Korean Easy Meal Recipe: Japchae  (Korean Stir-fried Glass Noodles)

Korean Easy Meal Recipe: Japchae  (Korean Stir-fried Glass Noodles)

Korean Easy Meal Recipe: Japchae  (Korean Stir-fried Glass Noodles)

Japchae (잡채) is a savoury and slightly sweet dish of stir-fried glass noodles and vegetables that is popular in Korean cuisineJapchae is typically prepared with dangmyeon (당면), a type of Korean Vermicelli. The noodles are mixed with assorted vegetables, meat, and mushrooms, and seasoned with soy sauce and sesame oil.

Once a royal dish, japchae is now one of the most popular traditional celebration dishes, often served on special occasions, such as weddings, birthdays (especially dol, the first birthday, and hwangap, the sixtieth), and holidays. It is also popular at banquets, potluck and parties due to the ease of bulk preparation and flexible serving: japchae can be served warm, at room temperature, or cold from the refrigerator, and can be eaten freshly made or the day after.

Korean Easy Meal Recipe: Japchae  (Korean Stir-fried Glass Noodles)

Japchae is commonly served as a side dish, though it may also be eaten as a main dish. It is sometimes served on a bed of rice, which is known as japchae-bap (잡채밥). At any gathering it’s hard to pass up these chewy, sweet, and slightly slippery noodles with colourful stir-fried vegetables and mushrooms, its irresistible sesame flavour, healthy amount of garlic, and light, refreshing taste.

Ingredients

(serves 4):

  • 100g beef, filet mignon (or pork shoulder), cut into ¼ inch wide and 2½ inch long strips
  • 2 large dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in warm water for 2 to 3 hours, cut into thin strips
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 large egg
  • 100g spinach, washed and drained
  • 100g of dangmyeon (Korean Vermicelli)
  • 2 to 3 green onions, cut crosswise into 2 inch long pieces
  • 1 medium onion (1 cup), sliced thinly
  • 4 to 5 white mushrooms, sliced thinly
  • 1 medium carrot (¾ cup), cut into matchsticks
  • ½ red bell pepper, cut into thin strips (optional)
  • ground black pepper
  • kosher salt
  • vegetable oil

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Korean Easy Meal Recipe: Japchae  (Korean Stir-fried Glass Noodles)

How to cook

Marinate the beef and mushrooms:

  1. Put the beef and shiitake mushrooms into a bowl and mix with 1 clove of minced garlic, 1 teaspoon sugar, ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, 2 teaspoons soy sauce, and 1 teaspoon of toasted sesame oil with a wooden spoon or by hand. Cover and keep it in the fridge.

Make the egg garnish (jidan):

  1. Crack the egg and separate the egg yolk from the egg white. Beat the yolk in a pinch of salt with a fork.
  2. Add 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil to a heated pan. 
  3. Pour the egg yolk mixture into the pan. Tilt it around so the mixture spreads thinly. Let it cook then flip it over and let it sit on the pan for 1 more minute.
  4. Let it cool and slice it into thin strips.

Prepare the noodles and vegetables:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the spinach and blanch for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then take it out. Let the water keep boiling to cook the noodles.
  2. Rinse the spinach in cold water to stop it from cooking. Squeeze it with your hands to remove any excess water. Cut it a few times and put it into a bowl. Mix with 1 teaspoon soy sauce and 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil. Put it into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Put the noodles into the boiling water, cover and cook for 1 minute. Stir them so they don’t stick together. Cook for another 7 minutes until the noodles are soft and chewy.
  4. Strain and cut them a few times with kitchen scissors. Put the noodles into the large bowl next to the spinach. Add 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, and 1 teaspoon sugar. Mix well. bThis process will season the noodles and also keep the noodles from sticking to each other.
  5. Heat up a skillet over medium high heat. Add 2 teaspoons vegetable oil with the onion, the green onion, and a pinch of salt. Stir-fry about 2 minutes until the onion looks a little translucent. Transfer to the noodle bowl.
  6. Heat up the skillet and add 2 teaspoons vegetable oil. Add the white mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Stir-fry for 2 minutes until softened and a little juicy. Transfer to the noodle bowl.
  7. Heat up the skillet and add 1 teaspoon vegetable oil. Add the carrot and stir-fry for 20 seconds. Add the red bell pepper strips and stir-fry another 20 seconds. Transfer to the noodle bowl.
  8. Heat up the skillet and add 2 teaspoons vegetable oil. Add the beef and mushroom mixture and stir fry for a few minutes until the beef is no longer pink and the mushrooms are softened and shiny. Transfer to the noodle bowl.

Mix and serve:

  1. Add 1 minced garlic clove, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon sugar, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, and 2 teaspoons of toasted sesame oil to the mixing bowl full of ingredients. Mix all together by hand.
  2. Add the egg garnish and 1 tablespoon sesame seeds. Mix it and transfer it to a large plate and serve.

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