There are two majorly popular Chinese inspired Korean foods. One is the Jjajangmyun and the other is this Korean spicy seafood noodle soup, Jjamppong (짬뽕). If you go to any Korean-Chinese restaurants, you will find these two items on the menu for sure.
When the weather outside is chilly and dreary, Korean people often order this Korean spicy seafood noodle soup, Jjamppong, from their local restaurant as a delivery. Yes, Korea is a heaven an earth when it comes to the food delivery. Anything can be delivered anywhere, anytime. I miss the convenient life style in Korea, which is hard to find in the country I am currently living in.
This Korean spicy seafood noodle soup, Jjampong, is also easy to replicate at home. Everybody has a different way of making it. So I am adding my version to join the party.
I have to tell you that it is not easy to find fresh seafood in the suburbs of Buenos Aires. I wanted to make this Jjamppong for a long time but couldn’t do it because of the unavailability of ingredients. So when my local seafood seller stocked squid (calamari), shrimp, and mussels the other day, I knew I had to grab some before they sold out. Once they sold out, I might have to wait another few months or a year to see them again.
You can use any of your favorite seafoods for this recipe. I picked squid (calamari), shrimp, and mussels. Use at least 2-3 different types to get a good flavor in the soup. If you don’t like squid, then use scallops instead. If you don’t like seafood at all, then this is obviously not the right recipe for you. But I am telling you, this is one heck of good noodle soup that you shouldn’t miss if you love spicy soup and seafood.
If you want to see how to clean fresh squid, check my stir-fried spicy squid recipe to get an idea. It can be yucky, but fun to try at least once in your lifetime.
Making Jjamppong is not that difficult. It is rather quick to make, too. So let’s get to work.
You will need some vegetables. Green cabbage, zucchini, and onions are recommended for this recipe. You will also need chopped leeks or green onions.
First, saute the leeks (green onion) and garlic in oil until soft.
Some people like to add a little amount of pork in the soup. If you want to do so, stir-fry the pork at this stage. Pork will add another layer of flavor in the soup.
Add the Korean chili flakes. Yes, 3 tablespoons!
It seems like an awfully large amount of chili but this is meant to be intensively red and spicy. Actually you will be surprised that the outcome is not overly spicy like you think. This soup is NOT going to numb your senses. I promise.
Tip: If you want suicidal heat to knock yourself out, add some cayenne pepper. That will bring a plenty of extra heat to the soup. This might help relieve cold symptoms like nasal congestion. It always helped me.
Add the cabbage and onion and continue to saute until they are softened, about 2-3 minutes.
Add the zucchini slices and cook 1 more minute, then add the chicken stock (I recommend to use low sodium). Add the oyster sauce to the soup, mix and bring the whole thing to a boil.
Simmer for a few minutes. When the vegetables are soft and tender, add the seafood. Season with Korean soy sauce for soup. Adjust the seasoning according to your taste. Now, your Korean spicy seafood noodle soup, Jjamppong, is ready to serve.
Prepare wheat noodles according to your package’s directions and place individual servings in bowls. If you can’t find Asian style wheat noodles, use spaghetti instead. That would be fine as well.
Ladle the hot soup over the noodles.
Take a moment to stare at the beauty for 2 seconds first, just to pay respect to the chef. Then start the slurping noodles. Don’t forget the spicy broth. Unless you added the cayenne pepper, it is not overly spicy as you might think. You’re gonna love this, folks! I devoured the entire bowl of soup in less than 5 minutes, I think.
Slurp! Slurp! and Sluuuuuurp!
- 2/3 lb (270 g) squid (calamrai) cleaned and sliced
- 2/3 lb (270 g) shelled mussel, cleaned
- 2/3 lb (270 g) shrimp, cleaned
- 1/3 lb pork loin, thinly sliced, optional
- 1/4 green cabbage, sliced
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 zucchini, sliced
- 3 tablespoon oil
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 leek or 3 green onion, chopped
- 3 tablespoons Korean chili flakes
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
- 2 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup water
- 1-2 tablespoons Korean soy sauce for soup
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- Wheat noodles or spaghetti
- In a large pot (wok is a good option to use), heat oil over med-high heat and saute leek (or green onion) and garlic until fragrant. Add the pork, if using, to fry with the garlic mixture.
- Add the chili flakes and stir-fry for 1 minute. Be careful not to burn the pepper. Add cayenne pepper if you desire extreme heat.
- Add the cabbage and onion to the chili mixture and coat them well. Continue to stir-fry until wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Add the zucchini slices and fry 1 more minute.
- Pour the chicken broth and water and bring them to boil. Add the oyster sauce to the soup, and continue to simmer until the vegetables are tender over medium heat, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add the seafood, season with Korean soy sauce for soup and pepper according to your taste.
- Meanwhile, prepare the noodles according to the package directions. Distribute the noodles into individual bowls. Ladle the hot soup over the noodles and serve hot.
- The leftover soup reheats very well. Store the soup in the fridge and reheat on the stove top. Serve with freshly cooked noodles or over rice.