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March 15, 2010

Japchae, the famous Korean noodle dish



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Japchae
Okay, I am nervous right now. This is my very first blog posting and I don't think anybody will find this or read this posting but why am I still nervous? Would you allow me to go and grab plateful of Japchae and I will continue to write this down as I am eating....?




Japchae (잡채) is perhaps the most famous Korean noodle dish. It is a must for any banquet or feast table. You can eat this dish alone or with some rice. This can be a great vegetarian dish as well if yo omit the beef. The key to making flavorful Japchae is seasoning each ingredient separately. Let me show you how you can make this beautiful dish to impress your significant others. Are you ready?



These are what you need.
For dish: Sweet potato noodles(당면, dang-myon), beef, shitaki mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, spinach, carrot, onion.  
For seasoning: soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, sesame seeds, garlic, pepper, rice wine.


First, using paper towel gently press beef to remove some blood.

Slice beef (cross grain) into 1/4" sticks as shown above.
That's easy so far, right?

Season beef with soy sauce, sugar, garlic and rice wine.
Set aside to marinade.

Clean mushroom with brush or paper towel. slice or tear mushrooms into strips.

Blanch mushrooms in boiling water for 2 seconds and rinse them in the cold water.

Squeeze excess water out and season with soy sauce, sugar, garlic, sesame oil. Set aside

Now look at these beautiful Korean spinach!
You gotta clean them well first by soaking in the water to get rid of all the dirt.

Blanch the spinach in the boiling water with a little bit of salt.
Be quick on this because they only need 3 seconds to blanch.
Mine got cooked 10 second because I HAD TO TAKE A PICTURE!
I blanched the spinach right after I did mushrooms in the same water.

Squeeze out some excess water but not too much.
If you squeeze too strong you are removing too much of it's own moisture and the spinach will get tough.
Season with salt, sugar sesame oil and set aside.


Cut carrots into about 2" long, 1/8" thick sticks.
Slice onion and chop some garlic.

In non stick pan heat some oil (I use grape seed oil, olive oil is good choice, too) on medium heat and saute onion with some salt. Set aside.
Saute carrots with some salt and sugar until tender crisp. Set aside.

Cook the beef in medium heat until done. No oil is needed. :) Set aside.
Keep the juice from the meat in the pan.
You will use the juice to season the noodle later.

Now you have all the ingredients ready. Let them cool down.
Not too bad, right?
Wait a minute, we still need to cook noodles! :(

This is the dang-myun (당면), comes from sweet potato starch.
It is slightly thicker than rice vermicelli.
When cooked it gives very nice chewy texture.
Boil water and just dump the noodles.













After you dump the noodle stir them so they don't stick together.
Cook them on medium heat for 6 minutes or follow package direction.













Rinse them under the cold running water. You need to rinse these noodles to get chewer texture.
This is important step so do not skip!
Massage these noodle guys gently as you rinse.
They deserve it.
Cut the noodles if you wish.
I usually cut them by holding up the noodles with hand.
You only need to cut 2-3 times total. Do not cut too many times.

Remember the juice from the beef? It has all the good flavor, folks!
You heat up the juice again and fry the noodles in it.

Add the noodle seasonings and mix well to coat the noodles.
let them cool.
Throw all the ingredients and toss them well.
Adjust seasoning as you like.
You gotta use your hands for this job.
Those disposable gloves are handy for this.
Finally the job is done!


Well, Well, Well....
All the hard work is over now. 
Sit back and enjoy your labor of the day.
I am going to eat with style!
How about you?

