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Jjamppong (Korean Spicy Seafood Noodle Soup)

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Jjamppong / Jjampong (짬뽕) is a popular Korean spicy noodle soup that is loaded with various type of seafood. It tastes very refreshing and comforting!

A bowl of jjampong topped with prawns, mussels and littleneck clams.

Every now and then I have a craving for Jjamppong (Korean spicy seafood noodle soup).

Fiery looking red hot soup can be intimidating to some people, but I have to say, the soup is very addictive, refreshing and comforting!

What is Jjamppong

Jjamppong (or Jjampong, 짬뽕) is one of the most popular dishes you can order from a Korean-Chinese restaurant.

Jjamppong consists of fresh noodles, various vegetables and various seafoods and it is served in a red hot soup base. Generally the soup can be quite spicy but it can be toned down if you’re cooking it at home.

In Korea, jjamppong’s popularity always competes with jajangmyeon (Korean black bean noodles, 자장면). If you can’t decide between jjamppong and jajangmyeon, then you can order jjamjjamyeon (짬짜면) instead.

Jjjamjjamyeon is both types of noodle dishes served in a bowl that is divided in the middle. So you don’t have to compromise!

While there are many theories about the origin story of jjamppong, the most convincing version is that it was created by Chinese immigrants back in the 1940s living in Nagasaki, Japan.

Obviously the current jjamppong evolved much to suit Korean tastes. In particular, the addition of Korean chili flakes and seafood was introduced back in the 1960s in Korea.

Jjamppong Variations

There are different types of jjamppong available in Korea including the non-spicy kinds. (I’ll be sure to share these recipes with you at some other time.)

Today’s particular kind is spicy seafood noodles soup, which directly translates to Haemul Jjamppong (해물 짬뽕).

It is also possible to serve the soup without the noodles. Just serve it with some steamed rice. This dish is then called Jjamppong Bap (짬뽕밥).

Why You Should Make Jjamppong at Home

One of the best things about making Jjampong at home is that you actually get to eat a decent amount of seafood.

Typically a restaurant version doesn’t include much of it. If I’m lucky I would get 1 mussel and 1 shrimp! (No joke!) But my recipe provides a very generous amount of seafood and I think that makes a difference in the soup quality.

Also, this spicy noodle soup is particularly suitable when the weather is a bit chilly or windy. It’s really hearty and comforting! So try it this weekend and let me know how you go!

Successful Cooking Tips

  • You are welcome to load the soup with even more seafood than what’s written below. It will bring out a more refreshing taste.
  • Make sure the seafood is not overcooked as it can be chewy.
  • For more complex flavor, some people add a small portion (about 100g / 3.5 ounces) of pork loin strips or pork belly strips. If you are going this path, add the meat before adding the seafood in step 2 below.
  • Make sure you manage the heat well in step 1 below. The oil is very easy to burn, particularly when the chili flakes are added. It can burn really quickly and darken the color if the temperature is too high. This can give you a bit of a bitter taste and dark colored soup.
  • Once you serve the noodles with the soup, allow it to soak the flavor for 3 to 5 mins.
  • Any leftover soup (excluding the noodles) can be stored in the fridge for a few days. It can be reheated over the stove. (Though, seafood might have slightly overcooked texture.)

Ingredients for Jjamppong (3 servings)

Main

  • 50 g / 1.8 ounces zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 2 shiitake mushrooms (50 g / 1.8 ounces), cleaned, stems removed and thinly sliced
  • 120 g / 4.3 ounces cabbage, thinly shredded
  • 35 g / 1.2 ounces brown onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 mussels (200 g / 7 ounces) or more, cleaned
  • 6 littleneck clams (70 g / 2.5 ounces) or more, cleaned
  • 6 large prawns (140 g / 5 ounces) or more, head & shells removed and tail left on, cleaned
  • 6 squid rings or baby octopus (70 g / 2.5 ounces) or more
  • 450 g / 16 ounces fresh Korean chinese style noodles (or thin udon noodles or ramen noodles)
  • 20 g / 0.7 ounces baby spinach or baby bok choy

Chili oil seasoning

  • 3 Tbsp cooking oil (I used rice bran oil)
  • 3 Tbsp Korean chili flakes (gochugaru), can be adjusted to your preferred spice level (3 Tbsp gives only a mildly spicy flavor.)
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 20 g / 0.7 ounces green onion – white part

