Japchae (잡채) literally means “mixed vegetables” in Korean. The main ingredient for this classic Korean dish is the sweet potato noodles (dangmyeon), AKA, glass noodles. Unlike the regular noodles, sweet potato noodles are actually chewy and springy. Nicely paired with thin strips of beef (bean curd and tofu for vegetarian) and various vegetables such as carrots, spinach, onions, shiitake mushrooms, and zucchinis.
Japcahe was once a royal dish, it is now one of the most popular traditional celebration dishes, often served on special occasions, such as weddings, birthdays, and holidays. It is also popular for party food, due to the ease of preparation and serving flexibility. Japchae is commonly served as a side dish (banchan) in most of the restaurants. Although it sometime do served as a main dish, it’s known as japchae-bap (잡채밥) -served on a bed of rice.
Ingredients: (Serve 3)
- 170g Korean sweet potato noodles (dangmyeon, 당면)
- 150g/ 1 Carrot
- 1 Onion
- 150g/ 1 Zucchini
- 120g Beef (sirloin or rib eye)
- 5 Dried shiitake mushrooms (You can substitute to any other mushrooms)
- 170g Spinach
- Oil for stir frying
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp Soy sauce
- 1 tbsp Sugar
- 1/2 tbsp Sesame oil
- 1/2 tbsp Mirin
- 1 finally chopped clove garlic
- 5 tbsp Soy sauce
- 5 tbsp Sugar/ Honey
- 2 tbsp Sesame oil
- 2 tsp Roasted sesame seeds (more for toppings)
- Cut the beef, carrot, zucchini, and onion into strips. Soak the dried shtick mushrooms in warm water until it is soft, cut it into small strips.
- Combine beef and the beef sauce in the mixing bowl. Set aside for at least 10 minutes.
- Heat a pan over medium-high heat with some oil. Add the onion strips to the pan, seasoning with salt (optional). Saute for about 5 minutes or until it’s soft. Remove the onion from pan, keep warm.
- Using the same pan, add some oil, add the carrot strips and zucchini strips with a pinch of salt to pan. Sauté about 3 minutes or until it is cooked. Remove the vegetables from pan, keep warm.
- Again, using the same pan, add some oil. Add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt (optional) to pan. Sauté about 2 minutes or until it’s cooked. Remove from pan, keep warm.
- Add some oil to the same pan and add the marinated beef (with all the beef sauce) to pan. Cook for roughly 7 minutes or until cooked through and all moisture has evaporated. Remove from the heat, keep warm.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, add the spinach and cook about 10-15 seconds. Move spinach to ice water immediately to stop the cooking process.
- Squeeze out water from spinach as much as you can. Season with more salt and pepper as desired or toss gently with 2 teaspoons of sesame oil to enhance the flavour (optional). Set aside.
- In same pot of water, add Korean sweet potato noodles and boil the noodles according to package directions or 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Whisk all ingredients for japchae sauce in a mixing bowl, set aside.
- Place the noodles in a large mixing bowl, pour all the japchae sauce and gently mix it until noodles absolve sauce.
- Add stir-fried vegetables and beef, toss gently to combine. Topped the japchae with more sesame seeds as desired. Serve immediately or at room temperature. Enjoy!