Vegan Jajangmyeon (Black Bean Noodles)

The vegan version of a Korean noodle dish that holds a special place in my heart. It is none other than Jajangmyeon, or black bean noodles.

Traditionally, the dish is not vegan as it is made with slices of fatty pork. For this vegan version, we supplement that umami flavor and meaty texture with shiitake mushrooms. The result? something truly out of this world.

Just like Sundubu Jjigae (Soft Tofu Stew), Jajangmyeon makes appearance in many Korean dramas. Perhaps my drama-binging is what prompted me to make this recipe.


Vegan Jajangmyeon (Black Bean Noodles)

4 from 24 votes
Recipe by George L. Course: LunchCuisine: KoreanDifficulty: Easy
Servings

2

servings
Prep time

20

minutes
Cooking time

15

minutes

The vegan version of a Korean noodle dish that holds a special place in my heart. It is none other than Jajangmyeon, or black bean noodles.

Ingredients

  • 400 grams thin udon noodles (Korean style)

  • 240 grams (1 cup) hot water, more as needed

  • 4 dried shiitake mushrooms

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 4 tablespoons chunjang (black bean paste)

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced

  • 2 scallions, chopped

  • 1/2 yellow onion

  • 200 grams (1/4 head) green cabbage

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 1 tablespoon vegan oyster sauce

  • Cornstarch Slurry
  • 1 tablespoon water

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Directions

  • Prepare Mushrooms & Vegetables. Soak dried shiitake mushrooms in hot water for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, take out the mushrooms and mince them finely. Reserve the mushroom soaking liquid as well. For the yellow onions and green cabbage, cut them into similarly-sized cubes.
  • Prepare Black Bean Sauce. In a large pan or wok, heat up 2-3 tablespoons of vegetable oil on medium heat. Add chunjang (black bean paste) and slowly fry until fragrant and bubbling, about 1-2 minutes. Be careful not to burn the chunjang. Note: frying the black bean paste (chunjang) here is important — enough oil is crucial here to help develop that signature flavor. Hence the name “Jajangmyeon,” which directly translates to “fried sauce noodles.” Add the garlic & ginger and fry together until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Follow that with minced mushrooms, scallions, yellow onion, green cabbage, and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes. Deglaze with the reserved mushroom-soaking water and bring to a boil to cook for 3-4 minutes. Note: you want the vegetables to retain their crunchiness, so as to add textural contrast to the sauce. Near the end, pour in the cornstarch slurry (1 tablespoon water + 1 tablespoon cornstarch) and stir well to thicken. Finish by stirring in sugar & vegan oyster sauce as well. Taste to adjust seasoning & keep warm.
  • To Assemble. Boil thin udon noodles according to packaged instructions. Note: make sure not to over-cook these noodles. Firm (al dente) noodles will give you the best Jajangmyeon experience. To assemble, drain the noodles and place them in a bowl. Top with black bean sauce, scallions, thinly sliced cucumbers, and toasted sesame seeds. Enjoy warm.

Notes

  • Noodles of choice. For this recipe, thin Korean-style udon noodles are preferred. If you live in the US, you can find fresh ones at the local Korean market (like H-Mart). Find ones that are labeled “For Udon/Jajangmyeon.”
  • Vegetables of choice. In this recipe, I’m using only using green cabbage here but other vegetables like potatoes or zucchini are also commonly added. Just cut them into cubes about the same size as the yellow onions. If you’re using potatoes, I recommend pre-cooking them in the microwave or some boiling water as they take longer to cook.

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S H
S H
6 months ago

What vegan oyster sauce do you use?

Tay
Tay
6 months ago

So nourishing! I saw your videos on tik tok and then preceded to buy all the oils and spices at the Asian market. Can’t wait to make more, thank you!

Ellen
Ellen
6 months ago

I made this last night, it was so tasty and everyone loved it. I had to go to the Asian market for black bean paste, vegan oyster sauce (I used Kikkoman) and dried shiitake mushrooms but now I have enough to make this meal a million more times.

Also, I made ~150 g of udon noodles and it was almost too much, so I must have used a different type of udon noodle.

Margot
Margot
6 months ago

Added a chopped up green pepper that was going bad in with my shallots and YUM!

SiZo
SiZo
6 months ago

OMG! This is sooo deli!!! And so easy to make! Love it!

Elaine
5 months ago

I made this last night for dinner and it was delicious! Had to make a few subs as I’m in Ireland and it was tricky getting the noodles but still delicious with ramen noodles.

Allison
Allison
5 months ago

Can u use ramen noodles with this? Or would it ruin it? Btw your Dan Dan noodle recipe was fantastic!

Somin
Somin
5 months ago

I made this but ran out of chunjang so I only used 3 tbsp and had to add soy sauce to taste, but it was amazing!! Next time I’ll use the correct amounts for the sauce, can’t wait! I also added extra minced mushrooms and used 1.5 onions instead of just half an onion because I like my jajangmyun with lots of onions 🙂 might reduce the sugar because the extra onions added sweetness too! Thanks George for the recipe!

Diana :)
Diana :)
3 months ago

Greetings from Peru! I tried your recipe twice! Thank you so much for it, it convinced my sceptical family. Although I couldn’t find all ingredients exactly the same (the only blackbean paste came with garlic and there was only thick noodles), it came out awesome!! My first vegan korean food recipe!!!

I used too much cabbage though…

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