Friday, December 2, 2011

Japchae (Korean Stir-fried Sweet Potato Noodles)

Christmas is coming soon and I forsee that we will be buying lots of goodies for the festive celebrations, which means that I have start clearing out my pantry (and fridge) to make space for these purchases. I bought these sweet potato starch noodles a while back with the intention of making Japchae, a rather popular dish served at Korean restaurants. Japchae is a dish of stir-fried glass noodles (called "dangmyeon"), containing vegetables like carrots, red peppers, onions and scallions, and is usually seasoned with soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil.

Anyway, I decided to use up those noodles as they came in quite a large bulky package, and so I made Japchae for dinner along with a pot of delicious dwenjang jjiage (Korean bean paste stew) with leftover spam. I find that it is important for the beef and vegetables in the Japchae to be well seasoned, as the noodles themselves don't carry a lot of flavour. You can serve this as a side dish, or as a main dish with steamed white rice.

Japchae (Korean Stir-fried Sweet Potato Noodles)
(Serves 6-8)


200g beef scotch fillet, shredded thinly

Beef marinade:
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp pepper
1 tsp chopped garlic
1/2 tsp roasted sesame seeds

1 bunch spinach, washed
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
4-5 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1/2 carrot, julienned
1/2 capsicum/red bell pepper, julienned
Salt and pepper to taste
Roasted sesame seeds for garnish

6 shiitake mushrooms, soaked in hot water
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp sesame oil

240g Korean sweet potato noodles

Sauce (mix in a bowl):
4 tbsp soy sauce
4 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp sesame oil


Combine beef with marinade and set aside for 4 hours.

Soak noodles in hot water for 30 minutes or until softened. Alternatively, cook in boiling water for 4-5 minutes or according to package instructions. Drain well. Trim the noodles with a pair of scissors, and then toss with the sauce. Set aside.

Squeeze out excess water from the mushrooms and slice thinly. Combine mushrooms with soy, sugar and sesame oil and leave for 5 minutes.

Bring a pot of water to the boil with 1 tsp salt and blanch spinach until it turns bright green. Remove and rinse under cold water. Squeeze out excess water and cut the bunch in half. Set aside.

Heat up 1 tbsp oil in a non-stick pan/wok and fry the onions, scallions, carrots and red peppers until they start to soften. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Heat up 1 tbsp oil in a non-stick pan/wok. Stir-fry the beef until almost cooked, then add the mushrooms and fry for 1-2 minutes. Add in the noodles and toss well, then add all the vegetables including spinach. Toss everything together on medium heat (about 2 minutes) and add salt or soy to season to taste if necessary. Once the noodles are cooked, transfer to a serving plate. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve hot.


mycookinghut said...

Looks really delicious! Love it!

Claire @ The Realistic Nutritionist said...

Beautiful photo!! this looks amazing!

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

One of my favorite Korean dish that I will never miss to order. Kids love this too. I tried a couple of recipes and I hope to try yours one day. Bookmarking time! :-)

Anonymous said...

Made this last night, and it was fantastic! Thanks for sharing!

Fern @ To Food With Love said...

That's wonderful to hear! Thanks for letting me know :)