Jjambbong (Korean-Chinese Spicy Noodle Soup)

Jjambbong (Korean-Chinese Spicy Noodle Soup)
Staff Writer
Jjambbong (Korean-Chinese Spicy Noodle Soup)

Hyosun Ro

Jjambbong (Korean-Chinese Spicy Noodle Soup)

This spicy red noodle soup, jjambbong (also spelled jjamppong), is one of the most popular Korean-Chinese dishes, alongside another noodle dish called jajangmyeon (noodles in black bean sauce). Adapted for Korean taste by early Chinese immigrants to Korea, Korean-Chinese cuisine (although called Chinese by Koreans) is a huge part of Korean food culture. Korean-Chinese restaurants are everywhere in Korea. Every Korean especially loves the two noodle dishes, jajangmyeon and jjambbong. Oftentimes, Koreans have a hard time choosing between the two when eating out.

You will find it surprisingly easy to make this popular bowl of noodle soup at home with easy-to-find ingredients. Restaurants use hand-pulled noodles (that are a tad chewy), 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, chile-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!

Notes

*Note:  You can also use dried spaghetti or linguini noodles.

**Note: Don’t cut the squid too small since it shrinks a lot while cooking.

Ingredients

  • 12-14 ounces fresh jajangmyeon or udon noodles*
  • 1  tablespoon  vegetable or canola oil
  • One 1-inch piece ginger, julienned
  • scallions, cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 1  tablespoon  Korean chile pepper flakes (gochugaru), or to taste
  • 1  tablespoon  soy sauce
  • 3  ounces  fatty pork, sliced thinly
  • 1/4  onion, sliced thinly
  • 1/2  carrot, sliced thinly into 2-inch lengths
  • 4  ounces  cabbage, cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 1/2  zucchini, sliced thinly into 2-inch lengths
  • dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked and sliced thinly (optional)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4  cups  chicken stock, anchovy broth, or water
  • 4-6 littleneck clams, cleaned
  • 4-6 mussels, cleaned and debearded
  • 4-6 shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3  ounces  cleaned squid, cut into bite-sized pieces**

Directions

Bring a large pot of water to boil. While making the soup, cook the noodles according to package directions and drain.

Heat a wok or a large pot over high heat. Add the oil, ginger, scallions, chile flakes, and soy sauce and stir-fry for 1 minute.

Add the pork and stir-fry until the pork is almost cooked, about 2 minutes. Stir in the onion, carrot, cabbage, zucchini, and mushrooms, if using. Season lightly with salt, and cook until the vegetables are slightly softened, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes.

Pour in the chicken stock (or anchovy broth or water) and bring to a boil. Add the seafood starting with the clams, followed by the mussels, shrimp, and squid.

Return to a boil and cook until the shells have opened. Season with 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.

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
8g
11%
Sugar
2g
2%
Saturated Fat
3g
13%
Cholesterol
21mg
7%
Carbohydrate, by difference
16g
12%
Protein
12g
26%
Vitamin A, RAE
146µg
21%
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
12mg
16%
Calcium, Ca
67mg
7%
Choline, total
11mg
3%
Fiber, total dietary
2g
8%
Fluoride, F
280µg
9%
Folate, total
32µg
8%
Iron, Fe
2mg
11%
Magnesium, Mg
41mg
13%
Niacin
1mg
7%
Phosphorus, P
60mg
9%
Selenium, Se
5µg
9%
Sodium, Na
2426mg
100%
Vitamin D (D2 + D3)
2µg
13%
Water
519g
19%
Zinc, Zn
1mg
13%

Chinese Shopping Tip

Staples of Asian cuisine such as ginger, daikon, rice vinegar, and spicy chile sauces like Sriracha add bright, fresh flavors without lots of fuss.

Chinese Cooking Tip

Sriracha has good heat but also has flavor - its mild sweetness comes from sun-ripened chile peppers as well as sugar and garlic.