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Zha Jiang Noodles


grover
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goodeats,

Zha Jiang Noodle is a comfort food for Korean people, too. It is the most selling Chinese food in Korea. Have you tried it at any Korean-Chinese place?

Grover, while I know you have good intentions, the jiajiangmyun served Korean-style is somewhat different than the Chinese style. I think there was a slight discourse of this in The Fortune Cookie Chronicles. Most notably, Chinese zha jiang noodle does not use black bean sauce, or at least the way my family made it does not -- we use soy sauce or the dark soy sauce paste/gravy (jiang you gao). While many Chinese families in China (and perhaps other Chinese huaqiao and Taiwan) have adopted some form of Korean-Chinese jiajiangmyun (even if the Koreans adopted from the Chinese in the first place), the memories evoked are quite different.

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If somebody would like to create a Zha Jiang Noodle thread, please do it and move my post.

I know Chinese one and Korean one are different. We call the sauce Chum Myun Jiang (甛麵醬) which is same as Zha Jiang sauce Chinese people use but Korean one is darker and sweeter because caramel is added. Even though many people call it as black bean sauce but it is from soybean not from black bean.

Zha Jiang Noodle was introduced by Chinese people from Shandong (山東) area (we call them Hwa Gyo - 華僑) who lived in Incheon and they opened Chinese restaurants there. The first known Chinese restaurant in Korea was Kong Hwa Choon (共和春) in 1905. After that more than 90% of Chinese restaurants when I grew up were run by Hwa Gyo. It is not any more though. I just simply asked if you tried the Korean version. :)

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The only version of this dish I have tried is at TNR Cafe - and they even have two different names for it on old/new menus: ja jien mein and cha jiang mein.

Have either of you tried it there? I have no idea whether they serve the Chinese or the Korean style of the dish, or if it's at all authentic. I just know I like it :)

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The only version of this dish I have tried is at TNR Cafe. Have either of you tried it there?

I have not tried it there yet, even though it's now a stone's throw away. Maybe I will try it this weekend and report back.

Is this made with rice noodles or wheat noodles? I'm asking out of total ignorance, but interest.

Scottee - this is usually a gluten-based noodle, unfortunately - at least in the restaurants, but really, you can make your own. I have made the zha jiang sauce and poured it over rice or even used spaghetti noodles in a pitch (very different texture, of course). I can find a general recipe to post here for the zha jiang and you can use your own gluten-free thin-to-thick-ish noodle.

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I second that idea about the sauce pouring over rice. It works on fried rice (when it is mediocre), too.

A&J is the only place I've tried the noodle for authentic Zha Jiang noodle. For the Korean variation, I like China Castle (best so far), Da Rae Won (the second best) and Jang Won Bahn Jom.

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Have tried a (perhaps not the) chinese version and the korean version. I thought they were someone close but korean version has more stuff and is more gloppy.

I am biased toward korean (blame it on heritage) version but to me it is comfort. but I would not pass up on the chinese version either. Both solid.

The thing that funny for me is that when ever I take non asians to JJM (ja jang mein), I get a strong reation (hate it or love it). Unfortunately, most people seem to hate it. It could be the gloppy heavy sauce, difference in texture or the taste. I'm alway suprised by the reaction because for it it is really akin to maccaroni and cheese. Just your basica comfort food. My wife especially cannot stand the stuff but then goodness, my kids love the stuff.

Soup

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Have tried a (perhaps not the) chinese version and the korean version. I thought they were someone close but korean version has more stuff and is more gloppy.

I am biased toward korean (blame it on heritage) version but to me it is comfort. but I would not pass up on the chinese version either. Both solid.

The thing that funny for me is that when ever I take non asians to JJM (ja jang mein), I get a strong reation (hate it or love it). Unfortunately, most people seem to hate it. It could be the gloppy heavy sauce, difference in texture or the taste. I'm alway suprised by the reaction because for it it is really akin to maccaroni and cheese. Just your basica comfort food. My wife especially cannot stand the stuff but then goodness, my kids love the stuff.

Soup

We had a very good Korean version in Seoul, which everyone in our 25 person group liked--even the kid who'd been living on rice for a week. The noodles were hand pulled in the front of the shop, and were really of extraordinary texture--silky, but still with some chew. This was at the place at the base of the observation tower in Seoul, with a name that translates to something along the lines of "noodles for the king." We have not found anything comparable in our Annandale forays--I thought the version at the place behind the Popeyes on John Marr was downright nasty. A&J's, with thick noodles and a different saucing, is what comes closest for us. Ironically, the prepackaged JJM from the Korean grocers is also better than what we'd had at the Korean-Chinese place.

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We had a very good Korean version in Seoul, which everyone in our 25 person group liked--even the kid who'd been living on rice for a week. The noodles were hand pulled in the front of the shop, and were really of extraordinary texture--silky, but still with some chew. This was at the place at the base of the observation tower in Seoul, with a name that translates to something along the lines of "noodles for the king." We have not found anything comparable in our Annandale forays--I thought the version at the place behind the Popeyes on John Marr was downright nasty. A&J's, with thick noodles and a different saucing, is what comes closest for us. Ironically, the prepackaged JJM from the Korean grocers is also better than what we'd had at the Korean-Chinese place.

Was it litterally at the base of the nam san tower or was it in a part of seoul just below the tower? I was there a month ago and at a a place pretty close and it was hand pulled and the name had the work Wang (king) in it. It is a chain but on the wall it talk about TV shows it had been featured on. It was pretty good. There there are a lot of JJM places in seoul and many of them were pretty good.

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Was it litterally at the base of the nam san tower or was it in a part of seoul just below the tower? I was there a month ago and at a a place pretty close and it was hand pulled and the name had the work Wang (king) in it. It is a chain but on the wall it talk about TV shows it had been featured on. It was pretty good. There there are a lot of JJM places in seoul and many of them were pretty good.

It was at the base of the tower--not in the tower itself, but after you walk up the long driveway from the bus stop.

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