Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Jjajang myun is Yum!

Those of you who know me personally know that I am half Korean.  My mother is Korean.  Her and my dad met while he was stationed there for the Air Force.  When my brother and I were born we moved from base to base living in Washington, Guam, Korea several times....eventually, we made our way to Oscoda, MI.  When there was news that the base in Oscoda was closing, my mom pushed my dad to get out of the military so that my brother and I could go to middle school and high school without having to move several times. 

I am so fortunate to have a Korean mother for several reasons, but one of them is that it has exposed me to some delicious foods!  I will never forget how throughout school all my friends who came over knew that they could expect a rice cooker full of sticky rice and they loved it.  I have to say though, my most favorite meal is Jjajang Myun!  If you haven't tried it, you should!  Find your nearest Korean restaurant and order it or hit up your local Asian market and buy the ingredients and make it yourself!  It is amazing!  I know that the looks of it is a bit off putting, but you will not regret it once you taste it.  The sauce is black so that is what throws people off a bit, but it is made of soy beans which is where it gets its color.  The sauce is full of vegetables which is present in most Korean dishes.

I recently have had the urge to make more Korean dishes and stumbled upon a GREAT blog called Maangchi.  Maangchi posts all of the traditional dishes that I had throughout my childhood and I am in love with the blog.  She also has a list of Korean markets by state under her cooking tab.  The list is very incomplete though which is understandable considering she can't know where all of them are when she is from New York.  For those living in Genesse County, the best one is on Corunna Road in Flint called the Seoul Market.  There are several throughout Lansing and East Lansing as well. 

Anyway, back to the Jjajang Myun.  It is my fave! (like I said).  But, I had never made it myself so I went to Maangchi and set out on making it!  I followed this recipe but had to make a few changes....such as using yellow squash instead of zuchini because I thought I had some but I didn't.  I didn't have any asian radish either.  Also, I used regular potatoes in liue of sweet.  This is one of those meals where you can swap ingredients easily.  For example, many places use shrimp in lieu of pork, and I am sure I will make it with chicken in the future.  Proteins can always be swapped in this recipe. 

I thought that it turned out wonderfully and Clint ate his and gave a great review as well.  If any one decides to give it a whirl, let me know what you thought whether you ordered it or made it.

For those of you going to make it yourself, here is a picture of the Korean ingredients and what they look like if you are looking for them in the markets.  I am sure brands vary from store to store, but these are popular.

 The first item is sesame oil and the second is the Jjajang sauce.

 These are the noodles called the myun.

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