Is Jajangmyeon Healthy?

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Jajangmyeon is a Korean dish made from noodles. The sauce you get with Jajangmyeon is quite thick, which makes the noodles very delicious. 

Most people eat Jajangmyeon almost every week, mainly because it’s easy, fast, and very affordable.

But should you eat Jajangmyeon, and is it healthy?

From my own experience, it’s not unhealthy. However, it should be eaten in moderation. In that case, it won’t hurt your diet or ruin it.

While Jajangmyeon is something that’s more of an occasional meal for Koreans, it can also be very often. It depends on the person, of course.

In short: Based on the nutritional facts, Jajangmyeon contains about 520 calories per serving, which is a decent amount. Now, if you don’t overeat and can maintain a healthy calorie intake every day it’s not unhealthy but also not healthy.

How Often Should You Eat Jajangmyeon?

Jajangmyeon should be eaten once a week, or at most twice. Eating Jajangmyeon more than that will definitely increase your weight.

Even though it looks like it’s a healthy dish because of the vegetables, it’s very oily and calorie-heavy.

For weight loss purposes, it should only be eaten once a month, considering you on a diet. Now, if you can be leaner with your diet, then eating it once a week should be fine.

Keep in mind that you should compensate for other types of foods when doing this. Jajangmyeon is made from black bean paste, which is something that most people tend to avoid when dieting.

There are two types of Jajangmyeon noodles. You have fresh and instant noodles. Eating it with fresh noodles will be way healthier. However, this tends to be more expensive and takes a lot more time.

Especially if you’re making it yourself, it can take up at least 2 hours. Now, if only that. Sometimes it takes up to 3 hours because you have to go to the grocery store, buy the ingredients and then start.

If you’re going to the easy route by making it with instant noodles, it won’t take longer than 5 minutes. Boiling the water, cook the noodles, and you’re good to go.

This is my favorite way of making Jajangmyeon. Sadly, it’s unhealthier because of the spices added to the noodles.

Pro tip: Add some sriracha to the instant Jajangmyeon, this makes it even more delicious.

Can You Eat Jajangmyeon Every Day?

Yes, Jajangmyeon can be eaten every day.

Is it recommended? No, because Jajangmyeon/black bean noodles are very high in calories. Eating two bowls is almost a whole day of calories for an average woman. 

Therefore you shouldn’t be eating this every day.

Nutritional Facts about Jajangmyeon

Jjajangmyeon

Let’s talk about what goes inside the black bean noodles everyone is talking about.

First, there are about 6 grams of fat, then there’s about 98 mg of sodium. Now, these won’t make a huge difference in the amount you eat.

Considering that you are only eating a normal-sized bowl. When we think about Jajangmyeon, people often think it’s very unhealthy.

Luckily, this isn’t the case at all.

To stay fit and healthy, it’s recommended to split your calories into three sections. These are 34% protein, 44% carbs and the other 22% fat.

This is a rough estimate because most people don’t track these three things every day. It is, however, very handy, so if you haven’t been doing that, I highly recommend doing this.

What is Jajangmyeon Sauce made of?

The Jajangmyeon sauce is made from soybeans, flour, caramel, onions and most importantly, black bean paste.

In Korea, people also call this “Chunjang’. It’s the most common ingredient people use when making Jajangmyeon sauce.

It takes about 3 to 4 hours to make the sauce, and I have tried this myself. It’s quite time-intensive, especially if you’ve never done it before. You add and remove ingredients to your own liking.

There’s no exact recipe that all people follow when making Jajangmyeon sauce.

Which Noodles are the best for Jajangmyeon?

There are many types of noodles that go well with Jajangmyeon. The most common noodles are fresh udon noodles, which are very affordable.

These noodles can be found anywhere in the world. It doesn’t matter in which country you live, and every store has udon noodles.

Getting fresh udon noodles is even better, but this is more expensive. That’s why most people tend to go for the instant ones.

Which only requires you to boil some water and cook the noodles for about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the Jajangmyeon sauce and you’re good to go. Udon noodles are very thick wheat noodles that have many health benefits.

Some of these are:

  • Great for digestion
  • Rich in complex carbohydrates
  • Rich in protein

Those are just of few of many more. If you want to full list, check it out here.

Should You Eat Jajangmyeon When Dieting?

Here is the final question a lot of people have been asking me.

Yes, you shouldn’t be too strict on yourself when dieting. Creating a diet where you can cheat once a week is for the better.

Most people start dieting to the extreme, whereas they can’t restrict themselves from snacking. This is where it goes wrong, and most people give up. So giving yourself one cheat day a week is totally fine.

This means that eating Jajangmyeon shouldn’t cause any problems, as long as you eat it in moderation.

That’s the case for all foods, never eat too much of it. Track all your calories for the day and a bowl of Jajangmyeon will be perfectly fine.

Back in the days, when I used to extreme diet. I couldn’t resist myself to snack or eating any sort of noodles.

That’s why I created a “strict” schedule for myself to cheat once a week. And the whole week, I was looking toward Monday, which was my cheat day. It’s the best feeling you can get when you taste those Jajangmyeon noodles.

There’s no better Korean dish out there, that fulfills this feeling, so make sure to try it if you haven’t been eating it already.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, Jajangmyeon is not healthy or particularly unhealthy. As long as you stay within the range of your calorie intake for the day, it’s perfectly fine to eat Jajangmyeon.

About The Author

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Jason Park

Jason has been living in Seoul over 4 years and during that time, he has experienced a lot of the city's quirks and charms. He loves to write about his experiences and share them with others who are interested in learning more about South Korea.

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