I remember Japchae as a shiny glistening dish with smoky strips of beef, veggies, those wonderful potato starch noodles, topped with toasted sesame seeds. At first sight, it looks like it could be a bit bland but the noodles, meat, and vegetables absorb the wonderful flavours of soy, sesame oil, with a slight sweetness of sugar.
I tried to recreate it at home with bell peppers, carrots and some broccoli (stuff we had in the fridge). After looking through a few forums, all signs pointed to Maangchi's website for authentic recipes and helpful videos. I couldn't follow her recipe ingredient for ingredient, or measurement for measurement because of what I had/didn't have at home, but Japchae sounds like a dish you can play around with the seasonings until you like what you are tasting.
Pork JapchaeSource: Maangchi
Potato starch noodles (dangmyun) 12 oz.
1/2 lb of beef (I used sliced shabu shabu style pork)
1 bunch of spinach (omitted, I used 1 small bunch broccoli, cut into small florets and stalk sliced into matchsticks)
1 medium size carrot, sliced into matchsticks
1 medium size onion (omitted)
mushrooms - 5 dried shiitake and 1 package of white mushrooms (omitted - I used 1/2 red and yellow bell pepper each)
3 cloves of garlic
7-8 green onion (omitted)
Soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, pepper, and toasted sesame seeds
- Boil noodles in boiling water according to directions on package. When the noodles are soft, drain them and put in a large bowl.
- Cut the noodles several times by using scissors and add 1 tbs of soy sauce and 1 tbs of sesame oil. Mix it up and set aside.
- In the boiling water, add a bunch of spinach and stir it gently for 1 minute. Then take it out and rinse it in cold water 3 times. Remove any grit or dead leaves thoroughly while rinsing. Squeeze it gently to get the water out, then cut it into 5 cm pieces.
- Add ½ tbs soy sauce and ½ tbs sesame oil and mix it and place it onto the large bowl.
- In a heated pan, put a few drops of vegetable oil and carrot strips and stir it with a spatula for 30 seconds. Put it into the large bowl (don’t burn it!).
- Place a few drops of vegetable oil on the pan and add your sliced onion. Stir it until the onion looks translucent. Put it into the large bowl with your carrots.
- Place a few drops of vegetable oil in the pan and add the sliced white mushrooms. Stir it for a bit and then put it in the large bowl.
- Place a few drops of vegetable oil in the pan and add your green onions. Stir for 1 minute and put it into the large bowl.
- Place a few drops of vegetable oil in the pan and add meat strips and sliced shiitake mushrooms. Stir it until it’s cooked well, then add 3 cloves of minced garlic, ½ tbs soy sauce and ½ tbs sugar. Stir for another 30 seconds and then put it into the large bowl.
- Add 2 tbs of soy sauce, 3 tbs of sugar, 2 tbs of sesame oil, and 1 ts of ground pepper to the large bowl. Mix all ingredients, then sprinkle 1 tbs of toasted sesame seeds on the top.
- Serve with rice and Kimchi, or as a side dish.
Tuesday is my last day of my training session so I'll be having lunch at a regular time again.
Sunday: B-Peanut butter and banana; L-leftover friend chicken and thai food; D-Pork Japchae
Monday: B-Oatmeal; S-Banana loaf; LL- Leftover Japchae; D: Sausages, mashed potatoes,
Tuesday: B-Oatmeal; S-Banana loaf; LL-Leftover Japchae; D: Sausage meatloaf with cauliflower and carrots
Wednesday: B-Oatmeal; L-Leftover sausage and mashed potatoes; D-Leftover meatloaf and veggies