You’ve probably heard of this delightful dish if you’re a big fan of K-Dramas or you’re up-to-date on all things Korean cuisine. But if not, let us introduce you to Jajangmyeon, one of Korea’s favorite foods.
This meal is what would be classified as a real comfort meal in Korea, but slowly but surely it is also filtering into the meal plans of individuals from across the globe. And if you want to give it a try, there’s no better time to do so than on April 14th.
While lovers across the world celebrate their love on this heartfelt day, single Koreans commemorate ‘Black Day’, and part of that tradition involves delving into a delicious bowl of Jajangmyeon.
But what even is Jajanmyeon? What does it taste like? And how do you make it? Find out in this article!
What Is Jajangmyeon?
Okay, so, what exactly even is jajangmyeon? Well, it’s essentially big thick noodles accompanied by an assortment of sauteed vegetables that are soaked in a black bean sauce. Though it is now known as a Korean dish, it actually originates from China.
For this reason, it can also commonly be referred to as a Korean version of Chinese Hakka noodles too. And actually, if you translate the name of the dish from Chinese it gives you a better understanding of the meal you can expect to eat.
For example, jajamyeon means spicy seafood noodles while jajang translates to fried sauce. It’s an incredibly versatile dish that can be eaten at breakfast, noon, and night.
Though in our favorite K-Dramas, it tends to be a midnight snack characters tuck into at local convenience stores.
What Does This Dish Taste Like?
While we’ll definitely give you a generalized answer to this question, it’s important for us to note that there are so many different versions of jajangmyeon across the world that no two bowls will ever taste exactly alike.
This is because there doesn’t seem to be a particular or precise recipe. Usually, it’ll incorporate ingredients such as black beans, soybean paste, honey, garlic, salt, sesame oil, and onions.
But this recipe can change slightly depending on where you obtain your delicious noodles. In general, jajangmyeon is quite a unique recipe with a rather distinctive flavor.
It’s pretty salty and earthy but it also has an underlying note of sweetness along with a sprinkling of spicy heat. So, really, you get a little bit of everything.
The black bean paste adds that punch of saltiness to the flavor, and it is the mixed Korean peppers that you can thank for the spicy tingle on your tongue.
It also has quite an overwhelmingly pungent odor to it, and you’ll definitely get a good old whiff of garlic once it’s set down in front of you. And in terms of texture, it’s soft and tender.
Imagine spaghetti pasta, but just a little bit thicker, and that’s what you can expect from the Udon noodles. Then, of course, if you make this moreish comfort meal from home, you can always add extras to give it even more flavor.
The addition of meat such as chunks of pork or beef are popular choices to add more of a savory element to the dish. This dish is so beloved in Korea and it’s not hard to see why.
With its amazing flavor, high nutritional value, ease of making, and quick cooking time, there’s not a bad word to say about it!
Jajangmyeon Nutrition Facts
We’ve mentioned a few times that jajangmyeon often doesn’t follow a strict recipe, and because of this, the nutritional value of the meal can vary somewhat from dish to dish.
So, keep in mind that these are simply approximate estimations based on a 250g serving of the dish. Now, let’s take a look at the nutritional value of the meal. It looks something a little like this.
- Calories – 263
- Total Fat – 9g
- Saturated Fat – 1.1g
- Trans Fat – 0g
- Polyunsaturated Fat – 2.4g
- Monounsaturated Fat – 5g
- Cholesterol – 12 mg
- Sodium – 98 mg
- Total Carbohydrates – 35g
- Dietary Fiber – 3.9g
- Sugars – 5.8g
- Protein – 11g
- Potassium – 327.7mg
As far as comfort meals go, this is a pretty healthy option. In terms of fats, you’re consuming about 12% of your daily allotted value, and just 6% of your daily saturated fats. It’s also just 4% of your cholesterol and sodium daily intake.
While being around 13% of your total carbohydrate intake and 14% of your dietary fiber.
While it most definitely should still be eaten in moderation, and it’s important to remember that additional ingredients will also impact these figures, it is clearly still a relatively healthy option.
How To Cook Jajangmyeon?
So, as we’ve stated above, there are plenty of great reasons to make this meal. It’s super tasty, it’s really easy to make, and all the ingredients are really affordable too. So, it’s a quick, convenient, and accessible meal for all to try.
But how do you make it? Let’s take a look. The first thing you’ll need to do is acquire some Udon noodles, these can be found in most grocery stores and you’ll find both frozen and unfrozen varieties available. Then it’s time to cook them.
Boil your noodles until soft and then combine with a black bean paste and you’ve basically got a bowl of jajangmyeon – we told you it was simple.
Of course, you can throw some sauteed veggies into the mix too if you’d prefer, spring onions, potatoes, or cabbage make great choices, and you can also introduce some extra protein by pairing it with either meat or eggs too.
The choice of what to add is completely up to you, but we definitely recommend adding something as the black bean sauce can be pretty salty and the extra ingredients help to balance out the flavor.
And now you know everything there is to know about jajangmyeon, the delicious dish that consists of thick noodles smothered in a salty black bean sauce.
Though in terms of appearance, it may not look like the most appetizing meal in the world, it’ll take only mere seconds of those scrumptious flavors tickling your tastebuds to help you get over it.
With its sweetness, spiciness, saltiness, and earthy blend, it creates a complicated flavor profile that people just can’t get enough of.
It’s also pretty healthy, super easy to make, and very affordable – it just keeps getting better. So, what are you waiting for? Try jajangmyeon today!