Korean and Chinese food fusion has resulted in a few fantastically delicious dishes, most notably, jajangmyeon, jjamppong, and tangsuyuk. These popular favorites are ubiquitous in Korea and Korean communities in the US, with entire restaurants dedicated to serving just these one or more of these dishes. Lines are expected at some of the more popular noodle joints, and to say that popular neighborhood joints have a loyal following is an understatement. Korean-Chinese cuisine is akin to fast food pizza in the US–widely available for delivery in virtually any city, fairly inexpensive, and really tasty.
Jajangmyeon, steamed noodles with a black bean sauce, is perhaps the poster dish of Korean-Chinese cuisine, followed closely by jjamppong (noodles and seafood in a spicy broth), and tangsuyuk (koreanized version of sweet and sour pork). In addition, there are several other Chinese-influenced spin-offs, including jajangbap (black bean sauce served on steamed rice), and kkanpunggi (fried chicken glazed in sweet/spicy sauce).
Word has it that Korean-Chinese fusion first came about in the port city of Incheon, where much of Korea’s ethnic Chinese population lives. Derived from classic Northern Chinese cuisine, the dishes are informed and localized by a Korean repertoire of token ingredients, and there are subtle regional differences, such as jajangmyeon‘s use of black bean sauce in lieu of the traditional sesame sauce. In Korea, Korean-Chinese cuisine is also accompanied by danmuji (yellow pickled daikon), and raw onion which is accompanied by a distinctively bitter black bean paste.
Wondering how exactly to make jajangmyeon? There’s always the efficient, time-saving super market version, but if you’ve got time to spare, there’s no replacement for a homemade version. Check out a super informative video made by Kimchi Chronicles Video Contest runner-up Naru2222.