Noodles with Black Bean Paste
This beloved dish is tough to find outside of Korea, but now you can make it at home, thanks to Maangchi's easy recipe.
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 8 ounces pork belly, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 cup cubed (1/2-inch) peeled Korean radish (mu) or daikon
- 1 cup cubed (1/2-inch) zucchini
- 1 large russet or Yukon Gold potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 large onion, cut into 1/2-inch chunks (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1/3 cup black bean paste (chunjang)
- 2 1/4 cups water
- 2 tablespoons potato starch or cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 pound fresh or frozen jjajangmyeon noodles, thawed if frozen, uncoiled
- 1/2 English cucumber, cut into matchsticks (about 1 cup)
- Heat a large wok or skillet over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and pork belly and stir-fry until pork is golden brown and crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Pour off fat in the pan.
- Add radish to the wok and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add zucchini, potato, and onion and stir-fry until potato looks a little translucent, about 3 minutes.
- Clear a space in the center of the wok, add remaining 2 tablespoons vegetable oil to the center, and add black bean paste. Stir paste for about 1 minute, then mix pork and vegetables together with paste so everything is coated and well combined. Add 2 cups of the water to the wok, stir, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
- While pork and vegetables are cooking, whisk together potato starch, remaining 1/4 cup water, and sugar in a small bowl.
- Uncover the wok and taste a piece of radish and one potato. If still hard, cover and cook for a few minutes longer. When softened, lower heat and stir in potato starch slurry little by little, then keep stirring until sauce thickens, about 1 minute. Stir in sesame oil and remove from the heat.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add noodles, stir, and cook until tender but still chewy, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain noodles in a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain again.
- Reheat the sauce if necessary. Divide noodles among individual serving bowls. Spoon sauce over the noodles and garnish with cucumber strips. Serve immediately.
- Excerpted from Maangchi's Real Korean Cooking, © 2015 by Maangchi. Reproduced by permission of Rux Martin Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
- Photo credit: Maangchi