We’ve recently been watching a lot of Korean dramas, and in nearly every one somebody has eaten jjajangmyun. It is a noodle dish made with fermented black bean paste, pork and vegetables. Pretty it is not, but quite delicious. It takes a bit of prep work, and uses more than one pan, but in the end, worth every minute.
Jjajangmyun (adapted from www.maangchi.com)
1 pkg. Korean style vermicelli noodles
7 tbsp fermented black bean paste
1/2 lb. pork belly (I used pork side)
1 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp potato starch powder (or cornstarch)
dash of sesame oil
1 cup Asian radish (daikon), cubed
1 cup sweet potato, cubed
1 cup zucchini, cubed
2 cups onion, diced
3 cups water
small amount of julienned cucumber, to top finished dish
Cut pork into 1 inch cubes. Leave skin on. Add 1 tbsp olive oil to a heated wok. Add pork and stir fry until crispy. When pork turns golden brown (skin will look a bit crackly), drain fat and pork aside (leave in wok). Heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat in a small skillet. Add black bean paste and stir fry for 1 minute. Drain extra oil and set aside. Reheat pork in wok over high heat and add 1 tbsp olive oil. Add radish and sweet potato, sauté for 2 minutes. Add zucchini and onion and sauté for another 2 minutes. Add 3 cups of water, cover and boil 15-20 minutes, until potato is cooked through. Skim off foam and stir in the fried black bean paste. Mix potato starch with 1 tbsp water and stir into boiling soup (should become thick and sticky). Stir in 1 tbsp sugar. Cook noodles according to package (approximately 3 or 4 minutes). Reheat sauce and serve over noodles, toped with julienned cucumber. Serve HOT!