짜장면 Jjajangmyeon is voted the top favourite food of the Koreans and true to its name, its a simple noodle dish with sauce but full of tasty flavours. Its origins can be traced back to northen China where the chinese calls it 炸酱麵 ZhaJiangMian. Back then when many chinese moved into Korea, they were concentrated in the area now known as Incheon Chinatown. They brought in this iconic noodle dish that’s loved by many before slowly adapting it into a taste the Koreans preferred – a sweet and savoury black bean sauce with onions, covers the bowl of hand knead noodles.
춘장 ChunJang is the base for making the Jjajangmyeon’s sauce. With that, you can create a delicious bowl of Jjajangmyeon with simple ingredients and its so easy to make, everyone can do it! Its very hard to get made in Korea ChunJang in the big supermarkets of Singapore. You either have to visit the Korean marts or order it online. I was so lucky to get my hands on this ChunJang which is a black bean paste at one of the Cold Storage outlets. Stocks were so limited, probably only 10 boxes were sold. I guess the supermarket did not stock up partly because most people wouldn’t know how to cook it so they shunned purchasing this product. If you can’t find a Korean ChunJang, buying the Chinese black bean paste will work out similar too.
Cold Storage does not provide a english instruction sticker like NTUC Fairprice does most of the time for their imports so here you go. I’m providing my own quantity of ingredients as its way too salty if you follow the box’s cooking suggestion.
(Yields 3-4 portion)
Ingredients for Sauce
250grams Pork fillet / Chicken fillet or breast
150grams or 1/2 pack ChunJang
1 cup water
Corn Flour Sugar
1. Dice meat, potatoes, onion and carrot into cubes.
2. Season the meat with some black pepper and sesame oil. (*Optional: If you are using chicken breast meat like I do sometimes, sprinkle some corn flour into the meat and mix well. This is to give the meat a nice smooth texture.)
3. In a big fry wok, sauteed onions till fragrant.
4. Add in carrots and potato and stir fry.
5. When the ingredients in the wok are half cooked, add the meat and stir fry.
6. Pour 1/2 pack of ChunJang and 1 cup of water into wok. (The paste dissolves very evenly by itself so there is no need to dilute it in water beforehand.)
7. Season with sugar and adjust till your preferred level of sweetness. (*Tip: Chinese style Jjajangmyeon taste more savoury while Korean style Jjajangmyeon is the sweeter version. Chunjang are naturally salty in nature so only sugar will be needed. Salt and soy sauce is unnecessary.)
8. Once ingredients are perfectly well cooked, serve up on a bed of noodles or a bowl of rice! (*Tip: Add a sunny side-up egg if you are eating a Jjajangbap – Jjajang sauce on rice.)
*Picture for illustrative purposes. Actual serving recipe yields more sauce to mix noodles in :)