Soup base

  • 1 Tbsp rice wine
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce, regular
  • 4 & 3/4 cups homemade Korean soup stock or water
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt, can be adjusted to your taste
  • A few sprinkles of ground black pepper

*1 Tbsp = 15 ml, 1 cup = 250 ml

** If you want to learn more about Korean ingredients, check my 30 essential Korean cooking ingredients list!

How to Make Jjamppong

1. Preheat a wok (or large deep pot) on low heat until heated. Add the oil, Korean chili flakes, minced garlic, minced ginger and the green onion and stir constantly for a minute or two. Take care not to burn the chili paste as this can give a bitter taste.

Making korean spicy seafood soup - stir frying green onions, korean chili flakes, garlic and ginger
You can use the chopped green onions whole (option 1) or thinly shred them further (option 2).

2. Turn the heat up to medium and add the zucchini, mushrooms, cabbage, and onion. Cook them until lightly wilted (for 1 to 2 mins). Add the mussels, littleneck clams, prawns and squid (or baby octopus) and stir a bit.

Making korean spicy seafood soup - stir frying vegetables and seafood

3. Add the rice wine, soy sauce and Korean soup stock (or water). Turn the heat up to medium high. Boil the soup covered until all ingredients are cooked through (about 8 mins) while avoiding overcooking. Remove the cover and add the salt and a few sprinkles of ground black pepper. Add the baby spinach just before serving. (If using baby bok choy, you may need to cook a little longer.)

Boiling Korean spicy seafood soup

4. While the soup is boiling (in step 3), cook the noodles in boiling water following the manufacturer’s instructions. Drain and rinse the noodles briefly in cold water. (Step 3 and 4 should be completed around the same time.)

Homemade Korean spicy seafood noodle soup (Jjamppong) - Boiling noodles| MyKoreanKitchen.com

5. Divide the noodles, seafood, and the soup between three soup bowls. Serve immediately. (If you prefer, you can also serve the soup with steamed rice instead of the noodles.)

Jjamppong (Korean spicy seafood noodle soup)

(This post was originally posted in April 2016 and is revised with more information and some new photographs.)

 


A bowl of jjampong topped with prawns, mussels and littleneck clams.

Jjamppong (Korean Spicy Seafood Noodle Soup)

Korean spicy seafood noodle soup (Jjamppong or Jjampong) recipe.
5 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main
Cuisine: Korean Chinese
Keyword: noodle, seafood, soup
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 3
Calories: 681kcal
Author: Sue | My Korean Kitchen

Ingredients

MAIN

  • 50 g summer zucchini (1.8 ounces), thinly sliced
  • 2 shiitake mushrooms (50 g / 1.8 ounces), cleaned, stems removed and thinly sliced
  • 120 g cabbage (4.3 ounces), thinly shredded
  • 35 g brown onion (1.2 ounces), thinly sliced
  • 6 mussels (200 g / 7 ounces) or more, cleaned
  • 6 littleneck clams (70 g / 2.5 ounces) or more, cleaned
  • 6 large prawns (140 g / 5 ounces) or more, head & shells removed and tail left on, cleaned
  • 6 squid rings or baby octopus, (70 g / 2.5 ounces)
  • 450 g fresh Korean-Chinese style noodles or thin udon noodles or ramen noodles (14 ounces)
  • 20 g baby spinach or baby bok choy (0.7 ounces)

CHILI OIL SEASONING

  • 3 Tbsp cooking oil , I used rice bran oil
  • 3 Tbsp korean chili flakes (gochugaru), can be adjusted to your preferred spice level (3 Tbsp gives only a mildly spicy flavor.)
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 20 g green onion – white part (0.7 ounces)

