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Monday, March 8, 2010

Jajangmyon - 杂酱面




Yesterday, Singapore had its 2nd mass cycling event, the first was held a year ago with great success. This year, it gets even better. I participated in the 40km event which saw more than 6000 participants and am really glad that I finished the race without....coming in last! (LOL)  - in fact, I did better than last year, completing the 40km in 2 hours, without any soreness or pain in my butt as I pedalled furiously to maintain an average speed of 20km/hr.  This, anyone who bikes will know, is snail pace. However, for my fitness level, and with zero training prior, this was the best I could realistically aim for. Honestly, even up to the last minute, I was still trying to conjure up believable excuses to pull out of the event. I started feeling breathless even during the 1st 5km - and was seriously contemplating to pull up at the 1st aid stop to tell them that I had a pinched nerve and had to stop. It was also especially nerve wrecking as I noticed all the road bikes, half the weight of my mountain bike were overtaking me effortlessly - I felt like I was riding on a hippo!

My Pink Hippo...

Then, at some point, I started to ignore those whizzing road bikes and focus on just maintaining the 20-21km/hr figure displayed on my speed indicator. It was then that I found myself panting less and my legs started to acquire the rhythm to pedal with smooth continuity.... and before I realised it, I was already 25km into the race and the remaining 10km or so lying ahead did not look so unachievable anymore.

One of the best part of pushing your body to the limits is the total restfulness that follows the exertion . After showering, I literally spent the rest of my Sunday morning and afternoon, lounging on my couch, watching TV... it felt good to be able to give in to the exhaustion and let the body just slump... it was after 3 episodes of Friends, 2 episodes of American Idol, that I surfed over to the Chinese station that was showing a Korean Drama. It was odd, but over the span of 30mins, Jajangmyon was mentioned more than 10 times in the show. It immediately stirred up my craving for Jajangmyon - which is a Korean noodle dish which originated from China. The key ingredient of this dish is the Chinese bean past sauce, (杂酱) Jajang. It is a favourite dish among Korean children. I remember a Korean colleague once told me he had to cook Jajangmyon for her daughter every Sunday and it is the one dish that she prefers from her dad than her mum.

Such is the power of food craving... it was strong enough to have me drag my listless body out of the couch, and out to the supermarket to get the Korean Bean paste!
I am not sure if I have prepared this correctly but the bean paste was so tasty that I suspect it wouldn't be easy to make this taste bad. Following dinner, I went to bed early and slept like a baby.

Recipe :

1                   potato, diced
1                   small carrot, diced
1                   onion, diced
50g               minced pork
2 tbsp           Jajang (black bean paste)
1tsp              Sugar mixed with 1/2 cup water
1 tbsp           Oil

Noodles ( the Koreans will use wheat noodle. I used a thinner version Japanese Udong)


1. Heat oil in a hot wok.
2. Add in Jajang and fry until a little dry.
3. Add diced potato, onions and minced pork and fry for a few minutes. Add sugar solution. Cover and cook over low fire until vegetables are softened.
4. If the sauce become too dry, add a little water.
5. In a spearate saucepan, boil some water and once water boils, add and blanch noodles. Drain noodles
6. Divide noodles into 2 portion, lay sauce over the noodle. Garnish with cucumber strips and hard boil egg.


thecoffeesnob said...

Congratulations on finishing the race- what a feat!

I completely have newfound respect for bikers having attended a spinning class recently. I was completely wiped out after the class but it felt so good!

By the way, would you happen to know anywhere that sells bikes at reasonable prices? I've been looking to get one for some time now. Thanks!

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Hi, Miss Coffeesnob, yes, there are a few places where you can get bikes at reasonable prices. It all depends on your definition of reasonable prices. Will email you a little later.

Ju (The Little Teochew) said...

Way to go, Shirley!! Glad you had a good race, a good rest and a good meal. ;) I'd love to try making this ... it's vegetarian, right? It looks really appetising and comforting.

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Ju, you certainly can make this vegetarian. In fact I was contemplating it - instead of minced pork thinking of adding bean curd cubes (tow kua)

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

This look good and yummy!

Irene's Footprints said...

Shirley...u sure know what to cook after watching the TV.

Good...BBQ pork next with the bean paste : )

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Good on your Shirley! Sounds like a great feeling afterwards (and food always tastes better after exercise too).

Zurin said...

congratulations on finishing the race. way to go Shirley! makes me feel like biking too altho im way past my

thats a very interesting must be good! looks good with teh black beans...nice colours on the pictures too...the blue goes so well with the black beans.^^

Jared said...

how'd you finish the race in such high heat/humidity is beyond me. Do you get acclimated to the weather by living there? I remembered I was tired and sweaty after only walking a few blocks when we visited last year.

Congratulations on completing the race!

tigerfish said...

Congrats on completing the race.
I was still in bed that day :O

Your jajangmyon looks good!

WendyinKK said...

This reminded me of my one and only non-stop 40 laps in the pool.
When u go past the tiredness, u won't feel tired anymore. Even after the 40, I think I could do another 20, but I had been swimming for too long, fingers all wrinkled. I don't think I can do that again now. :)

Actually I've been trying to see the jajangmyan for few days and it won't come up, now I see it.

Trissa said...

Shirley you are my new idol! I dont know how you managed to finish that race - I can only hope of one day biking up my street (in fairness, it is uphill!)... anyway, you totally deserved to eat that delicious meal after - never heard of jajangmyon but next time I'm in a Korean restaurant I'll make sure to order it.

MsMoon said...

hi Shirley, congratulations on the completion of the 40km cycling race! It is definitely an achievement to be proud of!

The zhajiangmian looks yummy, I've always seen characters in Korean dramas eating it, but never got the chance to try it cos I'm always greedily ordering BBQ pork in Korean restaurants... I think I know what show you are talking about... it's a story of a girl who lost her memory right? hahaha... I watched it too. It's a silly but funny show, don't need to exercise much 'brain juice' to understand what's happening... haha..

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Yes,yes... that is the Korean drama! The girl wanted Jajangmyon and the kids were crying over it too.. crazy.

pigpigscorner said...

Congrats! At least you took part and finished it. I don't think I can ever to that with my stamina.

Blessed Homemaker said...

I'm not a fan of this noodle but your photography makes me wanna have a bowl now!

Shelley said...

That's funny – I love Chinese style zhajiangmian but never tried Korean Jajangmyon - I must try it some day! We always have it with some other stir-fried vegetables mixed in as well. I love your chiffon cakes.


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