Foo-Foo Challenge – Day 26: Ja-Jang Men

It’s Day 26 (no not Diddy’s group) and it’s time for Ja-Jang Men, a popular dish from China that also has ties to Korea. Although soup-less ramen (otherwise known as mazemen or mazesoba) has recently become popular in Japan, it’s been hard for me to really classify them as ramen. It just doesn’t feel the same without the soup. In any case, Foo-Foo Tei’s Ja-Jang Men arrived with an excellent aroma and I was amazed how big the plate was.

Hidden beneath was the familiar noodles that have become my stomach’s best friend. Glistening with oil, they took on an entirely different characteristic without the soup. They felt much lighter and tasted great with the sauce.

I don’t have much experience with Ja-Jang Men, but Foo-Foo Tei’s version has a good, rich flavor that balances out with all the ingredients–mushrooms, cucumber, bell peppers, onions, ground pork, and fukujinzuke.

Today’s side order was Pan Fried Beef & Vegetables. Another flavorful dish that tasted like pan fried sukiyaki. If it weren’t for the huge Ja-Jang Men, I probably would have ate more than just a few bites.

This next dish was a surprise from Murakami-san and he refused to tell us what it was or how it was made. Aside from the obvious shimeji, there’s also some tender pieces of chicken trapped in a pool of gravy underneath. The gravy tasted a lot like katsuoboshi, but I’m sure it was more complex. And since it didn’t have a name, my friend’s and I simply dubbed it “The Damn Good Chicken & Gravy” dish.

The weekend is over and once again it wasn’t long enough. That’s okay, tonight’s baseball game landed on my square!! Allllright!!

Tomorrow’s ramen: Hiyashi Chuuka
Hmm…is it still summer?

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