Jajangmyeon—comfort food that we constantly hear about and see in k-dramas.
If you’ve heard about it, then you probably avidly indulge in the Korean lifestyle.
Whether actively practicing some of the customs or eating the dishes, Jajangmyeon is vital to day-to-day life in Korea.
It’s slowly making itself known in other countries too.
There are many variations to it, but one thing is for sure, Jajangmyeon is a food everyone loves on April 14.
While couples have Valentine’s, single people in Korea have ‘Black Day’.
Besides being a comfort food for a single person, what other benefits are there when eating Jajangmyeon, and what does Jajangmyeon taste like? Find out more by reading this article.
What is Jajangmyeon?
Although the dish is from Korean cuisine, Jajangmyeon’s origin traces back to the country of China.
It is a meal that consists of thick noodles, the kind that’s called “Udon,” and it is sautéed alongside some veggies and a sauce made with black beans.
Introduced by an immigrant, the dish is known as the Korean version of Chinese Hakka noodles.
‘Jajamyeon’ translates to “spicy seafood noodles,” and ‘jajang’ means fried sauce in Chinese.
There are different versions everywhere, so there is no particular recipe.
But when creating the sauce, you need items such as black beans, soybean paste, garlic, onions, salt, sesame oil, & honey.
Jajangmyeon can be served at any time of day for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
But most of the time, we see it eaten as a midnight snack in convenience stores by our favorite actors.
The dish is almost comparable to pizza when people in the USA stay up late or simply eat it as comfort food.
What Does Jajangmyeon Taste Like?
Jajangmyeon has a unique flavor profile from other noodles owing to the black bean sauce.
It has an intense and pungent smell, besides an earthy and salty taste.
There’s a hint of sweetness that comes along with the spiciness.
Its flavor is quite comprehensive and contains different tastes from different ingredients.
The saltiness from the black bean paste arrives, but the heat and spiciness are from the mixed Korean pepper.
There’s a pungent garlic smell and a slight sweetness due to the sugar used.
The texture of udon noodles would be compared to that of spaghetti noodles.
It’s a lot similar because of the texture but with a lot more thickness as well as chewiness.
Alone, it tastes bland, but with the addition of the paste, it becomes a whole new character.
The color seems dark and odd, but it’ll be a fantastic experience once you get a taste.
You can add little chunks and pieces of meat, such as pork or beef, giving the Jajangmyeon a dash of exquisite savory flavor.
There’s a complex sweetness & saltiness that inhibits the noodles upon the arrival of some meat, producing an exceptional umami flavor that people love.
The reason why it’s so popular among Korean people is because of its high nutrient value yet tasty characteristics.
You can make it in a few minutes, which saves time if your schedule is tight, and you can enjoy it hot or cold because the flavor stays even if it’s not that hot.
How to Cook Jajangmyeon?
Jajangmyeon is a great and iconic meal that Koreans love, not only because of its convenience but also because of its tastiness.
It’s very affordable and easy to prepare, but some restaurants widely offer it at a reasonable price.
It can easily suit a student’s budget while providing a very intricate flavor profile.
You can easily find Udon noodles in stores, either in the frozen foods aisle or with the typical noodles.
You can boil the noodles and add the black bean paste and enjoy.
Some other ways to make Jajangmyeon is by pairing it with topping it with some meat or eggs.
You can garnish a bowl of Jajangmyeon with chopped vegetables, like spring onions, cabbage, potatoes, etc.
The spring onions and other veggies add a fresh taste to it.
As the bean paste can taste salty at times, it’s good to add a few other ingredients to deliver the taste differently to our taste buds.
Meat adds more harmony to enrich your Jajangmyeon with some chicken, beef, eggs, etc.
You can sauté the sauce in a pan first to get rid of any bitter or harsh taste before adding it to the Jajangmyeon.
You can even thicken it by adding some potato or zucchini to the mix and cooking it up with the noodles.
After gathering it in a bowl, you can slice some cucumbers and a selection of boiled eggs and finally enjoy some Jajangmyeon.
Jajangmyeon, a dish of noodles covered in black sauce, might not be a good-looking meal, but it sure is a must-try.
Its earthy and spicy mixture, blended with some saltiness, brings a complicated flavor profile to the dining table.
Although it is complex, it’s still vibrant and bold.
Not to mention, it’s quite an easy dish to make.
So, whether or not you are single, this dish is an artful masterpiece that must be enjoyed with some diced veggies and meat chunks.