A popular Korean-Chinese black bean sauce served over rice instead of the usual noodles is made super easy by the Korean TV actor Cha Seung Won on his variety show “Korean Hostel in Spain”.
I’ve been meaning make jjajangmyeon again for awhile and bought the base paste a few months back but never actually got to it. I made it a few times but have never loved the results which got me discouraged to trying it out again but I must say, I was inspired by the newly hot and popular “Spain Hostel” TV show led by Cha Seung Won. He just makes everything look so easy but delicious. So, here’s my take on his jjajangbap!
What is Jjajangbap?
First, jjajangmyeon, also referred to as “noodles with black bean sauce” is the more common sister dish. It’s actually one of the most common and popular Chinese-Korean dishes. The black bean sauce is made from chunjang, a Korean salty black soybean paste which is often stir-fried with onions, cabbage and often pork (or sometimes seafood).
Myeon = noodles. Bap = rice. So, the most common form of this dish is served with thick-cut chewy noodles but rice is also a popular alternative, particularly at home.
What is Korean Hostel in Spain? Who is Cha Seung Won?
Korean Hostel in Spain is a popular variety program which aired starting in March 2019 on tvN starring Cha Seung Won, Bae Jung Nam and Yoo Hae Jin. The three actors run a hostel that lies in the middle of the long hiking journey known as Camino de Santiago. They provide a no-frills place to sleep and some comfort food before the travelers are back on their feet for the hike.
Cha Seung Won is the main chef for the Korean Hostel. He also starred in a show called Three Meals a Day in the past with Yoo Hae Jin. He’s gained popularity due to his humor but mostly because of his cooking skills and has the nickname, “Cha-jumma” – which comes from the original word “ahjumma” meaning “aunt” or “lady”.
Notes on this recipe
Since the crew is limited on ingredients and time, Cha Seung Won does simplify the recipe. There’s no extensive pre-marinade for the pork and no pre-stirfrying of the black bean paste that is often common but an additional step/bowl needed. And honestly, I did not miss it for the jjajangbap. This recipe is for the quick weeknight meal that comes together pretty quickly.
Jjajangbap is often served with a side of Korean kimchi and pickled radish. While Cha Seung Won skips it in his recipe, you’ll find that bowls of jjajangmyeon and jjajangbap are often topped with thinly sliced cucumber.
And some photos from the show!
Cha Seung Won making the delicious jjajangbap
Getting the trays ready to go out for service!
The whole table enjoying!
Jjajangbap (Korean Black Bean Sauce Over Rice) - Korean Hostel in Spain
- 7 oz (200 g) pork I used pork loin
- 1 Tbsp mirim
- ⅓ carrot
- ⅓ zucchini
- 2-3 cabbage leaves
- 1 small onion
- 1 ½ Tbsp sugar
- 10 fl oz (300 ml) water
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 4 Tbsp water
- 1 Tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- ½ Tbsp chicken stock powder
- 2 ½ Tbsp chunjang black soybean paste
- 2 Bowls Rice
- 2 eggs optional
- Prep the ingredients: Chop the pork into ½ inch strips. Place in a small bowl, pour 1 Tbsp mirim and set aside. Chop the carrots, zucchini, cabbage leaves and small onion into small ½ inch chunks.
- Heat a medium sized frypan with a 1 Tbsp of oil and add in the pork. Add in the sugar and mix to dissolve the sugar. Saute until the pork is no longer pink. Add in the onion and saute for one minute. Continue to add all of the chopped carrots, zucchini, and cabbage. Cook for another 3-5 minutes until the vegetables have softened.
- Stir in all of the sauce ingredients.
- Mix around the pan until the vegetables are coated evenly and the sauce has been cooked for 2-3 minutes. Pour in 10 fl oz water. Bring the sauce to a gentle boil and continue to cook for a few minutes.
- Make the starch slurry - this will thicken the sauce. Add the cornstarch and water into a small bowl and mix well so there are no clumps. First, add about half of the slurry around in a circle into the sauce and mix well. Simmer for about 1 minute and check the consistency. Add in more of the starch slurry until it is not soupy but saucy.
- Serve! Optional, make an egg, your style! Add rice to a large plate, pour sauce on to your rice and top with an egg! Mix the rice and sauce together with some of the egg yolk and enjoy! Also great to eat with kimchi or pickled radish.