I bought a pack of instant Jajangmyeon last week. I have never tried Jajangmyeon before, so I was pretty excited when I found out that Ranch 99 Market sell various kinds of instant Jajangmyeon. Jajangmyeon, you see, is a Korean dish - wheat noodles topped with black bean sauce, and usually garnished with some diced meat and vegetables. This particular noodles derived from a Chinese dish named Zhajiangmian, which basically made out of the same element of food.
Sure, you may see nothing special about this dish, for it is merely noodles with sauce. But, the thing is, the sauce is the main star of the dish. The sauce is black in color and it is made out of fermented black soybeans. The only thing that popped into my mind when I heard the word "fermented soybean" is a traditional Japanese food named Natto. I've tasted Natto before and I'm not fond of it because it tasted weird, bitter, and funky in a bad way. My past self hoped that Jajangmyeon would tasted somehow better than Natto.
|Put the noodle into a pan of boiling water|
The instant Jajangmyeon that I bought had a slightly larger and wider noodle compared to the ones that we have here in Indonesia. It came with another pack inside the packaging, which is the black bean sauce. As I grope the smaller packaging, I could feel some chunks and cube-shaped object at random places. "That must be the meat," I thought.
|A pack of black bean paste|
Mom did the cooking while I documenting the process. It was written on the package that the noodle must be cooked for five minutes. I don't like soft and squishy noodles, so Mom cooked it for three minutes. The noodles turned out medium well, just how I like it!
After the noodle was nicely cooked, Mom proceed to tore the smaller packaging and pour the black bean sauce onto the goldilocks. They didn't lie when they said that the sauce is black because it was! Its' pitch black color was intimidating. Now I know why squid-eating predators would sprint when the squid has squirt out its' ultimate self-defense tool: the blinding black ink.
As I mix the black sauce with the noodles, I could smell the aroma tingling my nose. It smelled slightly weird, to be honest. I rolled my chopstick around the dark brown noodle and took my first bite of Jajangmyeon. It tasted weird, but not too weird for me to finish the whole bowl. The sauce tasted like soy sauce, and it has this weird flavor which I cannot determine. Maybe it was the flavor of the black bean since I have never tried black bean before. There were chunks of mushroom, meat, and potato, and they didn't taste that bad.
Long story short, my first experience in eating Jajangmyeon was okay. It didn't tasted that bad, but I would prefer to have a couple bowl of Indomie Kari Ayam. For those who fancy Korean dish, you should definitely try Jajangmyeon. Who knows, maybe you will like it better than I do.
P.S. You can get instant Jajangmyeon at most supermarket that sells imported products, such as Ranch 99 Market and Food Hall. Happy hunting!