Japchae

Japchae
serves 4-6 as main or crowds at potluck

10 oz (300g) glass noodles (당면,dang-myun)
1/3 lb lean cut of beef, cut into 2" long & 1/4" thick sticks
1 bunch spinach, trimmed & cleaned
1 medium carrot, cut into 2" long & 1/8" thick sticks
1 small onion, thinly sliced
6 shitaki mushrooms, sliced
1/4 lb oyster mushrooms, sliced


Beef marinade :
1 T soy sauce(low sodium), 1/2 T sugar, 1T rice wine, 1t chopped garlic, 1t sesame oil, 1/4t pepper


Mushroom seasoning :
1T soy sauce, 1t sugar, 1t chopped garlic, 1t sesame oil


Spinach seasoning :
1/2t salt, 1/2t sugar, 1t sesame oil


Noodle seasoning :
3T soy sauce, 2T sugar, 2T sesame oil, 2T sesame seeds(roasted), 1t pepper

Mix beef in the marinade. Set aside.

Boil water in a pot. Blanch mushrooms first for 2 seconds. Take them out and rinse them in the cold water. Squeeze out excess water. place in a bowl.

In the same boiling water add spinach, blanch for 3 seconds. rinse in the cold water as well. squeeze out excess water and place in a bowl.

Season mushrooms and spinach each with their seasoning ingredients separately.

Saute onions and carrots separately with some salt and sugar to taste over medium heat.
Saute beef and cook until done. Reserve the juice from the meat in the pan. Set aside the meat.

Meanwhile, boil water in a pot. Add the noodles and stir them first. Cook for about 6 minutes or follow package direction. Rinse them under cold water. Drain the noodles. Cut the noodles if you desire.

Cook noodles in the pan with reserved meat juice over medium heat. Add the noodle seasoning and toss them well. Let all the ingredients to cool down to room temp.

Toss noodles with beef, spinach, mushrooms, onions, carrots with hand. Adjust seasoning for your taste. Serve in a room temperature. Enjoy.


Printable recipe




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21 Comments:

At March 17, 2010 at 7:55 PM , Anonymous Cindy Valentine said...

I just made Japchae for a big dinner party on Sunday - served 21 people and still had tons of leftovers! I followed this recipe fairly closely, even before I found this blog, but I think you WERE the one who taught me how to make it. One difference was that I added some zucchini and summer squash, cut in matchsticks. Good stuff!

 
At March 18, 2010 at 11:28 PM , Blogger beyondkimchee said...

I am glad that I taught you something. You can be creative and add other veges in the recipe. Some people add red or green peppers in the dish. I'm not a big fan of bell peppers in Japchae. To me the smoky flavor of peppers overpower the dish, but it is personal preference. I think zucchini or squash can be good addition as long as you use toward the skin part. The seeded area can be mushy and watery. Hope this helps.

 
At April 8, 2010 at 12:20 AM , Anonymous Kathy said...

this is a famous Asian dish. hmm, looks very delicious. I love vegetables and the colors of it when mixed on noodles. planning to cook a good asian food soon.

 
At May 13, 2010 at 9:25 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice first post! looking forward to following your blog :)

masa

 
At July 17, 2010 at 5:33 PM , Blogger Laura said...

i fell upon your blog from foodgawker (originally looking for choco chip cookies) and TOTALLY fell in love with it. not only did i make the cookies today (btw, they're the BEST choco chip cookies i've ever tasted), i made 잡채 today for dinner =)
it's my first time making it, your recipe and instructions were so easy to follow.
a picture of my japchae: http://bit.ly/cowUNg

thanks so much!

 
At July 17, 2010 at 10:46 PM , Blogger beyondkimchee said...

@Laura
Great! I am so happy to hear that you like the recipes. You Japchae looks fabulous! I want some now! :)

 
At October 22, 2010 at 8:27 PM , Blogger et said...

Very helpful cooking hints - i love Japchae! However, I'm lazy, and I cook the ingredients (except noodles) one after the other in a large frypan: onions, garlic, then carrots, followed by mushrooms. Then spinach, and lastly the noodles (which have been prepared per your recipe). I season each batch of ingredients. Then I add pinenuts just before serving (as my dish is vegetarian).

 
At April 4, 2011 at 5:08 PM , Anonymous lee shu-han said...

wow thanks for the very very detailed instructions and photos!

