The true acid test of good food is when meat is removed from the recipe. But how? Create a new recip
You are staring at a delicious 600-calorie meal ensconced happily in my favourite casserole dish. This is an unusually big portion size for ‘normal’ folks, filled with luscious zucchini, tofu pok (fried tofu), broccolini, topped with Chinese and fresh mushrooms amidst delectable Korean Udon. While this may seem like Everest to some, it is still lower than a McDonald’s Double Cheeseburger meal with fries and drinks that clock in at 830 calories. For those who want to eat lighter for dinner, I do personally recommend eating half portion of this Mushroom Jajang Noodles. It should be very filling because of the fibrous goodness of the vege, great texture from tofu and mushrooms plus the refreshing crunch of the bell pepper.
Personally as someone who runs regularly, I won’t break a sweat finishing this (it’s been known that I have an appetite of a 14-year old boy) although I’d still not be able to contest “food inhalers” like my favourite mukbang star, Mommytang and other vegan Youtubers like High Carb Hannah and Freelee the Banana Girl. Although I’m not vegan, I do love making plant-based and vegan meals. They are terribly yummy when done well. You’ll know that it’s good when you don’t miss meat at all.
What does this meal taste like? What is Jajang you ask? Allow me to give you a back story.
About a year back, my husband and I started taking stock of our health and scrutinizing what we eat. Our fridge was once filled with cold cuts, cheeses, eggs, box juices, leftover of my yummy curries (MmmMMmm) ….and some vege. We weren’t terribly overweight, but we did feel sluggish and often resort to cutting our portions down to pitiful amounts just to avoid weight gain. I told my husband that I can’t imagine cutting down anymore because, that would be the same as eating air! So I took an interest in many health Youtube channels and read many articles, listened to e-books for that ONE answer, and I finally can say confidently that there is no ONE answer. There are many solutions, they can even be conflicting e.g. High Fat Low Carb, How Carb Low Fat, Eat Clean, Plant Based, Eating 5 small meals…you name it. All I want is to eat a LOT and not feel like a beached whale after that.
Then I stumbled onto Mommytang’s vegan mukbang channel. Like I said earlier, I place her in the class of elite food inhalers. She can personally be a Korean food ambassador and has inspired me to eat meatless dinners at least 4-5 times a week.
I loved her vegan Black Bean Noodles or Jajangmyeon recipe and decided to try it out one day. After a few attempts, I developed my own Malaysian version that tastes mushroomy, earthy with a hint of spicyness.
I ran out of this Black Bean sauce at home, so I decided to concoct my own. That is the usual narrative of how I create recipes!
I promise you it’s satisfying, filling and so delicious! The best part is you won’t feel sluggish at all after this.
Ingredients for 2 pax:
Korean Udon 1 roll
Just take one will do. If you plan to load up on veggies even ¾ for 2 pax is adequate.
Zucchini (Green or Yellow) 1 whole vege
Red or Green Pepper 1 whole vege
Broccolini or sliced Broccoli 1 cup
Tofu Pok (deep fried tofu)/interchangeable with White Tofu for even cleaner taste 1 cup
Fresh Mushroom 6 pc
Dried Chinese Mushrooms (make sure to soak for 30 min) 4 pc
Chili Paste (skip this or replace with a little bit of paprika for less heat) 1 tsp
Ginger Paste 1 tsp
Turmeric 1 pinch
Garlic Powder ½ tsp
Onion Powder 1 tsp
Dark soy sauce 1 tsp
Oyster sauce (replace with vegetarian or completely skip this for pure vegans. Just adjust a wee bit more on the soy sauces) 2 dollops
Light soy sauce 2 tsp
Fry the chili paste in 2 tbsp of vegetable oil. This releases the most beautiful scent.
After the chili paste sizzles in water and as it is reducing, add in ginger paste.
Let it sizzle for a while, add turmeric, onion and garlic powder. Give it a quick stir and add water.
Watch it sizzle and add half of the base sauce. Stir.
This is the time to let the magic happen. Just add in Chinese mushrooms and let them rest in the hot base sauce for 5-7 minutes. Allow the heat to release the beautiful aromas. Don’t rush this stage.
Add in fresh mushrooms.
Add tofu pok and stir for 2-3 mins. Allow the juices to absorb into the tofu.
Then add broccolini and red pepper.
And top it with zucchini.
Add a little corn starch mixed with water (just 1 tsp will do) to thicken the sauce.
After 5 mins, stir in the Udon.
You can garnish with scallions and stir them in after you turn the heat off. It doesn’t alter the taste if you choose to omit it, I do imagine there are people who are not fans of it….
Throwback picture of my first Jajangmyeon attempt:
It was ok except that the carrots were causing a lot of havoc lol. The taste of carrots makes the base sauce sweet in a bad way.
So my second attempt was much better by incorporating chilli paste, making it more aromatic and the mushrooms body up the soy sauce very well. No wonder it is an essential to Wanton Noodles!! Perhaps I should give it a go the next time. Til then... ciouyourfood well!