Japchae 잡채 (Korean Glass Noodles w Vegetables)

Japchae is another traditional Korean dish that everyone loves. It’s full of flavors and the awesome texture from the glass noodles can be quite addicting. Luckily for me, I was responsible for making this dish for my sister’s birthday. Although I had never attempted this dish on my own, it seemed easy enough while watching my mom make it numerous times for large gatherings like potlucks at church or just as another dish for our growing family. I also perused various cookbooks and webpages devoted to this popular Korean dish just to make sure she was making it the “right way” and for sure she was.  I’m not sure if easy is a good description when trying this on the first attempt, but this dish does take a good chunk of time preparing and bringing all the components together. And like most Korean dishes, a healthy dose of vegetables is vital, as you can use a variety of vegetables like spinach, carrots, green onion, shiitake mushrooms, green peppers, and even strips of beef (which we left out because we got a vegetarian in the family). Fortunately, everyone seemed pleased with the dish and I avoided disgracing the family name, for now. ^^

Servings: 6~8 people

Noodle soak time: 25 minutes

Prep time: 25 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 8~10 oz. dangmyeon, Korean glass noodles/sweet potato noodles
  • 1 onion, sliced into thin strips
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 bunch spinach, parboiled
  • 2 carrots, julienned
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 5 mushrooms (shiitake preferred)
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • sesame seeds (optional, garnish)
  • egg strips (optional, garnish)

Directions:

  1. Cook noodles accordingly to package directions. Drain well and add sesame oil to avoid sticking of noodles. Cut a few times with scissors to shorten the noodles.
  2. In a large stir fry pan over medium heat, heat vegetable oil and cook onions with minced garlic for a few minutes.
  3. In boiling water, add the spinach and blanch for about 10-15 seconds. Rinse under cold water and squeeze out excess water by hand.
  4. Add remaining vegetables and cook for several minutes; they should retain slight crispness.
  5. Combine vegetables, and noodles in a large mixing bowl mixing. Then add sugar, sesame oil, and soy sauce tossing well to thoroughly mix. Taste and adjust according to taste preference.
  6. Garnish with sesame seeds and egg strips.
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