Japchae is a Korean national favorite dish, a splendid combination of textures and flavors.
Japchae (Korean Noodle Dish) Recipe-
- 7 oz. sweet Dang Myeon (potato starch noodles)
- 3-1/2 oz. beef brisket
- ½ medium size onion
- 2 medium size carrots, peeled and quartered lengthwise
- 6 shitake mushrooms, fresh or dried
- ½ green bell pepper
- ½ red bell pepper
- 1 bunch fresh spinach
- 1 bunch of Boo-Choo (Chinese leeks, but you can substitute any leeks with good enough results)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- toasted sesame seeds
- Vegetable oil
For the Marinade-
- 1 tbsp. dark, mushroom flavored soy sauce
- 1 tbsp. cooking grade sake
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. hot sesame oil
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. black pepper
For the Noodle Seasoning-
- 3 tbsp. dark, mushroom flavored soy sauce
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 2 tbsp. hot sesame oil
- If using dried mushrooms in your Japchae, soak them in room temperature water for 10 to 15 minutes, then squeeze them free of excess water, discard the stems, and slice the caps into thin pieces.
- Slice your beef brisket into very thin, 2” long pieces.
- In a mixing bowl, combine all the meat marinade ingredients well, then place the brisket pieces in the marinade and let sit for at least half an hour—a full hour is even better. Stir occasionally, to ensure all the pieces are equally marinated.
- Blanch the spinach very quickly (10 or 15 seconds) in salted boiling water, then rinse the spinach off in a colander with cold water, pat dry, and chop into 2” pieces.
- Julienne your onion, the carrot quarters, and the bell peppers, keeping them separated.
- Trim the tough ends of the Boo-Choo leeks off and chop them into 2” long pieces.
- Boil a generous amount of water in a large pot, and cook the noodles for 5 minutes, stirring once in a while.
- Once softened, drain the hot water off the noodles and transfer them into a skillet. Add 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and stir well, then turn the heat up to medium high and stir-fry for 1 minute. You want to make sure you coat each strand of noodle—this prevents further cooking and having them become soggy.
- Place the cooked and coated noodles in a large bowl. Now you are ready to add in the rest of the ingredients one at a time.
- Add 1 teaspoon of the soy sauce to your spinach, stir and mix well, then add it into the noodles.
- Turn the heat up to high under your skillet and add in some vegetable oil. Stir-fry the rest of the vegetables and the meat, one at a time, and separately. All the ingredients require different cooking times and you want each ingredient to be just cooked through, but not soggy soft. Season each ingredient with salt and pepper as you stir-fry. As each ingredient is finished cooking, transfer it to the large bowl with the noodles in it, and let them cool slightly.
- Once all the ingredients have been cooked and added into the large bowl, add in the soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil seasonings, and stir the entire mixture together thoroughly. The most effective way to do this is with your hands after a good cleaning in warm soapy water and rinsing off.
- You’re done! Japchae is excellent served with Kimchi on the side as a condiment, and have some toasted sesame seeds set out, for each person to garnish their serving with a sprinkling of them.
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