Jjajangmyeon is a Korean style black bean noodles made with black bean sauce, pork and vegetables. Making this delicious black noodles at home is easier than you think.

White wheat noodles are served with jjajangmyeon sauce and topped with cucumber slices.

Before the McDonald landed in Korea, or Pizza Hut invaded with pizza to change the taste buds of Korean children from kimchi pancakes to pizza, there was a noodle dish called “Jjajangmyeon (or jajangmyeon, 짜장면)”, the Korean noodles with black bean sauce.

What is jjajangmyeon?

Jjangmyeon is Korean-Chinese style noodle dish topped with a thick sauce made of chunjang (fermented black bean sauce), diced pork, and vegetables. Korean jjajangmyeon has a several variants using seafood and other meat.

This Korean black noodle dish is one of the most popular menu items, along with Jjamppong (Korean spicy seafood noodle soup) and Tangsuyuk (sweet and sour beef or pork), in many local Korean-Chinese restaurants.

Jjajangmyeon used to be the all time Korean kid’s favorite food. At least to me, it was. The dish was known as the special treat to the children when they had done something really good; like getting an A in their school report or finishing their piano lesson to a certain level. It is a nostalgic food to every Koreans above 30+ years old.

Two Korean children are enjoying Jjajangmyun noodles.

Jjajangmyeon recipe is actually originated from China, and introduced to Korea by Chinese merchants in the early 1900’s.

The original Chinese black bean noodles have evolved slightly different in Korea, and soon it became very popular among Koreans. I have tried in Hong Kong and Taiwan with their version but I prefer the way Koreans make.

If you love the taste of Chinese black beans, check out my Chinese recipes using fermented black bean paste;

There are five different varieties of jjajangmyeon known in Korea and all are delicious on their own.

Varieties of Korean black bean noodles

  • Jjajangmeyon (짜장면): This regular jajangmyeon, also known as old-fashioned (yetnal, 옛날), is the most common type you can find in the restaurants. It has more liquid in the jjajang sauce than the Chinese version of black bean noodles due to the addition of liquid ingredient. The sauce is thickened by cornstarch at the end of cooking.
  • Ganjjajangmyeon (간짜장면): This is known as an upgraded version of Korean jjajang noodles and cost slightly more than regular jjajang dish if you have it in the restaurant. Since there is no added liquid, the sauce is more dry and has chunkier ingredients.
  • Samseon jjajangmyeon (삼선짜장면): Samseon originally means choosing 3 different delicacies from both land animals and seafood, but in modern Korean culture it is commonly refers to seafood delicacies–shrimp, abalone, squid, muscle, sea cucumber, etc. You will often find Samseon ganjjajangmyeon (삼선간짜장) with drier sauce on the menu.
  • Euni jjajangmyeon (유니짜장면): The meat and vegetables are finely minced or grounded before they get stir-fried with the sauce. The sauce has a much softer consistency.
  • Jaengban jjajang (쟁반짜장면): The noodles and other ingredients are stir-fried with the sauce and served on a large serving platter to be shared.

Pork and Vegetables

Cubed pork is used to make Jjajangmyeon.

Use either pork belly or pork loin. Make sure to cut the pork intp 1/2-inch cubes.

Cabbage, onion, potato, and zucchini are cut into small cubes.

Dice your vegetables, all in cubed shapes. Cabbage, onion, potato, and zucchini are my chosen ones.

Korean black bean sauce (chunjang)

Two types of Korean black bean sauce are presented.

Now, there are two types of black bean base taste to make the sauce.  One is in powdered form and the other in paste. My advice? Get the paste. Although the powder is easier to cook with, I found the paste yields better taste.

Pre-cooking the black bean sauce in oil with a wooden spoon.

You want to fry the paste in prior to make sauce.  That way it will remove some bitterness of the black bean paste. It looks like there’s awful amounts of oil, but the sauce doesn’t soak up much oil. Fry the paste with 1 tablespoon of sugar for 3-4 minutes over the medium heat.  As you see, the oil and the paste don’t mingle together.

Pre-Roasted Black Bean Paste: You can find a jar of Korean style black bean paste that has been pre-roasted in many major Korean stores. Using pre-roasted black bean paste will eliminate the extra roasting step.

A spoonful of roasted black bean paste is draining off the excess oil.

