Spicy mixed-up seafood noodle soup

Jjamppong 짬뽕

Today I’m introducing you to jjamppong, a spicy noodle soup full of seafood, meat, and vegetables. As you see from the video, it’s made with a lot of different ingredients, which makes it a hearty, filling meal, served spicy steaming hot.

This is a Korean Chinese dish, developed by Chinese immigrants living in Incheon, Korea and adapted to Korean tastes. Jjamppong and jjajangmyeon (noodles with black bean sauce) are common dishes for Korean Chinese delivery. They are usually served in huge portions and both use the same noodles.

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The key to this recipe is in the delicious, savory, anchovy and kelp stock. I learned this tip from the owner of a Korean grocery store when I lived in Columbia, Missouri many years ago. His wife was very kind, and one day when I stopped by the store she invited me to go into the back room where her husband was making jjamppong. I had never heard of anyone making jjamppong at home before, everyone orders it from Chinese restaurants. But he showed me how he made his stock, and in what order everything should be cooked, and for how long. He was a real gourmet and his jjamppong was delicious. I’ve used his recipe ever since.

Many years later, when writing the jjamppong recipe in my book Maangchi’s Real Korean Cooking, I wanted to get a few details from him. I hadn’t talked to them for a long time, but looked up their store online and called them. She recognized my voice right away! But she was too busy with customers to talk much, so she asked me to call her in a few hours.

But I forgot to call her and eventually my book was published and life went on. Much later I remembered her and called her again. The number didn’t work anymore. I Googled the store and found her obituary in the local paper, she had passed away! Her husband must have retired, because their son took over the store. I feel sad about not calling her back!

I’m grateful that she invited me to have jjamppong that day, so now I can pass this recipe along to all of you. It’s a little modified from the one in my cookbook because I simplified a few things, but it’s still delicious! I hope you enjoy it!

Serves 2

Ingredients

For stock:

  • 1 ounce of large dried anchovies (about 24 anchovies) with the heads and guts removed
  • 1 piece (about 6×6 inch) dried kelp
  • 12 cups water

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Vegetables:

  • 1 daepa (large green onion), or 4 green onions, cut into 2 inch length
  • 2 ounces leek, washed and cut into ½ x 2 inch strips
  • 4 ounces bok choy, washed
  • 3 large cabbage leaves (about 3 ounces), cut into bite-size pieces
  • 4 ounces onion, sliced
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and cut into 2-inch strips

Seafoods and meat:

  • 8 mussels, scrubbed, debearded, soaked in salted water for a few hours, and washed
  • 4 large shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 4 ounces squid, just the body with guts removed and sliced into rings
  • 24 small clams (optional), soaked in salted water for a few hours, and washed
  • 4 ounces of thinly sliced beef (or pork or chicken), cut into bite-size pieces

Noodles and seasonings:

Directions:

Make stock:

  1. Combine the water, anchovies, and kelp in a large pot. Cover, and cook over medium-high heat for 20 minutes.
  2. Reduce the heat to low and cook for another 20 minutes.
  3. Strain the stock and you will have 8 to 10 cups’ worth. Set aside.

Make the hot pepper flakes mixture:

  1. Combine 2 tablespoons of hot pepper flakes and 1 teaspoon sesame oil in a small bowl.
  2. Mix with a spoon until well incorporated. Set aside.

Make jjamppong:

  1. Heat a large wok (or pot) over high heat. Add the vegetable oil, garlic, ginger, and stir about 20 seconds with a wooden spoon until the garlic starts to turn a little crispy.
  2. Add the beef and stir until slightly cooked.
  3. Clear a spot in the wok by pushing the garlic, ginger, and the meat to the side. Tilt the wok so that the excess vegetable oil slides into the cleared area. Put 3 tablespoons hot pepper flakes into the hot oil and stir and mix with the wooden spoon for about 1 minute, until it creates a smoky flavor but not long enough to burn. Then stir everything in the wok together into the hot oil.
  4. Add green onion, leek, cabbage, and onion and stir for 3 to 4 minutes until the vegetables are wilted.
  5. Add 6 cups stock and all the seafoods and bok choy. Cover and cook 7 to 8 minutes until the mussels and clams are open and the shrimp and squid are well cooked.
  6. Stir in the fish sauce, salt, and the reserved hot pepper flakes mixture. Cover and let it simmer over low heat.

Meanwhile, cook the noodles:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the noodles and stir a few times so that they don’t stick to each other.
  2. Cover and cook 5 to 8 minutes until tender but still chewy.
  3. Strain and rinse the noodles in cold running water to make them nice and chewy.

Put it together and serve:

  1. Heat up the soup over high heat.
  2. Divide the noodles into individual serving bowls. Add the soup over top and include cooked seafood, vegetables, meat over top of the noodles. Serve right away.

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103 Comments:

  1. yanamana Colorado, USA joined 4/16
    Posted February 1st, 2018 at 11:04 pm | # |

    I just made a delicious vegetarian/vegan version of this! I substituted the anchovies with 4 shiitake mushrooms in the stock; I skipped the seafood and meat but doubled the amount of each vegetable; and I used 1 and 1/2 tsp salt instead of fish sauce. I probably created something of my own but it still turned out really good haha :)

  2. Polkafotfuzz Canada joined 1/18
    Posted January 25th, 2018 at 3:47 pm | # |

    Hi, maangchi!

