Japchae, literally meaning “mixture of vegetables” is another traditional Korean dish that everyone loves for its sweetness and unique texture coming from the glass noodles. On his particular day, I had some leftover sweet potato noodles (aka glass noodles or vermicelli noodles) from the other day, so I decided to make something light and healthy for lunch. Instead of including our normal dose of meat (bulgogi), I went straight vegetarian for my brother-in-law’s sake and included only carrots, onions, mushrooms, and green onions. After 25 minutes of slicing n dicing vegetables, boiling the noodles, and mixing them by hand (the Korean way), it was finally greeted with applause from my toughest food “critics,” my mom and sister (brother-in-law liked it, but he likes everything I cook). I was even flattered by one critic’s positive comment: “It tastes even better without kogi (meat) and definitely tastes lighter and healthier without sacrificing any flavors.” What else needs to be said. ^^
Servings: 4 people
Noodle soak time: 25 minutes
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
- 8~10 oz. dangmyeon, Korean glass noodles
- 1 onion, sliced into thin strips
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 1 carrot, julienned
- 3 scallions, chopped
- 5, 6 mushrooms, thinly sliced (shiitake preferred)
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 4 tbsp soy sauce
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- sesame seeds (optional, garnish)
- eggs (optional; garnish)
- 2 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
- Cook noodles according to package directions. Add sesame oil to prevent noodles from sticking. Cut a few times with scissors to shorten the noodles, set aside.
- In a non-stick frying pan over medium heat, add a generous amount of vegetable or canola oil and saute julienned carrots, onion, and mushrooms with minced garlic for a few minutes. The vegetables should still retain crispness.
- Combine vegetables and noodles in a large mixing bowl. Then add sugar, sesame oil, and soy sauce tossing well until thoroughly mixed. Taste and adjust according to taste preference.
- Garnish with sesame seeds and egg strips.
*You can adjust the sweetness, saltiness, and nuttiness of this dish by adding or limiting brown sugar, soy sauce, and sesame oil, respectively.