Sunday, February 13, 2011

Pork Japchae and Menu for the Week

I looove Korean food!  I wrote a post a while back about how Korean food saved my vacation a few years back.  Since then I've always looked for Korean restaurants to relive those wonderful days of stuffing my face with the local fare.

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 Japchae
Source: 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

  1. Boil noodles in boiling water according to directions on package. When the noodles are soft, drain them and put in a large bowl.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Add ½ tbs soy sauce and ½ tbs sesame oil and mix it and place it onto the large bowl.
  5. 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!).
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Serve with rice and Kimchi, or as a side dish.
For step 10, I added all the ingredients back into the pan, cutting the noodles as necessary (they sure do like to stick!) and adding the seasonings. 
    Menu for 2/13/2011 - 2/19/2011

    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

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