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JunJiangMein- My Jones and Korea's Noodle Comfort Food

opinionatedchef | Sep 27, 201104:00 PM

O.k., i've been on a CH prowl this last week , finally taking up the scent for this 'black bean noodle' dish that i so loved long ago at Asiana Grill in Arlington (RIP). I should first explain that this black bean sauce is NOT like the salty chinese sauce one might be familiar with. This is a very very thick dark black sauce with many layers of subtle flavor, usually served over chewy wheat noodles with minced pork, onion, potato, zucchini. Except to say that it has a soy component, i regret that i really cannot describe the flavor. Some CHs have alluded to mushroom flavors or nuttiness or smokiness. Not sweet imo. So now I've had 3 other Boston versions, but none as good as Asiana(as i recall, that is). BTW, i don't think any 2 restnts spell it the same.

-BukKyungI- as described and delicious but no discernible pieces of meat, potato etc.-too pureed.

Wonderful noodles appear irregular/homemade.

-- Young Chow Loo in HMart Food Court- ja jung myun as described; v good flavor but miniscule amount of zucchini, no potato, and way too much onion. (Maybe i'd bring this home and add more protein and vegetables.)

The seafood version, jeng banja jang, was a huge plate of fresh food and good amount of shrimp, squid, some scallop asnd mussels, but sauce not as thick or deeply flavored; needed some spunk, and wayyy too much onion with raw acid flavor.

--Cafe LuLu- (#D9 is HongKong Style jia jiang mein- which, here, means strips of red sweet and sour pork over yellow wheat vermicelli.) What you want is #D9, but TAIWAN Style- you will get a slightly spicy unctuous chopped pork black bean bolognese over thick wheat noodles.(loaded w/ pork). yum. but not korean, not dark black sauce.

I hope you will pitch in with descriptions of ones you have tried.

** Btw, does anyone know if MSG is a given with this dish- because it's almost always made with a prepared black bean sauce component( or base) that contains msg? (as is the case w/ 99.9% of instant packaged dashi bases.)

Buk Kyung I (Hometown Restaurant)
9 Union Sq Suite A, Somerville, MA 02143

Cafe de Lulu
42 Beach St, Boston, MA 02110

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