 
At April 17, 2011 at 9:41 PM , Anonymous Dustybarstool said...

does 'T' stand for teaspoon or tablespoon?

 
At April 17, 2011 at 9:50 PM , Anonymous beyondkimchee said...

T is for tablespoon, and t is teaspoon.

 
At October 27, 2011 at 6:11 AM , Anonymous Food Safety Course said...

Japchae is new to my ears. But I like spicy foods. Maybe that's why I fancy Korean Cuisine. A lot of their foods recipe have one or two spicy ingredients in it like gochujang and gochugaru. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I'll definitely make one for our Korean Night. Korean Noodles and Korean TV - a healthy dose of Korean Idols like GDragon and TOP! :)

 
At November 23, 2011 at 8:49 AM , Anonymous hana said...

Okay, I am nervous right now. This is my very first blog posting and I don't think anybody will find this or read this posting but why am I still nervous? Would you allow me to go and grab plateful of Japchae and I will continue to write this down as I am eating....?


Japchae (잡채) is perhaps the most famous Korean noodle dish. It is a must for any banquet or feast table. You can eat this dish alone or with some rice. This can be a great vegetarian dish as well if yo omit the beef. The key to making flavorful Japchae is seasoning each ingredient separately. Let me show you how you can make this beautiful dish to impress your significant others. Are you ready?

 
At November 23, 2011 at 8:53 AM , Anonymous hana said...

I cannot read the begining ..right under the first picture..starts like..Okay, I am nervous right now. This is my please help!!! Thank you ~! *^.^*

 
At November 23, 2011 at 1:29 PM , Anonymous beyondkimchee said...

@039abfd1fc430a33159afb6b9a81148d
Hi! how can I help you? Because I can see my words clearly under the first picture. All it says is that this was my very first post and how nervous I was.

 
At November 23, 2011 at 5:57 PM , Anonymous hana said...

Hello!  Actually, the email I wrote you was changed from the original.  I copied and  pasted the symbols under the first, second and third picture,  but for some reason they were deleted in my post. 'Okay, I am nervous right now. This is my' isn't what I was saying..seems like it was part of yours.... I don't kwow.. --; The first English words I can see on my computer are "slice beef (cross grain) into 1/4" inch strips."   This is under the fourth picture.  For some reason the first few paragraphs are all strange symbols.  I'll check on another computer someother time.. Thanks.*^.^* 

 
At November 23, 2011 at 6:24 PM , Anonymous hana said...

Everything is okay.  Although the symbols under the first three pictures are undicipherable, when I copy and paste the garbled paragraphs using wordperfect 11 the words (recipe) comes up in English!  I have no idea why this occurs but since I can read it it's okay.  Thank you. ^^

 
At January 13, 2012 at 10:22 PM , Anonymous Ysa said...

Hello hello! I absoulutely love your blog and I'm looking forward to trying all these recipes! Just one question, for this recipe, can you double it by just doubling all the ingredient amounts? Or should it be in another ratio? Thanks so much for all the effort that you put into making this blog fantastic!!

 
At January 14, 2012 at 7:05 AM , Anonymous beyondkimchee said...

You can double the recipe. However, the amount of seasoning on each ingredients doesn't have to be exact to the T. Adjust (+ or -) the seasonings depends on your taste. Japchae is a dish that you can season along as you make. Have a fun making!

 
At January 14, 2012 at 7:26 PM , Anonymous Kmayers said...

I made this tonight and it was delicious! I've tried for years to find a japchae recipe that was "right" and this is it. Thank you :-)

 
At February 9, 2012 at 5:55 PM , Anonymous Gwkim90 said...

I am Korean student in Japan. I want to try this someday.

 
At February 22, 2012 at 2:04 PM , Anonymous Blaze said...

Hello! 

Just so you know...the font you used for the first four pictures doesn't work so well for some computers. I'm on  XP and I'm using chrome and it comes up as gunk. If I use Firefox things look great but I don't think Chrome likes the font. 

I just copied and pasted it into an email and it looks just fine!

 

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