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Let’s Cook With Viki: Jja Jang Myun (Black Bean Noodles)

Admit it  when you watch your favorite drama series and the characters start eating, your mouth starts to water. Ours too! Thats why were excited (and hungry) to start a new series on our blog: Lets Cook With Viki! In it, well pick a food scene from a TV show and cook it, documenting every step. We hope that youll join us in cooking these delicious dishes from around the world!

Our first dish is a K-drama staple: jja jang myun (noodles in black bean sauce). Who can ever forget Go Eun Chan delivering these noodles to Choi Han Kyul, whos sitting on his couch in a towel, in Coffee Prince? Or how Joo PD from King of Dramas was always eating it? 

Jja jang myun is a stir-fry noodle dish made with vegetables, meat and, of course, black beans. But dont let the name fool you; these noodles are actually really easy to make. And the best part is, the recipe makes a lot of noodles so its the perfect dish to share with friends  or maybe a boy in a towel?

First things first! Always remember to clean your hands and your workspace. ...

... done with that? Then lets start cooking!

The first thing is to collect all your ingredients:
  • 1 medium Korean radish (daikon), diced into small cubes
  • 2 medium Russet potatoes (or 4 small potatoes of your choice), peeled and diced into small cubes
  • 1 1/2 large yellow onions, peeled and diced into small pieces
  • 2 medium zucchinis, peeled and diced into small cubes
  • 1/2 pound pork belly, cut into small pieces
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
  • 1 package of jja jang noodles (or other Asian flour-based noodles)
  • 3/4 cup of black bean sauce (available in most Asian grocery stores)*
This will serve 4 people.

* Cant find black bean sauce? No worries heres a recipe to make your own!
  • 2 Tbsp peanut oil
  • 2 Tbsp fermented black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup of chicken broth (add more or less depending on how thick you want the sauce)
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp of rice wine (use dry white wine as a substitute if youd like)
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
Heat a wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Next, stir fry the black beans and garlic in the peanut oil for about half a minute. Add other ingredients and stir fry until sauce thickens.

Makes about 3/4 cups sauce.

Next, chop up all your veggies and meat into bite-sized cubes  and if youre not too into vegetables, cut them into really small pieces. Theyll cook down and be hardly noticeable in the final product. Its a good trick to get the young (and young at heart) into eating veggies, am I right?

Heat up a nice big wok, preferably one thats non-stick. Otherwise youll be scraping vegetable bits off the bottom for ages, and thats the last thing you want to do. First, stir fry your meat in a small amount of oil. Take your time, making sure that its browned evenly and is a crispy, golden brown. And watch out as the fat from the meat and oil required for stir frying tend to pop and spray everywhere.

Once the meat is done, add all your veggies. Cook the veggies until theyre nearly translucent, then add the black bean sauce. Let that simmer for about 10 minutes  but beware! Letting the sauce reduce too much enhances the naturally bitter flavor of the Korean radishes, so keep a close watch.

While youre waiting for the sauce to simmer, go ahead and boil your noodles. I used fresh Korean flour noodles that I boiled and then rinsed in cold water, but any type of Asian flour or egg noodle works! :-)

After youve rinsed your noodles, go ahead and pour the sauce on top. Garnish with the cucumbers cut into matchsticks, and serve up your freshly made jja jang myun to your friends! Enjoy!

Jja Jang Myun (Black Bean Noodles)

Do you have ideas on what we should cover for our next installment of Lets Cook With Viki? Let us know!

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