Korean Japchae

Korean japchae

I love Korean japchae and always look forward to eating it as one of the “ban chan” dishes served at Korean restaurants. I have tried a few japchae recipes but this one is probably my favorite so far. I added more garlic to the original recipe and combined it with some of the techniques/ingredients from other japchae recipes.

Korean Japchae

(taken and adapted from here)

Ingredients:

For the sauce, combine:

  • 1/3 cup Korean soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced

For the noodles:

  • 14oz Korean sweet potato noodles + 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, frenched
  • 1 bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into thin matchsticks
  • 5 large, or 10 small shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • Sesame oil for frying
  • Salt for seasoning
  • Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish

For the spinach:

  • 1 bunch (11-12oz) spinach
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Black pepper

For the meat, combine:

  • 1/2 pound meat of choice (thinly sliced pork or beef)
  • 1 tablespoon Korean soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon mirin
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

Method:

  1. To prepare the spinach: Blanch the washed spinach in lightly salted boiling water. Remove and let cool before squeezing out as much water as possible. Cut into 2-inch lengths. Combine spinach with garlic, salt, sesame seeds, sesame oil and black pepper. Set aside.
  2. Heat pan and fry marinated meat with 1 tablespoon of sesame oil. Set aside.
  3. In same pan, add another tablespoon of sesame oil,  saute the shiitake mushrooms and season with salt. Set aside. Repeat the same process with carrots, bell pepper and onions.
  4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil, add about a teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of oil. Add Korean sweet potato noodles and cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  5. Pour sauce over cooked noodles and mix. Let it sit for a bit to allow the sauce to soak into the noodles.
  6. Add the rest of the cooked ingredients to the noodles and mix together (tip: use your hands). Garnish with more toasted sesame seeds.
  7. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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