Serving 150919a
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Noodles with Vegetables & Beef
Korea
  -   Japchae
Makes
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
3-1/4 #  
****
3 hrs  
Yes
This is deservedly one of Korea's most famous dishes. The recipe is large and a bit involved, but not difficult, if you follow the steps carefully and do all prep before you start cooking. It is very popular in Korea as a party dish, suitable for buffet service and potluck events. It is also made vegetarian, but I'd add one or two more dried mushrooms for that.



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Black Mushrooms (1)
Beef, lean
-- Marinade
Soy Sauce
Garlic
Sesame Oil, dark
-- Noodles
Sweet Potato Noodles (2)  
Soy Sauce
Sesame Oil, dark
-- Spinach
Spinach leaves
Salt
Sesame Oil, dark
-- Vegetables
Carrot
Onion
Mushrooms (3)
Scallions
-- Seasonings
Garlic
Sugar (4)
Toasted Sesame (5)
Soy Sauce (6)
Sesame Oil, dark
Pepper, black
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Oil (see steps) (7)
Salt (see steps)
-- Garnish
Egg strips (8)
Prep   -   (1-1/3 hr + 1 hr Mushroom soak)
  1. Soak MUSHROOMS in warm water for at least 1 hour. Remove stems and squeeze out excess water. Slice caps thin.
  2. Slice BEEF thin and cut into matchsticks about 2 inches long.
  3. Mix together Beef and sliced Mushrooms. Crush 1 cl GARLIC, chop fine and massage all Marinade items into the Beef mix (or Mushrooms if vegetarian).
  4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil as for any pasta. Stir in NOODLES and stir long enough so they don't stick together. Boil gently until just done, 7 to 8 minutes. They should still be a bit chewy, but no hard spots.
  5. Drain Noodles. Lay them out on the cutting board and make several knife cuts through the pile, at right angles, to make the noodles short enough to be manageable. Place in a large shallow mixing bowl and mix in 1 t Soy Sauce and 1 t Sesame Oil to prevent sticking.
  6. Bring plenty of water to a boil. Stir in SPINACH for 30 seconds no more. Drain and refresh with cold running water. Squeeze out excess water. If leaves are large, spread on cutting board and make a couple of cuts through the pile at right angles.
  7. Transfer Spinach to a bowl. Mix with 1/2 t Salt and 1 t Sesame Oil, then add to the bowl with the Noodles.
  8. Scrape CARROT and cut into narrow strips 2 to 2-1/2 inches long. Best to use a Julienning vegetable peeler.
  9. Cut ONION in half lengthwise, then slice thin crosswise.
  10. Slice MUSHROOMS about 1/4 inch thick, however makes sense for the kind of mushrooms you are using. For King Trumpets I cut lengthwise into strips.
  11. Cut SCALLIONS into lengths of about 2 inches and mix with Mushrooms.
  12. Crush 3 cl GARLIC and chop fine. Mix together all Seasoning items.
  13. Make Egg Strips if using for Garnish.
Run   -   (30 min)
  1. In a spacious skillet or sauté pan, heat 2 t Oil over medium high heat. Stir in Carrots and fry stirring until just getting tender, about 2 minutes. Add to the bowl with the Noodles.
  2. Add 1 t Oil to the pan. Stir in the Onions and 1/4 t Salt. Fry stirring until just translucent, about 3 minutes. They should still have some crunch. Add to the bowl with the Noodles.
  3. Add 2 t Oil to the pan. Stir in Mushroom mix and fry stirring until mushrooms are tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add to the bowl with the Noodles.
  4. Add 1 t Oil to the pan. Stir in Beef mix and fry stirring until the beef has completely lost its raw color, 3 to 4 minutes. Add to the bowl with the Noodles.
  5. Add Seasonings mix to the bowl with the Noodles. Tumble everything together evenly and transfer to a serving bowl.
  6. Garnish with Egg Strips if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature.
NOTES:
  1. Black Mushroom:   These are the same dried Shiitakes found in every Asian market and many supermarkets.
  2. Sweet Potato Starch Noodles:   It is essential that Sweet Potato Starch Noodles be used in this recipe. Trying to use mung bean noodles or similar will result in disaster.
  3. Mushrooms:   The pattern recipe allows white Button Mushrooms, but I prefer the small King Trumpet mushrooms now available around here. You could use fresh Shiitakes, but soak them for 20 minutes in warm water as if they were dried. This transforms their texture.
  4. Sugar:   The pattern recipe calls for "light brown sugar".   NOTE:   I have cut the amount of sugar to 1/3 that called for by the pattern recipe. Use your own best judgement here, but I don't think it needs more.
  5. Sesame Seeds:   Toasted sesame seeds are almost always used. If you don't have them, just dry pan roast white sesame seeds, stirring and shaking, until they are a medium blonde color. For details see our Toasted Sesame Seeds page.
  6. Soy Sauce:   Preferably use Korean "Soy Sauce for Soup", which has a lighter color for better appearance.
  7. Oil   I use Pure Olive Oil (not virgin), but since temperatures are low and cooking is short, practically any reasonably neutral oil can be used.
  8. Egg Strip Garnish   This a very common Korean garnish, easy to make, and can be made even days in advance. For details see our recipe Egg Strip Garnish.
  9. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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