Jjajangmyeon 짜장면 And Korean Black Day 블랙데이

The taxi uncle articulated like a tourist’s guide, his running commentary on the historical sites en route to The Shilla were awesome! By the way, Asians like to call older man as uncle and ladies as aunties as a show of respect, nothing to do with relations. I drifted to La La Land in between his updates. The ride lasted forever and my heavy lids surrendered. When the uncle finally announced that we were entering the compound, I grudgingly opened my eyes to a surreal vision of spectra grandeur. The hotel’s main building was still a good distance away on the upslope. The real estate seemed to belong to an ancient era. The Silla Dynasty?

We have arrived….

The hotel staff wasn’t exactly surprised when we checked in. It must have been around 3am by the time we reached The Shilla, but they were expecting us. See my earlier post The Bonding Tool @ The Shilla, Seoul for more photos of the hotel.

Checking into The Shilla, Seoul.

Checking into The Shilla, Seoul.

The rooms did not fail to impress but the most beckoning facility at this hour were the beds. Soft and warm. Ah yes, sleep. We needed to hit the sack! An hour passed… Perhaps, two. Ryan and Valerie went for their appointment. It was a new beginning for them. Blessed darlings did not wake Vanessa and I. We were left in suspense of our consciousness for another couple of hours.

Seoul Korea Day 2

It’s a beautiful morning!
We showed the cabbie the address on a piece of paper written by the wedding chaperone and should be there in 30-45minutes.

Seoul Korea Day 2

Vany and I caught up with Ryan and Valerie at the appointed venue.
The place had beautiful plants and trees.
Korea’s “Sakura” had just ended but some blossoms that lingered were still pretty.

She's really enjoying the ride, lol...

Ryan and Valerie had to be at the make-up and hair salon before heading to the studio to meet the photographer.
They had been out since 5 or 6am and had not had anything for breakfast.
We all need to break fast 🙂

We needed breakfast and what did we fail to eat last night? Jjajangmyeon 짜장면!

Jjajangmyeon is a popular noodle dish mixed in with black bean sauce made of chunjang (춘장 – salty black soybean paste), usually but not necessarily minced pork and vegetables. You can only find it at Korean Chinese restaurants and not native Korean eateries.

The most obvious reason that Jjajangmyeon can only be found in Chinese restaurants is because this dish was introduced by Chinese merchants but the flavour had evolved over time to suit Korean taste. Accordingly, the first known Jajangmyeon was served from a restaurant in the Chinatown of Incheon, called Gonghwachun 공화춘, in 1905.

Background: Enough said about Valentine’s Day, we all know what that day means. White Day, which falls one month later on the 14th March, is observed by Japan, China, South Korea and Taiwan. It was first celebrated in 1978 in Japan, started by the National Confectionery Industry Association, as sort of a “repayment day” to Valentine’s Day on the grounds that men should pay back the women who gave them gifts on Valentine’s Day. Hmmm… Are you thinking what I’m thinking? 😉

Korean Black Day 블랙데이, which falls on the 14th April, is a special day where singles who did not receive any presents on Valentine’s and White Day get together and have these Korean Black Bean Sauce Noodles a.k.a. Jajangmyeon to commiserate each other. O…Oh!!! Ironically, we had this dish in the midst of the pre-wed photography session but what the heck, I didn’t know this tidbit of Korean food culture then! Anyway, the couple didn’t get a chance to eat it. Only Vany and I had the pleasure of slurping up the gooey goodness 😀

Seoul Korea Day 2

In every neighbourhood, one can easily locate a Jjajangmyeon 짜장면 shop that will deliver within 15 minutes. Any longer and it is bad service.

Seoul Korea Day 2

We didn’t have to wait long for ours.
Our Jjajangmyeon were delivered in less than 10 minutes.
They were served in melamine soup plate and after you have finished eating, just leave the plates outside the front door or porch and the deliveryman will make his round to collect them later.

Seoul Korea Day 2

The spaghetti-looking noodles were very warm when they arrived.

Raw Onions and Radish Pickles.

Raw Onions and Radish Pickles.

Seoul Korea Day 2

Jjajangmyeon is best eaten, alternating each mouthful with the raw onions and pickled radish.
The sour and crunch greatly enhance the overall mouthfeel and eating experience.

Seoul Korea Day 2

You have to keep flipping, tossing, turning and mixing until every single strand is coated with the gooey starchy sauce.
It’s not a must but part of the fun, lol…

I do not have the contact for this Jjajangmyeon shop as the photographer’s assistant helped us order. Do not be fooled by the plain looking dish. They were very delicious and cheap!

Seafood Jjajangmyeon 짜장면

Seafood Jjajangmyeon 짜장면

There are two versions of Jjajangmyeon, the standard version which we devoured and the seafood version shown in the last photo which we tasted at Incheon airport on our way back to Singapore. The one from the airport was lousy. It’s the sauce that is most crucial in this dish.

Happy 4th July to ALL my American friends 🙂

P.S. I’m traveling this afternoon and will catch you in a bit. Happy weekend!

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Comments
7 Responses to “Jjajangmyeon 짜장면 And Korean Black Day 블랙데이”
  1. Hi Sam,lovely post,Korean cosine is taking roots here in Los Angeles.Happy 4th. of July.

  2. Lignum Draco says:

    Have a good trip. 🙂

  3. 4th being spent with family in Hershey, Pennsylvania… food report …
    nothing in this town to eat but chocolate …
    but I think I will survive … lol
    Love, hugs and blessings for you and the soon to be newlyweds…
    ME and the Boss

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