“Japchae ” literally means mixture of vegetables and also describes the method with which it is prepared. You can either serve this dish with “beef’ or veggies only. The original version back in the 17th century didn’t contain meat nor noodles and was invented by one of the King’s subjects as a dish for a royal celebration. The lasting influence of Buddhism is a significant factor in the centrality of vegetables to Korean cuisine.
The recipe above contains veggies only, as I have started to eat less meat after watching the Netflix documentary of David Attenborough: A life on our planet. It made me realize how we can help the earth just by eating less meat. My current goal is to have at least two meatless diner each week.
If you have never tried Japchae before, the taste should have a balanced sweet and savory flavor, crunchy vegetable texture and bouncy texture. The below recipe is from My Korean Kitchen and it’s amazing. The only comment that I have is that if you eat this as a main dish, 250 grams is not sufficient for 6 to 8 servings. I made 180 grams for my boyfriend and me and we finished all of it and we have even made Korean pancakes as a side dish.
Japchae (Korean Stir-fried Glass Noodle)
Noodles and mushroom marinade
Collect all ingredients and prepare the noodle sauce in a separate bowl.
Slice the mushroom and put into a medium bowl and add 3/4 tbsp of noodles and marinade and mix well. Set it aside for 20 minutes.
Blanch the spinach in rolling boiling water, which should take about 5 to 10 seconds. Drain the water and run it under cold water. Squeeze the spinach to remove excess water and put it into a large mixing bowl. Add the spinach seasoning and mix them well. This bowl should be large as other ingredients will be added to this bowl later.
Slice all the other veggies thinly like match sticks (the egg is used later).
Boil water and add the noodles when the water starts boiling. Boil the noodles for 6-7 minutes and drain the water. Rinse in cold water to cool down and let the water drain.
To make the cooking and eating process easier, it is recommended to use a pair of kitchen scissor to cut the noodles.
Move the noodles in another large bowl and pour in the rest of the noodles and mushroom marinade. Mix well and set aside.
Now it's time to cook the prepared ingredients. Cook one ingredient each time.
- Separate the white and yellow egg yolk and beat them in separate bowls with a fork or chopsticks.
- Add some cooking oil (1 tsp) on a well heated pan and spread it well. Pour the egg white mixture and cook both sides on low heat. This should take about 1-2 minutes. Transfer it onto a clean cutting board and set aside.
Add more oil if necessary. Pour the egg yolk mixture and cook both sides on low heat, should take about 1-2 minutes and transfer it onto a clean cutting board and set aside.
Add more oil if necessary. Cook the onion with a pinch of salt over low to medium heat until it softens. This should take about 1-2 minutes. Transfer this into the large mixing bowl along with the spinach.
Add more oil if necessary. Cook the carrots with a pinch of salt over medium heat until it softens. This should take about 1-2 minutes. Transfer this into the large mixing bowl along with the spinach.
Add more oil if necessary. Cook the bean sprouts with a pinch of salt over low to medium heat until it softens. This should take about 1-2 minutes. Transfer this into the large mixing bowl along with the spinach.
Add more oil if necessary. Stir fry the shiitake over low-medium heat until it's cooked. This should take about 1-2 minutes. Transfer this into the large mixing bowl along with the spinach.
Add more oil if necessary. Stir fry the marinated noodles until the noodles are well coated with the sauce, which should take about 2-3 minutes over low to medium heat. Transfer it to the large mixing bowl along with the other ingredients.
Thinly slice the egg white and egg yolks like match sticks and add them to the large mixing bowl. Mix everything in the mixing bowl gently and evenly with your hands (traditional way). I have used a pair of chopsticks and a salad server to mix them as the noodles were still too hot to mix them with my hands.
I hope that you will give this Japchae recipe a try! If you do, take a picture and tag me on @angiesrecipereview in your feed or stories and I will share your creations on my story.
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