black bean noodles dish, or jajangmyeon, isn't popular just because your favorite K-pop stars ate it, too. It is delicious, and Koreans really do love the dish.

Did you know that jajangmyeon was also indirectly catapulted to global popularity around the same time the Korean movie "Parasite" won the Oscars? The noodle dish, "ram-don" gained popularity along with the movie. In fact, the dish "ram-don" is actually "jjapaguri" renamed for its foreign audience. In case you didn't know, jjapaguri is a mash-up of "ramyeon" and "udon" instant noodles, the spicy seafood udon ramen and "chapaghetti" used in the dish. Chapaghetti itself is a mishmash of two dishes, too: jajangmyeon and spaghetti. 

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Are you confused yet? That's okay. Just know that when it comes to "ram-don", the truly unique part of the dish that makes it so different and delicious from your usual instant noodles is the jajangmyeon. 

Jajangmyeon or black bean noodles is a popular Korean-Chinese noodle dish.
Photo by Pixabay/lalay
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What is jajangmyeon?

Jajangmyeon is a Chinese-inspired Korean noodle dish that features a black bean sauce tossed with noodles, diced pork, and vegetables. The salty black bean sauce is savory, rich, and coats the ramen noodles as a thick spaghetti sauce should. 

Since its popularity, many local Korean restaurants and grocery stores placed the noodle dish on its menu and its ingredients on its shelves. While you can order it for delivery or buy the instant noodle packets. You can make this super easy at home courtesy of that instant ramen pack but since the ingredients are available in grocery stores, you can make it from scratch at home.     

How to cook jajangmyeon?  

A jajangmyeon recipe looks like a complicated recipe, but it's easy to make. The jajang sauce is a stir-fried mix of vegetables and pork (onions, daikon radish or labanos, squash or a zucchini, potatoes, and pork belly) in a black bean sauce. What's important is getting your hands on the main ingredient, the black bean paste that is essential to the dish. The black bean paste is mixed with potato starch to thicken the sauce and is made aromatic with sesame oil. A little sugar is added too for that hint of sweetness. This sauce can top noodles for jajangmyeon or rice for jajangbap. 

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However, we think there is an important step that you should do to make it even more flavorful. Do this to get a super flavorful jajang sauce for your noodles: make a green onion-infused oil. 

Here's how you do it: 

  1. 1 In a saucepan over medium heat, heat about 1/4 cup vegetable oil. 
  2. 2 Add 1 onion leek, roughly chopped, or 2 spring onions, roughly chopped, into the hot oil.
  3. 3 Let the oil simmer until the leeks smell aromatic and begin to turn golden.
  4. 4 Remove from the heat and remove the greens. 
  5. 5 Use immediately, or let cool and store refrigerated until needed.

You jumpstart the flavor when you make a jajangmyeon with this infused oil! Try cooking with it with any of these Korean-inspired recipes: 


Photo by Bianca Laxamana
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1 Korean Beef Stew Recipe 

This version of the beef stew is Korea's answer to a hearty beef stew but with a definite Asian twist. It's got beef chunks with vegetables, glass noodles, and sesame seeds in a soupy broth that's sweet and a little spicy. 

Photo by Bianca Laxamana
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2 Japchae Recipe   

Also spelled as chapchae, this glass noodle dish is similar to our pancit bihon or pancit canton. The green onion in the oil will amp up the flavors of the other ingredients in this other popular Korean noodle recipe. 

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Try this infused oil when making your version of ram-don at home or even when you make some of the various banchan for your next Korean barbecue. 

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Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!

Got your own version of the classic dishes? Pa-share naman! Get your recipe published on Yummy.ph by submitting your recipe here!

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