It’s been a year since I’ve been back from Korea and one of the things I miss eating is jjajangmyeon (black bean noodles). While studying in Seoul, I ordered (or at least I had the front desk ahjusshi help me) jjajangmyeon a couple times when I got hungry at night. One of the beautiful things is that they deliver so you don’t have to go anywhere. This is a dish that many Koreans eat, a dish that you see in dramas and variety shows all the time. It’s comforting and delicious and since I left, I haven’t been able to find a place that serves jjajangmyeon. I found a recipe and decided to try it out via Maangchi.
The recipe is simple and I learned my lesson, again. I always tend not to follow the recipe and add too much of an ingredient because I think it’s not doing what it’s supposed to be doing. This is what happened with the potato starch. The starch is used to make the sauce thicker, but I kept adding more and more starch because the sauce didn’t seem to be thickening (also I was using a teaspoon and I wasn’t sure if it was a 1/2 or 1 tsp…). Later I realized, when the sauce is sitting while the noodles are cooking, this is when the sauce thickens. In the end, my sauce ended up very potatoey and starchy. I learned my lesson so next time, hopefully it’ll be closer to how it’s supposed to taste!
My baby was sick the other night and I decided to make some porridge since it’s a light but tasty meal.
Recipe found on Maangchi.com
The cooking process took awhile, so have things to do to keep you busy in between the steps. In total, it took almost three hours to make, but it was well worth it. It’s simple, yet delicious and filling. This porridge was very cheap to make and we spend about $4.00 on the chicken and green onions, as we had the other ingredients.
This was my first time working with a whole chicken so at first I wasn’t sure what to do, but thankfully I didn’t have to do much to it but cut the fat from the stomach and wash it. After being boiled for about 1 1/2 hours, the chicken was tender and had a lot of flavor. I’ve only had boiled chicken once before, which was samgyetang in Korea, so I just hoped that it would turn out decent enough and it did! I was surprised to be honest :)
The broth is made from the natural oils and juices from the chicken which makes this dish very economical. You don’t have to buy extra ingredients to make the broth. The recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of garlic, which may seem overwhelming but it complements the porridge nicely. It gives the broth an extra, but subtle kick (I used about a cup of garlic and it was still apparent in the soup).
I made the mistake of not taking out the chicken before I put in the rice. I ended up not stirring the porridge and some of the rice at the bottom was burned. Stir it! It’ll be easier to clean!
I definitely recommend this dish! It’s super easy to make (even though it takes a long time to make), it’s cheap, and really tasty.