What is Jajangmyeon?
Jajangmyeon (자장면), also called jjajangmyeon (짜장면), is a noodle dish in a black bean sauce.
Along with jjamppong (짬뽕, spicy seafood noodle soup) and tangsuyuk (탕수육, sweet and sour pork or beef), it’s a popular Korean-Chinese dish. Called collectively as Junghwa Yori (중화요리), Korean-Chinese cuisine was developed by early Chinese immigrants in Korea. It’s a huge part of Korean food culture.
Growing up, jajangmyeon was the dish that our parents treated us with on special occasions, such as graduation, exam days, birthdays, etc. It was every child’s favorite food! Still probably is
As you might have seen on Korean dramas, it’s also the most popular dish for home delivery in Korea, just like pizza delivery in America. It’s the dish Koreans call to order on a hectic moving day.
Types of Korean black bean noodles
Jjajangmeyon (짜장면): When there’s no other word in front of it, it simply refers to regular jajangmyeon, also known as yetnal jajangmyeon — yetnal meaning from the past or old-fashioned. For this type, water or stock is added to the sauce as well as some starch slurry to thicken it. The resulting sauce is liquidy.
Ganjjajangmyeon (간짜장면): The dish is made without the addition of any water or stock or thickening for the sauce. As a result, the sauce is dry with more solid ingredients per serving.
Samseon jjajangmyeon (삼선짜장면): Samseon means fresh delicacies from 3 sources — land, sea and sky, but in Korean-Chinese cuisine, it commonly refers to a dish with various seafoods. There’s usually samseon ganjjajangmyeon (삼선간짜장면) on the menu as well.
Euni jjajangmyeon (유니짜장면): Jajangmyeon made with ground meat.
Jaengban jjajang (쟁반짜장면): The noodles are stir-fried with the sauce and served in a large platter to be shared.