What is Jjampong?
Jjampong or sometimes “Jjamppong” is a noodle soup, usually spicy, that is popular in Korea. Usually, seafood and other meats are mixed with the noodles to come up with a tasty treat.
“Jjampong” is actually a Japanese word which means “mix”. But the noodle dish itself is attributed to the Chinese residents of Nagasaki, Japan. With a Japanese name and Chinese cooking roots, Jjampong has evolved to become a very popular Korean noodle soup.
Traditionally, jjampong is a mixture of noodles, seafood, other meats, and vegetables. One can prepare it spicy and non-spicy, though most people refer to jjampong as a spicy seafood noodle soup. Jjampong noodles soups are very easy to make, that’s why it’s very popular among Koreans. One just needs to “mix” the ingredients to come up with a mouth-watering dish.
The first step in the process of making jjampong is making the stock. Usually anchovies are used along with lots of dried kelp or seaweed, onions and maybe some mushrooms. The next step commonly involves the preparation of the spicy ingredient through hot pepper flakes mixed with vegetable oil. These spicy pepper flakes are mixed with vegetable oil so it will blend better with the water/stock. The amount of hot pepper in the mix depends on a person’s “spice tolerance”. After which, seafood meat is prepared. Commonly used are squids, mussels, and shrimps. But instead of just seafood, one can also add in some pork or beef strips depending on his/her taste. The soup wouldn’t be complete without lots of vegetables. These may include cabbage, onions, carrots, mushrooms, and other green leafy options. After all the side ingredients are prepared, the noodles are cooked next. Mixing of all the ingredients follows with taste adjustments in terms of adding more spice through pepper or adding sauces from fish or oysters to add flavor to the soup.
For those who can’t find the time to cook, ready-to-eat meal versions are now available in supermarkets and grocery stores. Jjampong has become a meal that is loved not only by Koreans, but also by other people all over the world.