First, I would like to thank my friend Dave’s mom for another great Korean recipe! Previously, I made her version Galbi jjim, Korean braised short ribs. That was a popular dish amongst families and friends who tried it. I had also been wanting to find a recipe for Japchae, after I enjoyed it in Seoul, South Korea. The noodles are unusual in that they are soft and crunchy (or snappy) at the same time. Additionally, I have tried japchae at several US and UK Korean restaurants, usually as a starter.
This recipe for Japchae comes from Dave’s mom, and she had to try to write down the measurements since she probably makes it from memory. The sweet potato noodles were the only slightly tricky ingredient to find, but eventually I found them at a Korean store. It is important to use these noodles and not rice or wheat, as they won’t have the same texture and crunch. Another good thing about this recipe, besides the delicious taste, is that the ingredients are very adaptable. It can be vegetarian or you can add beef or other meat.
1 package (300 g) of sweet potato noodles
4 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 1/2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 carrot, julienned
1/2 each green and red bell peppers, julienned
2 cups fresh spinach, blanched and chopped
6 shiitake mushrooms, soaked in warm water, sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 green onion stalks, sliced length-wise
Salt & pepper to taste
First, soak the noodles in hot water for about an hour. Then mix sugar, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Add these to the softened noodles and set aside.
In the meantime, stir fry onions, green onion, garlic and carrot in oil using a wok over medium high heat. Add the peppers a few minutes later and stir fry for a few more minutes. Finally, add noodles and spinach to the wok and stir fry. Serve hot.
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