Easy Jjajangmyeon

Hello everyone!

This week I want to share with you my personal recipe for Jjajangmyeon!

It’s not 100% authentic, I modified the recipe a bit for my personal taste. If you want a recipe that’s closer to the classic recipe, I suggest THIS ONE by Maangchi.

First, what is even Jjajangmyeon?

Jjajangmyeon or 짜장면 is a noodle dish with black bean sauce that is really popular in Korea. The dish, while Chinese by origin, is one of the most popular take-out food in Korea (according to my knowledge gathered from Korean Dramas, if you want to know more about those, go HERE)

This post is coming just in time too as it is common for single people to eat this dish on April 14th (Following Valentine’s Day on Feb 14th – girls give boys chocolate, and White Day on March 14th – Boys give chocolate to girls) which is known as ”Singles Day”.

This blog is now actually informative, What? Yeah, I know!

So long story short, I LOVE Jjajangmyeon, if I go to a Korean restaurant, there’s like a 50% chance that I’ll order it. Fair warning, the black bean paste can be a little bitter depending on what kind you buy, we’ll talk about how to get it not too bitter.

Here we go!

Jjajangmyeon pinterest

 

So, your first steps will depend on what kind of paste you buy, if you buy Black Bean Paste or Chunjang 춘장, you’re essentially getting crushed black beans. It’s salty and bitter. Your very first step will be to basically deep fry it and then add sugar. Most likely, you will buy Black Bean Sauce or Jjajang 자장, which has already been fried and had sugar added. Just a thing to be mindful of when you buy the ingredients at the Korean Grocery Store (or you know, Sobeys, where I got my Jjajang)

 

 

 

Easy Jjajangmyeon

(Serves 2-3 people)

 

Ingredients

  • 3 packs of noodles (I like to use Hokkien style stir-fried noodles, but you can use udon noodles or even ramen noodles)
  • 1/2lbs ish of pork (I use any cut that’s on sale really but the best is lean pork belly)
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 tbsp of Jjajang (like, heaping spoons, close to 1/4 cup really) 
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp hoisin
  • 1/4- 1/2 cup of water
  • 2 tbsp sugar (or maple syrup if ya fellin’ fancy)

 

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How to

  1. If you bought Chunjang, you want to start by frying it in a pan with canola oil, don’t cheap out on the oil either, fry that baby up! Then reserve for later.
  2. Start boiling water in a separate pot for the noodles.
  3. Dice the zucchini and onion
  4. Add the sesame oil to a pan and heat up on high heat for 30 sec- 1 minute then add the pork. Lower the heat to medium-high.
  5. Add the diced onion and garlic, sweat for a few seconds, then add the zucchini to the pan.
  6. Add in the fried Chujang or the Jjajang straight from the jar.
  7. Add the hoisin sauce, sugar, and half the water. Adjust consistency of the sauce by adding more water progressively. Lower the heat to medium.
  8. Cook the noodles during this step.
  9. Drain the noodles and separate them in bowls.
  10. Add the Jjajang pork mixture to the bowls.
  11. Mix well
  12. EAT ALL THE NOODLES!

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Voilà! Again, this is not a traditional Jjajangmyeon, classic recipes also include potatoes and Korean radish… as well as a bunch more steps. This is my EASY version for lazy people!

You can modify this recipe as you wish, obviously, your kitchen = your rules!

If you make it, let me know how it turned out and if you loved it as much as I do! If you’re not feeling these, you might want to try my Udon Pork Stir Fry

This is all for this week peeps!

 

Until next time,

 

Andreanne

 

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NuPasta Review and Recipe Fail!

Hi everybody!

Get ready for this week’s post because it’s quite the trainwreck!

Actually, first of all, how is everyone’s March Break going? Mine is quite uneventful, my mom is supposed to visit next weekend though so that should be fun!

Alright, back to my biggest fail of 2019 (so far)…

www.forkandfantasy.com

What is NuPasta you ask? What an excellent question! NuPasta is a low calorie, gluten-free, organic, keto, vegan, and high fiber pasta substitute. Say what? Yeah, I know!

So what is it made of? Konjac. You know, the Asian plant that we can make face cleansing sponges with? The very same.

Was it good? By itself, yes. In the recipe that I made, a world of no.

See, the thing is that (no matter what Google says on the matter) NuPasta has a pretty strong taste. Not a bad taste, by any means, but strong. It’s hard to describe but it’s earthy, somewhat a little fishy, and lowkey mushroomy. The sauce I made did NOT work with those flavours… not even a little….

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Now, I won’t give you the exact recipe, because it was so very bad.

