Jjolmyeon is a cold noodle dish of chewy noodles in a sweet and tangy gochujang sauce. The word “jjolmyeon” actually means chewy noodles, but it also refers to the dish made with them.
The noodles are made from wheat flour and starch, and they are slightly thick, chewy, and bouncy. You can find these noodles either in the refrigerator or frozen section.
Typically, kongnamul (soybean sprouts), green cabbage, carrots, and cucumbers are the vegetables included in this dish. These crunchy vegetables stand up to the chewy noodles quite nicely.
I like to add some tangy/fruity sweetness to the basic ingredients for the sweet and vinegary gochujang sauce. Pineapple juice, Korean green plum syrup (maesilcheong), or even lemon soft drinks work well for that purpose. Another trick is to add a generous amount of finely ground sesame seeds for extra nuttiness. Finely ground roasted peanuts would be good too. All these will nicely round up the flavors of the vinegary, spicy sauce!
Jjolmyeon (Spicy chewy noodles)
Noodles and Vegetables:
400 grams jjolmyeon (refrigerated or frozen)
160 grams kongnamul (soybean sprouts)
80 grams green cabbage
20 grams red cabbage (optional)
1/2 small cucumber
1 hard boiled egg
1 tablespoon gochugaru (preferably finely ground), Korean red chili pepper flakes
2 tablespoons gochujang, Korean red chili pepper paste
1 tablespoon corn syrup or oligodang
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons pineapple juice or maesilcheong
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon sesame seeds (preferably finely ground)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
Combine all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl, and mix well.
Bring 2 cups of water to a boil, and add the soybean sprouts. Close the lid, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the sprouts to cold water to cool, and then drain.
Thinly slice the cabbages, and cut the carrot and cucumber into matchsticks.
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Cook the noodles according to the package instructions (usually about 5 minutes). Drain quickly and rinse in icy cold water until the noodles are very cold. Make two one-serving size mounds. Place the mounds in a colander to drain.
Place the noodles in the middle of a serving bowl and nicely arrange the cold vegetables over the noodles. The sauce can be served on top or separately. You can also mix the noodles and vegetables with the sauce before serving. Place a half of the boiled egg on top to serve.
For more recipes, visit koreanbapsang.com.
By Ro Hyo-sun