Jajangmyeon (Black bean noodles)

Jajangmyeon (Black bean noodles) is considered the ultimate fast comfort food in Korean culture. When I was growing up in Korea we did not have fast food like McDonald's. When we wanted snacks after school or have a quick meal we would hit the street food markets or for a special treat would be when your parents order from the Korean Chinese restaurant in the neighborhood to order a bowls of Jajangmyeon for the family. The order would be delivered to your home piping hot from a guy riding a bicycle balancing a large tin container with several dishes fully plated ready to dispense to each customer. It's still quite a mystery how they keep it so hot and fresh and the noodles so chewy and ready to mixed with the silky black sauce with bits of veggies and meat. It was always garnished with julienned cucumbers and served with bright yellow radish pickles called Dak Guang.

This dish reminds me of my childhood in Korea. Every-time I crave comfort this dish comes up in my mind. I have created this recipe after searching for the perfect bowl of Jajang and wanted to have this at home anytime I want. You just need a few simple ingredients and most importantly the jar of black bean sauce that can be purchased in a Korean market. It will last a long time and bring tons of joy when you can make this at home. Living in San Francisco, this type of Korean Chinese is not readily available in your neighborhood. After some research I did manage to find 3 Korean Chinese restaurants in SF City. If you are curious to try the full Korean Chinese cuisine experience check these out these places. Typically you order Mandoo(Korean Dumplings), and Tang Soo Yeok (Sweet and Sour Pork)

Zazang Korean Noodles. 2340 Geary Blvd.

Sang Tung. 1031 Irving Street.

San Wang. 1682 Post Street.


Jajangmyeon Recipe

Serves 4 - 6


6 tablespoon black bean paste (available only in a Korean market)

1 teaspoon sugar 

1/4 cup water 

1 zucchini chopped 1/2" dice

1/2 onion chopped 1/2" dice

1 cup chopped cabbage  1/2" dice

1/4 pound of pork ( can be ground pork or 1/2" dice pork belly)

1 teaspoon minced ginger 

1 tablespoon minced garlic 

1/2 cucumber Julienned 

Neural cooking oil 

Thick cut Korean noodles dried or fresh. Cook following the directions.


 Chop all ingredients into 1/2" dice. Mince garlic and ginger.


In a large pan add 1 tablespoon of neutral oil on medium heat.
Sautee onions and cabbage first. Add garlic and ginger and pork. After pork is browned, add the potatoes and zucchini. Sautee for 2 minutes.

Add black bean sauce and mix well. Add the sugar to the mixture.

Once all the ingredients are well mixed, add your water and stir constantly to create a gravy. Lower the heat to simmer and let the mixture reduce and thicken, about 10 minutes. Keep stirring to prevent the sauce sticking to the bottom. After 10 minutes, check the done-ness of the potatoes by piercing with a fork. If the potato is fully cooked through then remove from heat.


Once the sauce is fully cooked. Prepare your noodles and drain well. 

Serve in a bowl with the sauce on top of the noodles and garnished with the julienned cucumbers. Enjoy!  














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