Sunday, 4 November 2012

짜장면 - Korean Comfort Food; Black Bean Style

When most people think "comfort food", they go for mashed potatoes, chicken noodle soup, pancakes....insert weird family food here. For those of us who've lived in South Korea, there's only one dish you go for when you need some warm lovin' in your belly: 짜장면 (Black Bean Noodles). The 14th day of every month has a special meaning in Korea ranging from Valentine's Day, White Day, Movie Day, Diary Day, and Black Day - when Jajjangmyeon (see Korean word above) is eaten by every un-coupled person in the country . . . or people who LOVE tasty, warm, gooey deliciousness!

So, if you're looking for something easy to make tonight that'll leave you feeling healthy, full, and warm and mushy inside, then Jajjang is for you! Be experimental tonight, you won't regret it ;)

Jajjangmyeon (짜장면)

rice noodles (as many as you would normally make)
Found in most Asian food stores
1 cup of black bean paste
2 tbsp corn starch
2 cups water
about 3 tbsp of oil for cooking
1 tsp sugar
zucchini, onion, green peppers, pre-boiled potato chunks (as many of each as you need)

1. Add all the veggies and tofu to a deep pan/wok and fry them up until they're translucent.

2. Clear a space in the center of the wok by pushing the veggies and tofu to the sides.  

3. Add 2 tbsp of oil to the center with the cup of black bean paste. Stir it around to fry it up for about 2 minutes. Mix everything together.

4. Add 2 cups of water to the wok and let it all cook with the lid closed for about 10 minutes.

Veggies, veggies, veggies
5. Combine the corn starch, water, and 1 tsp of sugar in a small mug. Open up the lid and add the corn starch mix to the wok. Keep stirring it together until it's thick and mixed up. 
Mix up the love!

Serve up your black bean creation over the noodles you've hopefully cooked at the same time - if you're cooking rice noodles, make sure to watch them because they can overcook and get chewy pretty quickly. 

So, whether you're single and feeling a little "black" on April 14th, or you just want to feel comfy and warm, 짜장면 is what you need. Enjoy and let me know what you think! No more mashed potatoes for you :)