What is Jjajangmyun?

Jajangmyeon (Black Bean Sauce Noodles) is a Korean-style Chinese cuisine served in most of South Korea's Chinese restaurants and has now become a favorite among Koreans. In Korean TV dramas and variety shows, you will also see individuals eating jajangmyeon. It is said that over 7 million jajangmyeon bowls are sold in South Korea every day. This is also one of the foods that I always ate while I was in Seoul learning Korean. In this blog post, let 's talk about Jajangmyeon.

Jajangmyeon, what is it?

Jajangmyeon is a thick noodles (made from white wheat flour) non-spicy dish served with a thick dark brown sweet sauce made from a salty black soybean bean paste called chunjang (almost) stir-fried with diced onions, minced pork / beef and other vegetables occasionally. The sauce is usually put on the top of the noodles, and before eating, people use chopsticks to mix the noodles with the sauce. I found this ritual of mixing very fascinating indeed. To see how the mixing is handled, you can watch this video. Danmuji (pickled radish), which is yellow in colour and sweet, is the side dish typically served with this dish. The danmuji helps reduce the dish's greasiness.

Jajangmyeon 's History

Some Chinese immigrants started settling in Incheon, a port city west of Seoul, at the end of the 19th century, and that area became today's Incheon Chinatown, where Chinese restaurants began to appear. It was said that in 1905, in Incheon Chinatown, a Chinese restaurant named Gonghwachun began serving jajangmyeonn based on the Chinese zhajiangmian (literally, "fried sauce noodles") originating in China from the Shandong region. Later, caramel was added to the jajangmyeon sauce to give it a sweeter flavor to match the flavor of the Koreans, and then jajangmyeon became a Chinese Korean dish.

People used the wheat collected from the U.S.A. in the 1950s and 1960s, after the Korean War, to create noodles and jajangmyeon distributed to other parts of South Korea at that time. A bowl of jajangmyeon cost 15 won in the 1960s, when South Korea was still a very poor country, and was considered to be costly at that time. So, in the past, parents took their children to Chinese restaurants only on certain special days like graduation, birthdays or Children's Day to eat jajangmyeon. Even though jajangmyeon has now become relatively cheap compared to other dishes, many Korean families still follow this custom. Therefore, eating jajangmyeon not only fills one's stomach, but also brings back precious memories for many Koreans.

In South Korea, you can order it by phone and the dish can be delivered to your home , office, hotel, other restaurants and even parks where you are located, apart from eating jajangmyeon in Chinese restaurants.

Since jajangmyeon is a cheap and convenient food, many busy people working in offices and factories and students prefer jajangmyeon for their meals, which can be easily ordered by phone and delivered quickly. Housewives who are too busy to prepare food may also order to deliver jajangmyeon to their homes. Jajangmyeon has now become a popular Korean food. If you are studying or working in South Korea, jajangmyeon should certainly be one of the foods you eat frequently.

Jajangmyeon (Almost) or Jjajangmyeon (Almost)

As for the right Korean word for this dish, there has been some misunderstanding. The Korean word "⁇" (jajangmyeon) was initially considered the standard term, but it was pronounced by many Koreans as jjajangmyeon (⁇) because it was easier to pronounce and sounded better. Nowadays, as the normal terms for the dish, both words are accepted.

Black Day (April 14) is the day of Yajangmyeon.

I stated that the 14th of every month is a special day for Koreans to celebrate in my blog post dated 14 January 2015. April 14 is the Black Day on which singles wearing black to "celebrate" this day together have no lovers to celebrate Valentine's Day on February 14 and White Day on March 14. On this day, one of the' must-eat' foods is jajangmyeon, which has a dark sauce.

In Pop Culture, Jajangmyeon

Jajangmyeon is also a popular food that is often featured in Korean television dramas and variety shows. Jajangmyeon is a favorite food used for contest eating because, after the contestants have eaten the dish very easily, the contestants' faces and mouths are smeared with the funny black bean sauce. To see the related video clips, you can click the links below:

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