Photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/jaspark/
I was not a super adventurous eater growing up (I am now!) so, as a child, there were only a few Korean foods I would eat. Jajangmyun is one I would and could eat as often as I was allowed. It's tasty, filling, not spicy and oh so comforting!
Fast forward many years after I have moved out on my own and didn't have my Korean mom to cook good Korean food for me any more. Sure, there are noodle places around where I could probably get a good jajangmyun but with kids who are even less adventurous eaters than I was as a child, there was no way I was taking my family there to eat. So it dawned on me. Why not try my hand at making it at home? I did and, you know what? It was delicious! So for you out there who'd love to try this dish of awesomeness, here is my picture tutorial for making jajangmyun.
1/2 pound pork, any kind, diced.
1 cup of any of these veggies, small dice(use all or just a few, up to you): Korean radish, Korean (white) sweet potato, white potato, carrot, zucchini
2 cups of flavorful (aka not Vidalia) onion, small dice
1 cup of Korean-style black bean paste (called "chunjang")
1 tbsp. white sugar
2-3 tbsp. potato starch
olive or vegetable oil
1 package of thick wheat noodles, jajang myun style
In a wok or large skillet, heat 2 tbsp. of oil.
Add diced pork and fry on medium high heat until crispy. Scoop pork onto a paper towel to drain, reserving about 2 tbsp. of rendered pork fat in the skillet. Set both aside.
In a small sauce pan or skillet, add 1 tbsp. of oil and the 1 cup of black bean paste. Sauté, over low heat, for about 2-3 minutes. Spoon out the black bean sauce into a bowl, leaving the oil (if any) behind. Set aside.
Take the skillet with the pork fat and place over medium heat. Add all the diced vegetables. Sauté until the onions start to sweat and turn opaque. Add the pork.
Add water until all the vegetables and pork are covered by about 1/2 inch of water. Raise heat to high and bring to a boil, uncovered. Reduce heat and allow to simmer until the hardest vegetable is done, about 15-20 minutes.
While vegetables are cooking, bring a large pot of water to boil. You may or may not salt your water. Up to you. Do not add noodles until your vegetables are done! Boil for about 4-5 minutes. Taste for doneness.
Add black bean paste to the vegetables and mix well until dissolved.
Add sugar and mix in well.
In a small bowl, mix equal parts of potato starch with water. Pour into the black bean mixture while stirring constantly and swiftly as potato starch thickens fast. Remove from heat and set aside.
Drain your noodles and place into a bowl. Top with jajang sauce. If you'd like, garnish with julienned cucumber and slice boiled egg.
For the picture tutorial and more information, please read more on my blog at: