With the weather still cool, I have been refining my jjambbong recipe. You will find it surprisingly easy to make this popular bowl of noodle soup at home with easy-to-find ingredients. Restaurants use a tad chewy hand-pulled noodles, but for home cooking you can find ready made fresh noodles at Korean markets. Another option is to simply use spaghetti or linguini noodles. The soup is typically made with chicken stock for a rich flavor, but you can also use anchovy broth for a cleaner/lighter taste. This soup also incorporates pork, chili infused oil, and various vegetables and seafood. The combination of all the natural ingredients creates a hearty bowl of soup that is packed with robust flavors. The spiciness will surely clear your sinuses!
12 – 14 ounces fresh jajangmyeon/udon noodles
3 ounces fatty pork, thinly sliced
1 thumb-size ginger piece, julienned
2 scallions, cut into 2 inch lengths
1 tablespoon Korean chili pepper flakes (gochugaru) (adjust for your liking)
1 tablespoon oil (vegetable or canola)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
salt and pepper
1/4 onion, thinly sliced
1/2 carrot (about 2 ounces), thinly sliced into 2-inch lengths
1/2 zucchini (about 3 ounces), thinly sliced into 2-inch lengths
4 ounces cabbage (about 4 ounces), cut into 2-inch lengths (or napa cabbage)
2 dried shitake mushrooms, soaked and sliced thin (optional)
4 – 6 littleneck clams
4 – 6 mussels
4 – 6 shrimp
3 ounces squid, cut into bite sizes (Do not cut squids too small as they shrink a lot when cooked.)
4 cups of chicken stock or anchovy broth (or water)
Have a pot of water ready to cook the noodles. (Turn the heat on when you start cooking the soup ingredients. This way you can time it so that the noodles can be finished cooking at the same time the soup is ready.) While making the soup, cook the noodles according to the package instructions and drain.
Add the seafood starting with the clams, which require more time to cook, followed by the mussels, shrimps and squid. Bring everything to a boil again and cook until the shells have opened. Salt and pepper to taste. Place a serving of the noodles in a large soup bowl and ladle the soup on top. Serve immediately while piping hot.