1.012 Jjajang Myeon

-Cycle 1, Item 12-
17 (Sun) January 2010

Jjajang Myeon


from The Hu [delivery]

at my brother-in-law's home

-Apgujeong, Seoul-

Jjajang myeon (짜장면) is a Korean-Chinese noodle dish.  Flour noodles ("myeon"), topped with a black sauce made from fermented/roasted soybean paste ("jjajang"), along with pork or seafood, onions, and other aromatics.  In contrast to the original zhajiang mian in China, the version found in Korea is very different, much darker, sweeter, richer.  Having cooked it myself, I know that a serving contains a sickening amount of oil and sugar, which is why it tastes so good.  It's the equivalent of pizza in the States: cheap, simple (at least in its basic form, though more expensive and fancier varieties are served in more expensive and fancier restaurants), available for delivery wherever, usually from neighborhood joints specializing in delivery (as opposed to in-dining), often 24 hours, and even when it's bad it's still pretty good.

In fact, despite the crappy quality of the photo, which may appear to suggest a lack of regard, it's my favorite dish of all-time.   I was so excited to dig in that I forgot to take the photo until I was halfway done.  Whenever I watch a prison movie involving the execution of a prisoner on death row, and the guard asks the condemned what he'd like for his last meal, this is what flashes through my mind.

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