Recipe: Japchae (Stir-Fried Sweet Potato Noodles)
Country of Origin: Republic of Korea
This food is Korean style vermicelli. It’s one of the most popular dishes of Korea and usually is essential food for every holiday season and special occasion. The popularity is not only due to its delicious taste but also its beautiful color.
This classic Korean noodle dish combines translucent sweet potato noodles with lots of stir-fried vegetables and sweet-savory sauce. We serve Japchae as a main dish. However, Korean people often serve this food as a side dish.I usually make it on special occasions because it takes many steps and a long time. My family and me generally enjoy a bowl of rice topped with Japchae.
- 300 grams (11 oz.) dangmyeon (sweet potato starch noodles.They can be found in Asian or Korean markets.)
- 200 grams (7 oz.) Beef or pork (You can use beef such as sirloin or rib eye; pork loin; or, for a vegetarian dish, omit the meat)
- 3 King trumpet (or your favorite) mushroom
- 1 bundle spinach
- ½ each red and yellow peppers
- 1 medium carrot
- 1 medium sweet onion
- 2-3 eggs
- Vegetable oil for stir-frying
Mushroom and meat sauce:
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2½ tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon diced scallion
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- pinch of black pepper
Sauce for noodles:
- 6 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 4 tablespoons of sugar
- 2 tablespoons of sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons of toasted sesame seeds
- Combine mushroom/meat sauce, and noodle sauce ingredients in separate, small bowls and mix well, until the sugar is dissolved.
- Thinly slice the beef (or pork) into thin 2-inch-long strips. Mix with 2 tablespoon of the prepared mushroom/meat sauce in a small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of rice wine.
- Slice mushrooms into about 0.2-inch-thin strips. Using your hands, mix mushrooms with 1 tablespoon of the mushroom/meat sauce.
- Cut carrots into match stick-size pieces; thinly slice the onion.
- Cut the peppers into thin strips, about 2-inches long.
- Wash spinach, and then blanch it in boiling water. Drain, rinse it in cold water, and gently squeeze out the excess water. Lightly season the spinach with 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 2 teaspoons of toasted sesame seeds, and a pinch of salt. Mix by hand.
- Stir-fry the seasoned meat and mushrooms separately in frying pan.
- Make dalgyal-jidan, which are thin strips of egg omelet.
Spread about 1-2 tablespoons of oil, thinly and evenly on a skillet and place it on low heat. Pour in the eggs, just enough to thinly cover the entire skillet surface.
When the top surface is cooked, very carefully flip the egg omelet and cook it for a few more seconds. Move it to a plate and let it cool.
When the eggs are cooled, cut the egg circle in half (half-moon shape), then cut them into thin strips about 4 inches (10cm) long.
9. Stir-fry each vegetable (except the spinach) separately, with 1 teaspoon of oil over medium-high heat, about 1-2 minutes; lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper,. (Do not overcook. The vegetables should be crisp.)
10. Bring a pot of water to boil, and cook the noodles according to the package directions (usually 6-7 minutes). Drain water. Cut the noodles with kitchen shears into pieces about 15 cm (about 6 inch) in length. Mix with 2 tablespoons of the sauce for noodles in a large bowl.
11. Transfer the vegetables and beef (or pork) to the large bowl with the noodles as each is cooked.
12. Combine all the ingredients and the remaining sauce. Toss well by hand. Adjust the seasoning to taste by adding more soy sauce and/or sugar.
Serves 6 people.