Jajangmyeon is hands-down, the most popular Chinese-Korean dish in Korea.
There are Jajangmyeon shops on almost every major street in Korea.
At $4-5 a bowl, it’s a cheap option for a fast and delicious meal. In fact, it’s estimated that Korea consumes about 1.5 million bowls of Jajangmyeon per day!
If you live here in Korea, it doesn’t cross your mind to make it from home. One phone-call and you can get Jajangmyeon delivered within 30 minutes.
But if you’re living abroad – you’re bound to crave Jajangmyeon from time-to-time!
So today, I will teach you how to make an amazing Jajangmyeon from home.
It starts with Black Bean Sauce.
In Korea, this Black Bean Sauce is known as Chunjang. (We love this brand.)
Chunjang is made from soybeans.
Soybeans are first fermented with flour and salt. Then mixed with caramel colouring to enhance its color and add a layer of sweetness.
A little goes a long way.
With 2-3 Tablespoons of Chunjang paste, you can make a large pot of Jajangmyeon Sauce.
So what does it taste like?
Uncooked black bean paste (chunjang) has a very earthy taste - with slightly bitter and salty notes.
To remove this bitter flavor, chunjang paste is first fried in a small layer of oil.
A few spoonfuls of sugar are also added later in the cooking process to create a well-balanced, savory flavor.
Cooking Notes & FAQ:
When frying the Chunjang paste, keep the frying pan on a medium-low heat.
Once the paste starts to sizzle and bubble in the oil, stir the paste around for 30-45 seconds.
It should look like something below.
You can add-in more sugar to the Jajangmyeon sauce if you’d like. This is up to you!
Chunjang is not gluten-free - it includes wheat.
Many people have asked where they can find Jajangmyeon noodles. If you have Korean market nearby, ask the staff for 중화면 (pronounced Joong-wha-myeon).
중화면 means Chinese-Style Fresh Noodles.
Spread this Jajangmyeon sauce over noodles or rice. Tastes great with both!
Fun fact: There is even an unofficial holiday for singles in Korea called Black Day.
It’s somewhat of a joke... but essentially a day where single people commiserate with each other (about the lack of a partner) while eating black foods like Jajangmyeon and leftover chocolates...🙃
Finally, if you've had Jajangmyeon before, try out some of the others variations too:
- Jajangbap | 짜장밥 (Fried Rice & Jajangmyeon Sauce)
- Samseon Jajang Sauce | 삼선짜장 (Seafood Jajangmyeon Sauce)
Enjoy Neighbors! If you make the dish, tag us on IG (We would love to see 🤓)
-Daniel out 🕺
(P.s. If you’re cooking alone, don’t get bored. Consider listening to our latest podcast episode while you cook!)
- ½ Cup Black Bean Paste (aka Chunjang Paste)
- 2 Tablespoons Sugar
- 1 Cup Vegetable oil (for frying the paste)
- 2 Cups Water
- 6-8 Tablespoons Starch Water
- 1 Onion
- ⅕ a whole Cabbage
- 2 stalks Spring onion
- 200 grams Pork
- ¼ a whole Cucumber
- 4 servings Jajangmyeon noodle
Prep fresh ingredients
- Cut onion and cabbage into rough cubes. Cut pork into bite-sized pieces.
- Cut cucumbers into thin, long strips for garnish.
Fry black bean paste
- Put black bean paste into frying pan. Pour 1 cup of vegetable oil in. Turn on medium-low heat. Make sure to move paste around while the oil come up to a boil.
- Once the oil starts to sizzle with bubbles, fry for another 30 seconds.
- Then take-out the fried paste and place in a bowl. Pour out any excess oil from the bowl and set aside.
Make Jajangmyeon Noodles
- Put 2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large frying pan. Place the frying pan on a medium heat. Then put in the sliced spring onion pieces.
- Once spring onion starts to sizzle, place in pork pieces. When most of the red is cooked away from the pork, add the onion and cabbage in.
- Then add the fried black bean paste, along with the sugar. Stir-in the black paste and coat all of the vegetables.
- Then add two cups of water into the mixture.
- While the pot starts to re-boil, take out a small bowl and make starch water: Mix in 2 tablespoons of (potato) starch powder with 6 tablespoons of water.
- Once the pot is boiling, put in this starch water into the sauce. Don't add all of it at once. Add a little and see how much more you need to thicken-up into the consistency of a curry sauce.
- Let it gently simmer for 5-8 minutes on medium heat. Then turn off the heat. Scoop sauce over noodles and garnish with cucumber.
- Save the leftover sauce - and eat it over rice in the morning!
- You can find fresh noodles for Jajangmyeon at Korean marts. If that is not available – feel free to improvise and work with egg or wheat noodles. I have even used spaghetti noodles in the past!
- Watch video below for more details
Great recipe! Only thing I changed was I reduced the oil to 3/4 cup. Came out perfect
Joey & Quỳnh Mollica says
Delicious! I found 2 cups of oil for frying the bean paste to be tooooo much-- we were successful with just under 3/4 cup.
As always, THANK YOU for your hard work!
Mary Lui says
I surprisingly found the exact brand of the black bean sauce at the Asian super market! The recipe produced some delicious jajangmyeon for me and my family to enjoy, thanks for sharing! One quick question: is there a reason so much oil is required (2 cups)? I had lots of leftover oil and it felt so wasteful! Thanks again!
Hi future neighbor I wish
Just made this dish today with udon noodles. Used another brand of black bean paste that was available at the Korean market here - it didn't need to be pre-fried like yours. Followed everything else in your recipe and it turned out so very tasty! Thanks for sharing! More power to you guys.
I can’t wait to try this. Sometimes I have a hard time keeping Chinese wheat noodles on hand. I once read about a hack to get a similar chewiness from spaghetti if you boil it with baking soda in the water. Have you ever heard of this? Tried it? Recommend it?
Thanks for your clear instructions. I’ve wanted to try black bean sauce I’ve seen in my Asian market just didn’t know what to do with it.
Mabel Dela Torre says
I've been looking for a quick Jajjangmyeon recipe and had the opportunity to watch your video just now. Thank you so much!
I became interested in the noodles while watching a Korean drama, "Strongest Deliveryman." Then I had the opportunity to taste Jajjangmyeon at the 24-hour Korean bakeshop (!?!) where I go to buy delicious almond breakfast bread. I was not disappointed. I have a busy schedule so I resorted to buying Ottogi brand packaged Jajjangmyeon from the nearby 24-hour Korean grocery, I'll try your recipe one of these days when I have more time. FYI. I have two sons who also enjoy Korean food. There's always a tub of kimchi and a tube of gochujang in our fridge.
I want you to know that I enjoy watching you and your wife's practical cooking videos and listening to your lively banter. Keep up the good work.
Is there any possible way to cook with black bean garlic sauce instead of chunjang/black bean paste ? Would we need to modify the recipe?Due to covid-19 it’s hard to go to the grocery store and having limited ingredients.
This is sooo good! I can understand it's a really popular dish!