This Korean black bean noodles recipe is salty, candy and natural convenience

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When requested about his go-to convenience meals, my good friend Sam Kim doesn’t hesitate: “It’s jajangmyeon.” The chewy bowl of noodles crowned with a sweet-and-salty black bean sauce, thick with hunks of red meat and greens, can have roots in Chinese language delicacies, however lately it’s completely Korean.

Susanna Yoon, a chocolatier and the founding father of Stick With Me Chocolates in New York Town, stocks Kim’s sentiment. “It was once a well-liked noodle dish for circle of relatives outings. We loved it in combination somewhat frequently,” Yoon instructed me, noting that she grew up outdoor Seattle, the place there have been many eating places that presented the dish. “My dad would make it for us at domestic, too, every so often,” she says, including that she loves its “super-hearty, salty and candy flavors.”

Whilst jajangmyeon is made and loved year-round, I best just lately learn in chef Peter Serpico’s ebook, “Studying Korean,” written with Drew Lazor, that it’s historically served on April 14, referred to as Black Day in Korea. This anti-Valentine’s birthday party follows Valentine’s Day on Feb. 14 and White Day, some other {couples}’ vacation, on March 14. On Black Day, “unmarried folks get dressed in gothic apparel and drown their romantic woes in mountains of noodles the similar colour as their garments, and perhaps their souls,” Serpico writes.

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Serpico, whose delivery identify is Kyung-ho, tells me that he doesn’t have recollections of consuming jajangmyeon as a child as a result of he wasn’t raised on Korean meals. “Like my siblings, I used to be followed. My folks had been very adamant about elevating me American. … They sought after us to slot in, and a part of that was once now not consuming Korean meals as a circle of relatives,” he explains. In consequence, Serpico spent maximum of his lifestyles feeling stuck between a number of worlds.

Greater than a decade in the past, neatly into his profession as a chef at a few of New York’s maximum acclaimed eating places, one thing clicked.

“The spark got here to me in Queens, round a modest desk lined end-to-end with the primary, and absolute best, actual Korean meals I’d ever tasted,” Serpico writes of his Korean partner’s mother’s unfold. The primary time he had the black bean noodles she made for the circle of relatives — along different Korean dishes — Serpico tasted one thing that in the end felt like domestic. He credit his spouse, Julie, and her folks for introducing him to the home-cooked Korean meals that was once the important thing to figuring out his heritage and, by means of proxy, himself. “I’d eaten Korean delicacies sooner than,” he writes, “nevertheless it took intimate, considerable moments like those for me to in the end get it.”

Methods to use Korean rice muffins (tteok), a chewy, flexible pride

Lately, Serpico makes Korean meals for his daughter, Charlie, and it’s a bonding and studying enjoy for them each. “Jajangmyeon is Charlie’s favourite dish,” Serpico tells me, noting that he makes it with no matter greens he has round. Regardless that red meat abdominal or shoulder is utilized in conventional recipes, every so often he makes use of bacon or skips the beef altogether. He specifies honey as a substitute of sugar in his recipe, “as a result of I attempt to make issues somewhat more fit for us at domestic.”

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The sauce’s placing onyx colour comes from chunjang, Korean black bean paste. In finding it at Asian grocery shops and on-line; it lasts an extended whilst within the refrigerator. On this recipe for jajangmyeon, tailored from Serpico’s ebook, carrots, zucchini and potatoes upload taste and texture to the sauce. Serpico’s recipe makes sufficient to feed 4 to six, however for those who’re feeding simply your self, the sauce freezes extraordinarily neatly. Serpico notes that this will turn out to be useful someday “within the match of a nasty breakup.”

Whether or not you’re brokenhearted or now not, jajangmyeon is a recipe for convenience.

Get the recipe: Jajangmyeon

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