Project Description

Japchae (잡채) is a very popular Korean dish. If you are ever in Korea, this dish is widely available as a street food or served as a sidedish/banchan (반찬). Particularly during festivals, this dish is quite sought after by the Koreans.

Morbi vitae purus dictum, ultrices tellus in, gravida lectus.

Time

1 hours

CUISINE

Asian, Korean

DIFFICULITY

Intermediate

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SOCIAL

wandering.wally

The direct translation of “Japchae” is mixed vegetables, the earliest record of this dish was in the 17th century. At that time, the japchae were prepared without any noodles. In today’s iteration, the dish is a mix of vegetables, noodles (sweet potato starch noodles or simply called glass noodles) and meat (either beef or pork).

Japchae: A favourite Banchan (Side Dish)

Traditionally, the way the dish is prepared, each ingredient is cooked individually. I can testify that cooking them individually is absolutely necessary because each ingredient has different cooking times and by cooking them individually like how I did, the flavours, texture and colours are greatly enhanced.

Korean Japchae Made From Scratch

A well-made japchae is a balance of sweetness and savouriness, crunchy vegetables (i.e. not too raw nor soft) and bouncy noodles (not too soft). Now lets get down to it!

Full Recipe: Korean Japchae

This recipe serves 2. Prepare all the ingredients in advance and keep organized to get this right!

STARTING GUIDE

  • Cuisine: Asian, Korean

  • Prep Time: 30 mins

  • Cooking Time: 30 mins

  • Total Time: 1 hour

KOREAN JAPCHAE INGREDIENTS

Main Ingredients

  • 6 stalks, spring onions, cut into 1-inch lengths

  • Half, red bell pepper, julienned

  • Half, carrot, julienned

  • 4 pieces, white mushrooms, thinly sliced

  • Half, yellow onion, thinly sliced

  • 2 cups, baby spinach

  • 3 pieces, Shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced

  • 300gm, Beef, cut into 1 inch strips

  • 1 small block, glass noodles

  • 1 Large Egg

  • 4 Cloves Garlic, finely chopped

Seasonings, Spices and Garnishes

  • 2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine

  • `4 teaspoons Sugar

  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

  • 5 tablespoons light soy sauce

  • 4 tablespoons sesame oil

  • Salt, black and white pepper to taste

  • Cooking oil

GUIDE / INSTRUCTIONS FOR KOREAN JAPCHAE

Part 1: Marinating and Boiling

  • Start off by marinating the beef – add 2 cloves of chopped garlic, 3 pieces sliced shiitake mushrooms, 2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine, 2 tablespoons light soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of sugar, 2 tablespoons sesame oil and a dash of black pepper. Mix well and set aside for about 30 minutes

  • With that aside, you can start prepping all the other vegetables. Start off by blanching the spinach, for just about 30 seconds. Take it out of the hot water and give them a cold bath. Then remove from the cold bath, give the spinach a little squeeze to remove excess water. Then season the spinach with a dash of sesame oil and light soy sauce, then set aside

  • Now boil the glass noodles for a bout 5 to 7 minutes. If you like your noodles to be extra bouncy, then give them a cold bath too to stop the cooking process. I used mung bean glass noodles here, you can also use the Korean sweet potato starch noodles, dangmyeon (당면) for a more authentic recipe. Season the noodles with 1 tablespoon light soy sauce, 1 tablespoon sesame oil and 1 teaspoon sugar; then set aside

  • Now we prepare the egg, start by cracking it into a bowl seasoned with some salt. Lightly beat and fry it over low heat. Once done, slice the egg into thin strips and set aside. Tip: roll the egg first then slice it lengthwise

  • Now we move on to the other vegetables – there is no need to keep washing the pan to cook them individually, that is why we cook the light coloured vegetables first and gradually moving to darker ones. For each vegetable, you oil the pan again and lightly season them with some salt during the stir fry, each over medium high heat

  • You can start with the yellow onions and spring onions, fry till they are translucent and fragrant, then remove and put into mixing plate

  • Then sauté the white mushrooms till they’re cooked, about 5 minutes, then transfer to the mixing plate too

Part 2: Cooking the other vegetables

  • Now we move on to the other vegetables – there is no need to keep washing the pan to cook them individually. As a result, that is why we cook the light coloured vegetables first and gradually moving to darker ones. For each vegetable, you oil the pan again and lightly season them with some salt during the stir fry, each over medium high heat

  • You can start with the yellow onions and spring onions, fry till they are translucent and fragrant, then remove and put into mixing plate

  • Then sauté the white mushrooms till they’re cooked, about 5 minutes, then transfer to the mixing plate too

  • Then cook the carrots and red bell pepper, lightly stir fry the carrots first then only add the red bell pepper. Stir fry for about a minute each then its done

  • Lastly, stir fry the beef mix, fry for about 5 minutes and transfer to the mixing plate

Part 3: Assemble!

  • Now its time to assemble your japchae! This can be a fun activity you can do with your hands. Add the spinach into the mixing plate. Then season the mix with the remaining chopped garlic, sugar, soy sauce, black pepper, then give it a good mix

  • Now add the eggs and the sesame mix and give it a little more mix. Garnish with some sesame seeds and if you need more seasoning, you can adjust accordingly with more light soy, sesame oil or pepper

  • Now its ready to be served! Enjoy your meal! Mashikeh mogoseyo! 맛있게 드세요!

NOTES ABOUT KOREAN JAPCHAE RECIPE

This recipe is just a guideline and you may adjust the taste of it accordingly. Hence, you should have some spare seasonings and adjust as you go. Having said that, its great fun mixing them up with your hands and tasting along the way till you get it perfectly. In addition, make a big batch of it and bring it to a party, its guaranteed a hit!