Tuesday, July 15, 2014

japchae | korean stir fried noodles with vegetables

Because of your support, this blog has been selected to be one of the finalists For the Best Cooking Blog in this year's Singapore Blog Awards!

Thank you so much for your support for the last year, and I have to be thick-skinned and ask you to cast me a vote by clicking on the badge below. 

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! :)

I really like Korean food. Unfortunately, the LAM doesn't, so I rarely get to eat at a Korean restaurant.

Which is okay with me because I can always cook Korean food when the craving for it hits me!
The other week, I went to the supermarket and saw that the sweet potato noodles (dangmyeon) was on sale. So being a semi-housewife (ie, al-cheapo), I naturally bought a pack.

Which turned out to be a good thing because I wanted to cook a full Korean meal for dinner and I simply could not serve dinner without vegetables!
Japchae is a Korean dish that is cooked with sweet potato noodles, vegetables and meat. Traditionally, spinach is used but since I didn't have any spinach, I used cai xin instead. Frankly speaking, it made no difference to the taste!

I started by soaking the noodles in boiling water for about 8-10 minutes.
Once the noodles were soft (eat one strand to try if you are not sure), I added soy sauce and sesame oil, and mixed the noodles well.
I used a pair of scissors to cut the noodles into shorter pieces. This was set aside.
For my japchae, I thinly sliced carrots, onions, mushrooms (I used both re-hydrated and fresh shitake) and beef. I also cut the spring onion into shorter pieces.
All that remained was to cook the ingredients (individually) in olive oil in the following order. Be sure to add them to the noodles once they were cooked!
*spring onion
*beef (see below)
When the beef was half-cooked, I added garlic, light soy sauce and sugar.
This, too, was added to the noodles. For a vegetarian version of this dish, simply omit the beef and add only the sauteed garlic.

I added more soy sauce, as well as sugar, sesame oil and black pepper (loads) to the dish and mixed!
Remember to taste the dish before you serve to ensure that you had seasoned it well!

Sprinkle sesame seeds and serve the dish hot or cold!
This is such a tasty dish.

And so easy to make at home too.

And it is really cheap to cook!

Japchae | Korean Stir-Fried Noodles with Vegetables (Serves 4)
Adapted from Maangchi

1/2 pack (250g) sweet potato noodles (dangmyun)
150 grams of beef, thinly sliced
1 bunch of spinach - I used cai xin
1 medium size carrot, thinly sliced
1 medium size onion, thinly sliced
mushrooms (5 dried shitake and 1 package of white mushrooms - I used dried and fresh shitake mushroom)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 bunch spring onion, cut into 5cm lengths
soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, pepper, and sesame seeds, to taste

Boil 2 bunches of noodles in boiling water in a big pot for about 3 minutes. When the noodles are soft, drain them and put in a large bowl.
Cut the noodles several times by using scissors and add 1 tbs of soy sauce and 1 tbs of sesame oil. Mix it up and set aside. (*tip: Take one sample and taste it to see whether or not it’s cooked properly. If it feels soft, it’s finished.)
In the boiling water, add a bunch of spinach and stir it gently for 1 minute. Then take it out and rinse it in cold water 3 times. Remove any grit or dead leaves thoroughly while rinsing. Squeeze it gently to get the water out, then cut it into 5 cm pieces.
Add ½ tbs soy sauce and ½ tbs sesame oil and mix it and place it onto the large bowl. (*tip: When you drain the hot water from the pot, don’t discard the hot water. Put it back into the pot so you can cook your spinach quickly.)
On a heated pan, put a few drops of olive oil and your carrot strips and stir it with a spatula for 30 seconds. Put it into the large bowl (don’t burn it!).
Place a few drops of olive oil on the pan and add your sliced onion. Stir it until the onion looks translucent. Put it into the large bowl with your carrots.
Place a few drops of olive oil on the pan and add the sliced white mushrooms. Stir it for a bit and then put it in the large bowl.
Place a few drops of olive oil on the pan and add your green onions. Stir for 1 minute and put it into the large bowl.
Place a few drops of olive oil on the pan and add your beef strips and your sliced shitake mushrooms. Stir it until it’s cooked well, then add 3 cloves of minced garlic, ½ tbs soy sauce and ½ tbs sugar. Stir for another 30 seconds and then put it into the large bowl.
Add 2 tbs of soy sauce, 3 tbs of sugar, 2 tbs of sesame oil, and 1 ts of ground pepper to the large bowl. Mix all ingredients, then sprinkle 1 tbs of toasted sesame seeds on the top.
Serve with rice and Kimchi, or as a side dish.


  1. Diana, from one el-cheapo to another - high-5! hah..hah...I LOVE Korean food too but don't get to eat so often. Your Japchae is one of my favourites. Can't get enough of it. Bookmarked!

  2. congratulations on the nomination.. thats awesome! never heard of japchae before.. definitely a recipe i will be trying. thanks for sharing!