In case you don't have that special person to celebrate Valentine's Day or White Day with, don't worry, the Asians have a special day for you too. It is called 'Black Day' 블랙데이. Black Day is celebrated on April 14th and is mostly celebrated in South Korea. At this day the Koreans mourn a little over the fact they didn't get any gifts earlier (on Valentine's or White day) and then celebrate their singleness by getting together with other single friends. If you want to follow their tradition you just have to wear something black and eat some dark coloured food like the famous jjajangmyun 자장면.
Jjajangmyun is Black Day's signature dish and consists of white noodles covered in black bean sauce. Although jjajangmyung is written like 자장면 , it is pronounced as 짜장면, with a 'J' as in 'jam'. Jajang (자장) means 'fried sauce' and myeon (면)means 'noodle'.
It is actually a Chinese-Korean dish which some Chinese immigrants brought to Incheon. Unlike other Korean noodles, jjajangmyun is made of white flour instead of potato starch. The noodles are made by hand, and after that shortly boiled. When the noodles are cooked, pork,vegetables and sea cucumber are added which make the base for the sauce. Last but not least they add black bean paste and a good stock. Some corn starch can be added also if the sauce isn't thick enough. jjajangmyun is considered as a national dish of Korea and the perfect comfort food for Black Day.
If you want to take it to a whole other level there are even many jjajangmyun eating contests this day!
Although jjajanmyun may sound like a dish for the loners which can make your teeth stain, it is really delicious. I highly recommend you to try it so I have the recipe for you below!
This recipe makes four servings;
- Pork belly, diced in easy to eat cubes or strips
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 cup diced potatoes
- 1 cup diced onions
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- +/- 3 large table spoons black bean paste
- corn starch
- Sesame oil
- Your favorite vegetable julienned ( I recommend cucumber or Korean radish)
- Korean noodles of your choice
1. Heat a wok or a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the meat and cook until the edges are slightly browned.
2. Add the carrots and potatoes and sauté for 1/2 minutes. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until the onions turn translucent.
3. Add the black bean paste to the pan and combine. Make sure everything gets evenly coated. Gradually add some water and bring to a high simmer. ( be careful not to add to much).
4. Let the sauce simmer until it thickens, this will take about 3 to 4 minutes. The sauce has to stick to the noodles, but not too much either. If your sauce is not thick enough, you can add some cornstarch.
5. Turn off the heat and add some sesame oil, stir until combined. Pour the sauce on top of the noodles. Garnish with your fresh vegetables.
I hope you enjoyed reading my post!
~ Mei mei