    I was going to make this, but without the mussles and clams. I was thinking to use shrimp and scallops, but are there any types of fish that might be good in this? Also, I don’t have access to the right type of noodles, would soba (buckwheat) or ramen noodles work? Also, I only have anchovy paste, do you know if that tastes similar for the broth? Thanks so much if you have the time to reply

  3. Karenchristy Indonesia joined 2/14
    Posted March 6th, 2017 at 10:53 pm | # |

    Can i use 소면 for making 짬뽕? And how should i cook the 소면? 답장 부탁합니다 선생님^^

  4. Yolinda Australia joined 5/16
    Posted August 27th, 2016 at 7:19 am | # |

    Maangchi! Thank u so much! This is so delicious!! I use shrimp stock instead of anchovy stock. I just used their skin and some garlic then simmer for about 10mins. I just can’t stop eating that. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

  5. polly_lim joined 6/15
    Posted June 3rd, 2015 at 2:55 am | # |

    can i use the normal (non-korea brand) chili powder or chili paste found at supermarket? it’s quite hard to find korean ingredients at my place here in malacca.

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted June 4th, 2015 at 8:22 pm | # |

      For this recipe, you could use different chili powder but be careful it may turn out too spicy.

      • polly_lim joined 6/15
        Posted June 6th, 2015 at 12:06 pm | # |

        Hi maangchi, thanks for your reply… today i managed to buy a korean brand chili paste in 1 of our supermarket. Will try out this recipe very soon. Another question i want to ask… i cant find dried kelp now, wat can i substitute? Tq!

        • Alannia Kuala Lumpur joined 4/12
          Posted February 1st, 2018 at 10:24 pm | # |

          Hi Polly,

          You can use the Chinese 海带 or Japanese konbu. It’s the same. You can get the Chinese 海带 at any Chinese medical shop. Konbu can be found in most supermarkets. You will definitely find it at Aeon.

  6. jaylivg Houston joined 7/10
    Posted August 11th, 2014 at 9:48 pm | # |

    I made this Jjamppong again tonight .. it was so delicious , rich thick sauce with seafood , veggies and noodles .. yum ! Thanks Maangchi for all the yummy korean food recipes ! We really enjoy your recipes !

  7. kolin65 greece joined 11/13
    Posted June 8th, 2014 at 11:11 am | # |

    hi maangchi!! ^^ can i use curry instead of hot pepper falkes? we don’t have any here in greece :( ^^ thak youuu

  8. meanchickgin Sacramento, Ca. joined 3/13
    Posted March 11th, 2013 at 10:42 pm | # |

    I just made this, It’s delicious. Only thing I forgot to buy noodles so were using rice. But if my 10 year old likes it then it passed the test. My husband is Korean and his mother went to Korea for one month. I am white and she left me in charge of cooking for my father in law! Thanks to you I have been making him some delicious korean food, instead of pizza everyday, jk.

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted March 12th, 2013 at 9:42 am | # |

      Your 10 year old is your food tester! : ) Your mother-in-law will give you a great compliment when she comes back from Korea! Good luck with your Korean cooking.

  9. pgeiger NC joined 6/12
    Posted June 22nd, 2012 at 10:21 am | # |

    I was so excited to fin this recipe and can’t wait to try it. I’m wondering what kind of noodles you use in it? i searched for noodle recipes but was unsuccessful.

  10. michii Nashville joined 11/11
    Posted February 14th, 2012 at 7:54 pm | # |

    This recipe is delicious, thank you for sharing it! I made the spicy version w/o the pepper flakes (I guess its not spicy then), and added a little sesame oil to keep it from being bland. Dried anchovies are very expensive here so I use anchovy paste. I braved the head-on shrimp, but the muscles looked bad at the store today. I love that Korean food works so well with what looks fresh each day. Fresh ingredients seems more important than than the exact ingredients in these dishes.

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted February 15th, 2012 at 10:15 am | # |

      ” I made the spicy version w/o the pepper flakes (I guess its not spicy then), and added a little sesame oil to keep it from being bland.” Great job! You can modify the recipe to your taste! You are a smart cook! ; )

  11. She-Ryn Malaysia joined 12/11
    Posted December 25th, 2011 at 2:30 am | # |

    Hi! I don’t eat pork.what other meat I can use?

  12. MayaEiri Monterrey Nuevo Leon, Mexico joined 3/11
    Posted March 20th, 2011 at 12:56 pm | # |

    Hello that such
    My name is Mary and I’m from Monterrey Mexico … really thank you for having found your channel on youtube, because I always wanted to learn to concina Korean food and you put it well in spite English is not much to see and understand it perfectly prepares achievement …
    Thanks and hope to send pictures of what I do ^ O ^

  13. kimberlytong joined 11/10
    Posted November 15th, 2010 at 2:40 pm | # |

    Hi I have a question what can i substitute for dried anchovy?

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted November 15th, 2010 at 10:33 pm | # |

      Use chicken or beef broth then.

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