Jjajangmyeon

Serves 4

  • One 2-pound bag of jjajangmyeon noodles, thawed if frozen
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 8 ounces boneless pork loin, cut into sticks about 1/2 inch thick and 1 inch long
  • 1 large white onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 large zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 cup 1/2-inch pieces of green cabbage
  • 3 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup Korean black bean paste (chunjang)
  • 2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 3 tablespoons potato starch, mixed with 5 tablespoons water to create a slurry
  • 3/4 cup julienned seedless cucumber

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the noodles according to the package directions; drain well and set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, sauté the pork until lightly browned; keeping the pan on the burner, use a pair of tongs to remove the pork from the pan and keep it covered.

Raise the heat to high and sauté the onions until thoroughly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan, and sauté the potatoes in it until lightly browned on all sides but still firm. Add the zucchini and cabbage and sauté for a minute.

Add the reserved pork back to the pan and stir to mix. Lower the heat to medium. Move the ingredients to the sides of the pan and create a well in the center of the pan. Add the sesame oil, followed by the black bean paste; stir the two together until fragrant, about a minute. Gradually pull the pork-vegetable mixture towards the center, add the brown sugar and the stock; stir well and cook, covered, until the vegetables are cooked through and softened, about 5-7 minutes. Season to taste with the salt.

Turn the heat down to low and drizzle the potato starch slurry in a steady stream into the mixture. Give the sauce a stir and bring it back up to a boil; cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened and glossy, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Run the noodles through hot tap water quickly just to loosen them up and also to heat them up. Shake off the excess water and divide the noodles between 4 bowls. Ladle the sauce over the noodles. Garnish with the julienned cucumber and serve immediately. 

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