Jajangmyeon (짜장면) is a childhood favorite food. I remember really looking forward to eating it at Woo Jung Restaurant as a kid. If you are ever in Ayer, MA, you should definitely stop by this superb and unexpected Korean Restaurant gem. This is my faovorite Korean restaurant in Massachusetts. My other favorite places to eat this are Palsun at the Shilla Hotel in Seoul, Toh Lim at the Lotte Hotel in Seoul, and Hyo Dong Gak in New York. The Chinese version of this at Xi’an Famous Foods in NY is also one of my favorite dishes, but very different from the Korean version. Xi’an’s is called Pork Zha Jiang and is made with fresh hand-pulled wide and flat noodles with ground pork, cucumbers, scallions, celery, and chives. The sauce is not black bean sauce based, but has an amazing vinegar and pork flavor.
In Korea, single people celebrate Black Day on April 14th by eating jajangmyeon with their friends. Although I really enjoying eating jajangmyeon at restaurants, oftentimes it is too heavy because of MSG or cubes of pork fat in the sauce. I prefer to cook it at home because I can control the leanness of the protein and amount of fat used during the cooking.
Instead of using the fattier pork belly, I use the tenderloin and fresh cleaned squid for the seafood flavor. I cook the vegetables in olive oil instead of pork fat. I also do not use potato starch as a thickener, so the sauce is less dark and less viscous. This is semi-homemade because I bought a pack of sauce with the noodles. These packages can easily be found at HMart or even the local Korean grocery stores of New York. Each package contains two servings of noodles and sauce. If you are looking for a more traditional recipe, with black bean sauce from scratch, then checkout Maangchi’s recipe. Jajangmyeon tastes great because of the unique sauce and delicious vegetables and pork and seafood flavors coming together in the work or pan.
Below is the healthy seafood jajangmyeon recipe with video
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- ½ small cabbage
- 1 large onion
- 1 large zucchini
- 4 mushrooms
- ½ lb pork tenderloin
- 1/3 lb cleaned squid body and legs
- 2 packets noodles
- 2 packets jajang sauce
- Cucumber for garnish
- Chop the vegetables, pork, and squid into bite size pieces.
- Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a skillet or wok. Stir fry the vegetables together until they are cooked through.
- In a separate skillet or wok, heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil and stiry fry the pork until the pieces are no longer pink, then add the squid and stir fry an additional minute.
- While you are stir frying, bring a pot of water to boil.
- Combine the stir fried vegtables, pork, and squid together in one wok with the sauce packages. Start boiling the noodles. The noodles only take about 5 min to boil.
- Once the noodles are cooked, drain and separate them into 2 dishes. Pour the sauce over the noodles and garnish with sliced cucumbers.