With a slotted spoon transfer the sauce to a bowl and set aside. Discard oil in the pan except 1 tablespoonful to remain.

How to make Korean black bean noodles (jjajangmyeon)

Cubed pork pieces are stir-frying in oil over hight heat.

Saute your pork until they are no longer in pink over high heat.

Vegetables are added to the pork in a wok.

Add cabbage, potato, zucchini, onion and cook for 2-3 minutes until soft.

Black bean sauce and water are added to pork and vegetable mixture.

Return the reserved black bean paste into the pot and pour 1.5 cup of cold water (or chicken stock) to the pan. Add more liquid if you prefer thinner sauce.

Stir the sauce well to incorporate. Bring to boil first, then simmer for 3-5 minutes or until they are tender.

Cornstarch is mixed with water to make a starch slurry.

Dissolve cornstarch in water to make starch slurry.

The jjajangmyeon sauce is simmering over low heat.

Add the starch slurry to the sauce mixture. Stir and continue to cook, about 2-3 minutes until the jjajang sauce thickens.

Korean Jjajangmyun sauce is thickening with stirred by a wooden spoon.

Here it is, the beautifully thickened Jjajangmyeon sauce!

Oh, do you feel the dark side of the force? I do.

Three portion of white wheat noodles are on a plate.

Here are Jjajangmyeon noodles.  You will find them in a freezer section of Korean stores. Or you can use any thick wheat noodles.

Wheat noodles are about to drop in a pot of boiling water.

Add to the boiling water and cook according to your package direction, about 6 minutes.

Cooked noodles are draining in a strainer.

Drain the noodles. I like to rinse them with hot water. My gluten loaded noodles are ready to take an action.

Place these chewy noodles in a large shallow bowl and pour the black bean sauce over. Mix like crazy with your chopsticks and enjoy.

A chopstick is holding strands of jjajangmyeon noodles from the noodle bowl.

You will absolutely need some napkins.

Nothing is grosser than seeing a grown-up with the *Jjajangmyeon mustache* around his/her mouth. (Imagine the “Got milk?” ads in the 90’s)

It is not easy to eat this dark-forced Korean black noodles without making the slurping noise but, hey! that is life. My kids absolutely love this. One of them did have the cute jjajangmyeon mustache.  Too bad, I missed taking photos of him.

More Noodle Recipes

White noodles and black bean jjajangmyeon sauce are garnished with cucumber slices.
White noodles and black bean jjajangmyeon sauce are garnished with cucumber slices.

Jjajangmyeon (Korean Black Bean Noodles)

Jjajangmyeon is a Korean black bean noodle dish made with pork, vegetables, and thick black bean sauce.
5 from 2 ratings

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp black bean paste (chunjang)
  • 4 tbsp grape seed or canola oil
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 lb pork, diced to 1/2″ cubes
  • 1/4 cabbage, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 zucchini, diced to 1/2″ cubes
  • 1 small russet potato, diced 1/2″ cubes
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce, optional
  • 1 1/2 cup water or more
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch , mixed with 3 tablespoon water
  • salt or soy sauce, to season, if needed
  • 1/2 cucumber, julienne thinly to garnish

Instructions 

  • In a wok or skillet heat oil over medium heat, add the bean paste and sugar and stir fry together for 3-4 minutes. The oil and the paste won’t get mixed. Using slotted spoon, scoop up the paste to drain the oil and transfer to a bowl. Set aside.
  • Discard the rest of oil except 1 tablespoon remaining in a skillet. Add the pork and cook until no longer in pink. Add cabbage, onion, zucchini, and potato and stir fry until somewhat soft.
  • Add the black bean paste back to the skillet and mix. Add oyster sauce if your desire. Pour 1 1/2cup of water and bring everything to boil, reduce the heat to simmer until everything is tender yet retain their shape, about 3-5 minutes. Season with salt or soy sauce if needed.
  • Mix corn starch with 3 tablespoon water and add to the skillet. The sauce will thicken within minutes. Remove from the heat
  • Meanwhile bring a pot of water to boil. Add the noodles and cook according to the package direction, usually about 6-7 minutes.
  • Drain the noodles and rinse once with hot water to remove excess starch.
  • Place noodles in a large shallow individual serving bowl and pour the sauce over. Garnish with cucumber slices. Serve hot.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @beyondkimchee on Instagram. I love to see your masterpiece.