Vegetarian Japchae 잡채 (Korean Glass Noodles w Vegetables)

Korean japchae (glass noodles w vegetables) made for the family a few weeks back. After several failed attempts, this one came out the way I wanted.  

The last time I made japchae (sweet potato noodles w vegetables) it came out a little bland and the noodles clumped together from not adding sesame oil. But this time, I finally got those two out of the way and made a flavorful dish that the entire family enjoyed. Also, we made a vegetarian version on behalf of Komobu, the vegetarian, and surprisingly the absence of meat didn’t make much of a difference. For a quick description, japchae is made from noodles called dangmyeon (aka glass noodles) and includes a variety of vegetables and greens usually sliced into thin strips. The combination of soy sauce, sugar, and sesame oil make for a really flavorful and popular dish among Koreans and foreigners alike. You will often find this dish served on special occasions and gatherings, where it is usually eaten as a side rather than a main dish. There are several variations of japchae, but remembering to include a healthy dose of vegetables is vital. I personally recommend the combination of spinach, shiitake mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, and carrots. Whatever ones you choose to include, just make sure to cut them thin and long as they will taste better with the sweet noodles.

Here are the ingredients for our vegetarian japchae.
Blanch the spinach for less than 20 seconds; cool under running water and remove excess water by squeezing into a ball.
Cut the vegetables long and thin and set aside until sauteing.
Cook the noodles according to package directions.
Cut the long noodles with scissors and add some sesame to prevent clumping.
Fry the eggs like this and cut into thin strips.
Saute the vegetables for a few minutes. They should still retain their crispness.
Bring everything together including the seasoning and you’re done.
The finished product on a handmade dish made by Sis. ^^

Servings: 6~8 people
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Ingredients:
  • 8~10 oz. Korean glass noodles
  • 1 onion, sliced into thin strips
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 bunch spinach, parboiled
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 2 carrots, julienned
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • sesame seeds (garnish)
  • 2 eggs beaten, cut into thin strips (garnish)
  • 5 shiitake mushrooms (optional)
Directions:
  1. Cook noodles accordingly to package directions. Drain well under cold water and 1 tbsp add sesame oil to avoid sticking of noodles. Cut the noodles a few times with a scissors to shorten.
  2. In a large pan over medium heat, heat 1tbsp vegetable oil and cook onions with minced garlic for a few minutes.
  3. In the boiling water, add the spinach and blanch for about 10 seconds. Rinse under cold water and squeeze out excess water by hand.
  4. Cook remaining vegetables in a little vegetable oil for several minutes, they should retain slight crispness. Keep the heat low until noodles are combined.
  5. Add the noodles to the frying pan and mix well with all vegetables. Then add sugar, sesame oil, and soy sauce tossing well. Sample the seasoning and adjust according to taste preference.
  6. In another pan, fry the beaten eggs into a flat pancake and shred into long strips. Separating into white and yellow is also okay.
  7. Transfer to a serving plate, then garnish with sesame seeds and egg strips.
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