Just know that I used heavy cream, a pack of Epicure seasoning (totally wasted that btw), chicken, broccoli and a bit of white wine. An excellent combination on regular pasta, yet absolutely horrible on Konjac pasta. Why? I’m not sure. The flavours of the sauce and pasta were completely wrong together, to the point that I went back to the kitchen to make regular pasta to replace the NuPasta with.

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Doesn’t it look delicious? It really does eh? Now picture me, in my kitchen at like 9pm, removing the konjac noodles by hand, sliding the sauce off them with my bare fingers to try to salvage that shipwreck of a meal.

Cue to myself adding the sauce to the regular pasta thinking ”Ah yes, this will be much better now!”. Now, close your eyes and imagine the look of pure sadness and desperation when I realized that the sauce was now infused with the taste of the NuPasta.

I am standing in my kitchen, with bits of sauce still stuck under my nails from scraping it off the noodles, looking at my plate in disgust. What a fail. I ate it. Angry bites full of resentment and bitterness, but I did finish the thing. I already wasted the Konjac Noodles, I wasn’t about the waste the whole thing…

Now, I believe that those noodles would be mighty fine with some butter, mushrooms, salt, and pepper. Or maybe even with a bit of Miso paste. But no more creamy sauce for me. Especially not one including parmesan cheese and white wine.

Though I was glad about the wine, if only to drink the rest of the bottle to help me get the pasta down…

If you so happen to have a great recipe with those (one that does not taste like death and misery) PLEASE do let me know!

I did not give up on those and I want to try them again! Let me know if you do!

Until next time,

Andreanne

Better than take-out noodles!

Welcome to Fork & Fantasy!

I am so excited to launch this brand new blog! In here, I’ll share my best recipes, my latest read, my TV show obsessions… A bit of everything! Let’s be real though, my one true love is food (Please, no one tell my husband!) 

Food and I have a great relationship. I love it, and I’m fairly sure it loves me. Therefore, it was a no brainer for me that my very first post, would be a recipe.


 

Have you ever come home after a long day at work and contemplated the task of making dinner with growing hatred? I did. My love for food is unconditional. My love of cooking, however, comes and goes as it pleases.

This situation usually leads to one thing. Take-out. Which is not only pricey but also slightly unhealthy… Not that it stops me, but sometimes you just want homemade, yet quick.

On this particular day, I needed something that could be ready in under 15 minutes so I wouldn’t cave in and order pizza.

I mindlessly took out some pre-cooked chicken breasts from the freezer and threw them in the microwave. Now what? Well a few ingredients later, and about 12 minutes, I had myself these ”better than take-out noodles”!

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Alright so, while my chicken was re-heating (and becoming a little dry might I add) I pulled out some Bok Choy from the fridge, some green onions from my window sill (I’m regrowing them after cutting them, it’s a revelation). There, proteins and veggies, check.

Cooking rice was wayyyy too long for my hungry stomach, but lucky me had somen noodles in the pantry. A little boiling water and those noodles were ready in under 5 minutes. Genius, I’m telling you!

 

So by then, I had all it took to make dinner, but how to season it? Peanut sauce? Oyster sauce? So many options… That’s when I remembered that my Dad (bless him) got me a box of Asian spices mix for Christmas.

They’re from the company ”Epicure”, as I understand it, they specialize in spice mixes and cooking stuff. Anyway, you can order that stuff online, and you should because it’s da bomb man!

I used the vinaigrette mix from the ”Good Asian Real Fast” kit. It has sesame, ginger and, I’m assuming, magic and unicorn tears. It’s THAT good!

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So I dumped a ton of those spices into my noddles, added a little chicken stock and bam! Done!

All under 15 minutes, watch in hand. I’m not saying that I could beat Jamie Oliver at his own game but you know… close enough…

Here’s the full recipe:

Better than take out noodles

(serves 2 who eat a lot)

Ingredients:

– Somen noodles (About a 1/3 of a package, or you know… a big handful?)
– 2 Chicken breasts, pre-cooked, or not…
– 4 bok choy, chopped.
– 3 green onions, also chopped.
– Sesame-Ginger Epicure mix, as much as you can!
– 1/2 cup chicken stock
– 1 tsp of sesame oil
– 1 tbsp of canola oil

How to:

1. Cook or re-heat your chicken
2. Cook the somen noodles (3 to 5 minutes)
3. Chop the veggies and chicken
4. Throw the veggies in a little sesame oil and a little canola oil, sautée until half cooked.
5. Add in the chicken and lots of the spice mix.
6. Add the chicken broth and the noodles.
7. Stir until all mixed up and warm
8. Eat all the noodles!

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You can’t really get easier than that, and if you can, please tell me! I need to know!

So this is it, the very first post of Fork & Fantasy! Just so you know, I have an ongoing obsession with noodles, so you should probably expect more recipes in the future.

Please let me know if you make this recipe and happen to love it!

Now I believe this is all until next time!

 

Andreanne