SOUP BASE

  • 1 Tbsp rice wine
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce , regular (kikkoman)
  • 4 3/4 cups Korean soup stock or water
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt , can be adjusted to your taste
  • A few sprinkles ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat a wok (or large deep pot) on low heat until heated. Add the oil, Korean chili flakes, minced garlic, minced ginger and the green onion and stir constantly for a minute or two. Take care not to burn the chili paste as this can give a bitter taste.
  • Turn the heat up to medium and add the zucchini, mushrooms, cabbage, and onion. Cook them until lightly wilted (for 1 to 2 mins). Add the mussels, littleneck clams, prawns and squid (or baby octopus) and stir a bit.
  • Add the rice wine, soy sauce and Korean soup stock (or water). Turn the heat up to medium high. Boil the soup covered until all ingredients are cooked through (about 8 mins) while avoiding overcooking. Remove the cover and add the salt and a few sprinkles of ground black pepper. Add the baby spinach just before serving. (If using baby bok choy, you may need to cook a little longer.)
  • While the soup is boiling (in step 3), cook the noodles in boiling water following the manufacturer’s instructions. Drain and rinse the noodles briefly in cold water. (Step 3 and 4 should be completed around the same time.)
  • Divide the noodles, seafood, and the soup between three soup bowls. Serve immediately. (If you prefer, you can also serve the soup with steamed rice instead of the noodles.)

Nutrition

Calories: 681kcal | Carbohydrates: 101g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 2788mg | Potassium: 455mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 63.2% | Vitamin C: 28.7% | Calcium: 8.4% | Iron: 18.2%
Tried this recipe?I love hearing how you went with my recipes! Leave a comment below or Tag me on Instagram @MyKoreanKitchen.

 

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Written by: Sue

Last Updated: May 13, 2019

Hi, I'm Sue and I am the creator of My Korean Kitchen. Thank you for joining me in this delicious culinary journey!

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26 thoughts on “Jjamppong (Korean Spicy Seafood Noodle Soup)”

  1. A much easier way to prep the gochugaru paste (WITHOUT BURNING) is to

    1. Heat up the oil in a pan.
    2. Add minced garlic, minced ginger, and scallions.
    3. Saute the garlic, releasing the aroma.
    4. Turn down the heat.
    5. Add gochugaru .

    Saute the mixture on low heat.

    Add the cabbage, onion, and zucchini.
    Coat the veggies with gochugaru paste.
    Transfer everything into a large pot with boiling dashi stock.
    Add seafood.

  2. Hi, Sue!
    Thanks for an excellent (and very detailed) recipe.

    Just made it, and have a couple of questions.

    What is the best way to make the chili paste (gochugaru), and how is it different from gochujang?

    I used grape oil, and I think there’s just a little more oil floating on top than I’d like.

    Also, what is the best way to moderate the spiciness (heat)? Is it possible to add more chili paste to the bowl?

    And, kinda curios. Why would you use Mirin instead of Plain-Jane rice wine?
    Mirin is usually a bit sweeter than you garden variety rice cooking wine, isn’t it?

    Anyhoo, thanks a bunch for this recipe.
    Came fairly decent for a first time out.

    (Note to self. Next time, buy fresh shiitake, and correct kelp [Dashi Kombu]).

    Thanks, Sue!

  3. Very complex but yummy looking. I have to say I have never bought clams, but get the feeling it is essential for this recipe. A great soup without the usual sugar common in Korean food. Love it.

    • Hi Michele, Many people make kimchi at home. If you’re making it in very hot & humid weather condition, don’t leave out kimchi at room temperature for too long (soon after making it). As this can age the kimchi too fast. If it helps, my Singaporean readers make kimchi all the time and they send me some pictures. They say their weather is hot and humid all year around.

  4. Are you able to give approx how much veggies to use like half a onion instead of grams I do not have a scale 🙁 thank you!

  5. I didn’t grab the right rice wine I used Makgeoli inside of mirin. I’m waiting for it to finish. I hope I didn’t mess it up.

  6. I have been on your site for 2 hours now and have saved so many recipes! Ill be trying your tuna cakes and a potato side dish tomorrow night and I can’t wait! Thanks for writing such an inviting and delicious looking blog! This soup looks fantastic and is on my to do list, with rice intead of noodles. Thank you for sharing, Sue!

  7. This seems like a delicious recipie, but I am a non-alcoholic and mirin has small traces of alcohol (even the non-alcoholic ones). Do you know any substitutions?

    • I can only think of alcoholic substitutes, such as sake or Chinese rice wine. Though in my quick google search, some people suggested high quality grape juice or apple cider. I think, you will have to experiment with these. Or omit it completely – though, I think it’s important to add mirin since there’s so much seafood in it.

    • The alcohol cooks out of all liquids with the flavours left over so the fact it is alcohol based is of NO issue. Hope this helps Mina

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