Jajangmyun (Noodles with Black Bean Sauce)

Scott Meola

James Beard Foundation - NYC

After receiving a tutorial from his Korean mother-in-law, Scott made these tasty noodles a staple of his kitchen. The recipe originated in China but was brought to Korea about 100 years ago—and it has since become a de facto national dish.


3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 pound beef or pork, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Salt and black pepper to taste
3 tablespoons black bean paste (available in Asian groceries)
1 cup diced potatoes
1/2 cup diced carrots
1 cup plus 5 tablespoons water, divided
1 cup diced onions
1/2 cup diced zucchini
2 tablespoons cornstarch
One 6-ounce package dried udon noodles
Julienned cucumbers for garnish (optional)


Heat the oil in a sauté pan and stir-fry the garlic, beef, salt, and pepper for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the black bean paste and sauté for 2 more minutes.

Add the potatoes, carrots, and 1 cup of water; bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Add the onions and zucchini and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes.

Combine the cornstarch with 5 tablespoons water and slowly stir mixture into the sauce to thicken it. Cook for another 2 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to the package directions.

Ladle warm sauce over the drained cooked noodles in a bowl, and garnish with julienned cucumber (optional).


4 servings