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.

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


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


  • 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:


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 toasted 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, kosher 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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  1. rickg Toronto joined 9/10 & has 5 comments

    JJampong is my most favourite Korean dish. I have tried it all over Toronto, searching for the perfect broth. In my opinion, the best is at Todamgol Korean Restaurant on Cummer & Yonge. After years of adoring this dish, I finally tried it out myself. I followed Maangchi’s recipe to about 85%. For instance, instead of making the broth with the dried anchovies, I bought a packaged seafood stock (gamchimi) and mixed in a few tablespoons of roasted beef hot pepper paste (beef gochujang) and some red pepper flakes. Other than that, I pretty much followed the recipe as shown in the video. It was an impressively delicious concoction, so delicious that I made it last night for two friends who are regular Korean food eaters (one Korean, one English Canadian). They more than approved of this recipe and raved about how yummy it was. Thanks, Maangchi!

  2. mokpochica Michigan joined 1/09 & has 89 comments

    I made jjamppong last night and it was the best we’ve made at home. I think that I should have added more hot pepper, but I know I added too much broth, so that is why.

    I used little myulchi when I made the broth instead of the large dried anchovies and I think the broth tasted right, but I think my husband thought it was lacking something. I guess I need to buy some anchovies already because they keep popping up the your recipes that I am making. :)

    We just ate more of the jjamppong this morning and it seemed like it tasted even better the second day. I think my kids would have liked it if they had been willing to try it (especially since it wasn’t so spicy the way I made it). Anyway, they did eat the seafood, carrots and pork from it.

  3. annak727 los angeles/milano joined 6/10 & has 2 comments

    thanks so much for the recipe! i’ve been researching and experimenting for a month for a jjampong recipe that actually end up tasting like jjampong! finally, i found it! i read your recipe yesterday and this afternoon when my friends were over, i impulsively decided to go for it. i didn’t have all the ingredients at home (such as the dried anchovies or kelp so I just used chicken stock i’d made two days ago. Also, I only had in my fridge shrimp and scallops, so I used only those as my seafood components). Literally, it took me less than 15 mins to complete the dish and all my friends (complete foodies, by the way and very much into jjamppong) LOVED it. Wish i took a photo of it before we dove into the bowl, but it was pretty much finished when i realized i should have done that :P
    Anyway, thanks again :)

  4. Melody Swansea joined 3/10 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi, thank you for such lovely recipes.
    I really want to make the spicy jjamppong, but i can’t find dried anchovies anywhere; they had some at the local korean grocery store, but only a huge box that went in the freezer so i couldn’t buy it, so i was just wondering if it’s at all possible to use canned anchovies aswell??
    if not i shall just have to have the non-spicy :) they both look delicious.

  5. Muscle5572 Korea joined 1/10 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi~ I’m Korean and live in Korea.
    You are the best cook I’ve ever seen.
    I have a question for you. Could you tell me what kind of fish sauce do I have to use? I’m sure there are a lot of kind of fish sause in Korea.

  6. I’ve made the spicy soup once before, (along with several other of your recipes) and am making it again tonight. I love it, and it’s wonderful on these cold winter nights. Thanks for all your hard work introducing some of us to things we normally wouldn’t get to try.

  7. greetings to you maangchi….i always watch your video in youtube and everywhere and ilove it!..and i love you too.thank you for sharing this for us.God bless!you are a genius in cooking.

  8. I love this recipe. I’m a Korean American living in Norway where the Asian food sucks and I have to make it myself. Now I’m making everything from this site and it’s even better than the restaurants in California. Thanks!

  9. I was so happy to find this recipe. My favorite korean restaurant closed a few years ago and I couldn’t even find a recipe online to replicate their jjamppong. Now I can make it at home which is great since flu season is here and spicy jjamppong is so great at keeping me from getting too sick. Thanks!

  10. Hello Iron Chef I was just wondering if you knew how to make San Nakji Dol Pan? lol I saw this on the Anthony Bourdain NYC Outer Boroughs it looks really good Korean Food you should check it out on youtube… If you know how to cook it you should show us how to…

  11. maangchi thanks i learn to cook korean dish ahaha a point for my crush hehe

  12. hello
    nice meet you. i’m really happy to watch your recipe. i like jjamppong but i couldn’t make it. i have a some foreigner friend. i would like to tell the recipe of korean food to them. they absolutely might be happy.

    thanks a lot.

  13. maangchi,
    forgot to add in my last question that i’m making this dish for two people…sorry.

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