Jjajang Myeon Museum – Incheon, South Korea - Gastro Obscura

Gastro Obscura

Jjajang Myeon Museum

Incheon, South Korea

This tiny museum immortalizes the birthplace of an iconic Chinese-Korean noodle dish. 

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A staple of Chinese-Korean cuisine and the dish of choice for sad South Korean singles, jjajang myeon is so beloved, it’s inspired an entire museum. Lovers of the noodles turned one of the first restaurants to serve it into an altar to the dish, complete with displays about its history and temptingly lifelike sculptures of the star carbs themselves.

Home to South Korea’s only official Chinatown, the seaport town of Incheon is also the birthplace of one of the country’s most beloved foods: jjajang myeon, or noodles in black bean sauce. Created by an enterprising Chinese immigrant and loosely based on a Shandong Province noodle and ground pork dish, jjajang myeon is now synonymous with Chinese-Korean delivery. It’s also the dish over which black-clad South Korean singles meet and drown their sorrows every April 14, the country’s “Black Day” for the unhappily unpartnered.

The museum features displays on the dish’s origin, a collection of its most popular packaged forms, and an eerily lifelike sculpture of a table of happy diners enjoying a noodley feast. While a small museum—tourists report taking only an hour to see the whole thing—it’s certain to leave you with an appetite. After touring the museum (which doesn’t actually serve the noodles), you can head over to one of the neighborhood’s many jjajang myeon joints for a sample of the real thing.

Know Before You Go

The museum is open 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Admission costs 1,000 won for adults and 500 won for children.