Jajangmyeon - Korean Blackbean Noodle Dish

JJajangmyun Korean Noodle Dish

What I love about jajangmyun is rich black sauce, fully fried onions and other vegetables, and chewy noodles. Simply that’s everything that jajangmyun is about. I remember being quietly crazy about jajangmyun when I was a kid. My uncle actually ran a Korean style Chinese restaurant, junggukjip, in my hometown Kumi, S. Korea where their main dishes are jjajangmyeon and jjamppong. He himself made noodles from scratch and to me, they were the best noodles.

My family never abused the fact that we could have jajangmyun for free any time we wanted and luckily never had too much jajangmyun there. Jajangmyeon is one of the dishes that I never want to get tired of, so I’m grateful that I started to enjoy it early but never had too much at my uncle’s.

Jajangmyun with some Korean pepper powder

- Some Koreans add red Korean pepper powder on Jjajangmyun.

Jajangmyun (짜장면, also spelled Jajangmyeon, jjajangmyeon or jjajangmyun) is a Korean noodle dish topped with thick black sauce made of black soybean paste, chunjang. It’s believed that the dish, derived from Chinese dish zhajiang mian, was first introduced to Koreans in the late 19th century in Incheon, one of the main port cities of S. Korea. It became very popular among Koreans especially after the Korean War because it’s very easy to make and yet it’s tasty - it was people’s food. Even though jajangmyun originated from a Chinese dish, it took on its own identity, developing its own taste, especially in the sauce. Oh, it’s slightly less greasy, at least, to me.

After 50-minute jogging, I had instant jjajangmyun for dinner last night. As much as I love to have it in an authentic Korean style Chinese restaurant, I just don’t have a lot of opportunities. It’s mainly because I haven’t found a great restaurant, junggukjip in Koreatown, Los Angeles yet.

I usually satisfy my urge with semi-instant jajangmyeon, jjapageti or jjajjaroni. Instant jajangmyeon is less healthy and less tasty, but if you want quick and easy-to-make one, these are the ones that you want to try. Out of those two, jjapageti is generally preferred.

JJapageti, JJajjaroni -JJajangmyun

There is a couple of - kind of major - drawbacks about instant jajangmyeon. One, this small jajangmyeon package has about 500 calories, and two, even with such high calories, it doesn’t have a lot of nutrients. To me, it’s almost categorized as a comfort food.

When I have this instant jajangmyun, I do one of these two things not to feel guilty about it. Either I run or jog at least 30 minutes before I eat this, or I have lots of vegetables before having jjajangmyeon. Of course, all these rules are not followed when I have real jjagjangmyun in a good Chinese restaurant.


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10 Responses to “Jajangmyeon - Korean Blackbean Noodle Dish”

  1. Jong Says:

    Has anyone found a great jajangmyun place in Los Angeles? I still have yet to find one that is not too greasy, doesn’t have a chalky tasting sauce, good noodles, combo. Thanks.

  2. mykoreandiet Says:

    Finding a great junggukjjip is so hard! I haven’t had jjajangmyun recently, but I remember I liked Young King (연경) on Olympic and Kingsly (Los Angeles). It was nothing special, but good enough.

  3. MiJin Says:

    I’ve live in LA for 9 years now and I have yet to find a good jajangmyun place. When I go to Chicago or NYC, this is not a problem. Help someone! Where to have good jajangmyun in LA or do you have a good recipe I’ll try from scratch?

  4. Y-Ki Says:

    Young King Restaurant has awesome Jajangmyeon. I liked it a lot and the portion size is big so its a good meal to eat after a long day :]

  5. J Says:

    MiJin,
    where in chicago can you find good jajangmyun?

  6. N Says:

    Usually the Chinese restaurants run by Korean people XD There’s a good one in Golf Glen, I think it’s called Twin Dragon. Another place … is in Niles. Assi Plaza; you’d want to either go to the food court and hop on over to the booth that’s in a corner serving Chinese food. The chef there makes good jajangmyun.

  7. N Says:

    What?! You guys haven’t been to Jin restaurant in koraetown? That’s the best place for jjajangmyun hands down. 8th and Catalina (or one block east), used to be called Mandarin House. Huge portions and hand-made noodles. My family has been going there for over 10 years.

  8. Bloody Arom Says:

    jajangmyun is really nice noodle. As for me, it is cheap and reliable for me. Its taste really nice and it need a few minute to cook. When i study midnight, it takes a few minutes. So i love jajangmyun.

  9. jing Says:

    @jong there’s this korean market in torrance, ca called Freshia. it has a small space that sells jajangmyun for $6.99. i dont know if it’s considered authentic..but it tasted really good since that was my first time eating it.

  10. Helen Says:

    Well ther eis a good place at the ca market (http://maps.google.com/maps?oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&q=korean+market&fb=1&gl=us&hq=korean+market&hnear=Los+Angeles,+CA&view=text&ei=_AdpS97lOoW0swPX7omOBQ&sa=X&oi=local_group&ct=more-results&resnum=4&ved=0CCgQtQMwAw) inside go al the way down passed all the food places and order it at the place second from last ( the last shop sells kim bab) its around 8 buck or so but its a large portion so ^^ enjoy!

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