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Japchae: A Classic Korean Stir-Fried Glass Noodle Dish

Japchae: A Classic Korean Stir-Fried Glass Noodle Dish

Japchae: A Classic Korean Stir-Fried Glass Noodle Dish

Japchae is a delightful and colorful Korean dish made with sweet potato starch noodles (dangmyeon), stir-fried vegetables, and usually includes some type of meat or tofu. It is known for its sweet and savory flavor profile, typically enhanced with soy sauce, sesame oil, and sugar. Japchae is often served as a side dish during Korean festive holidays and special occasions but can also be enjoyed as a main course. Below, find the recipe for making this classic dish at home.

Ingredients:

  • 250g sweet potato starch noodles (dangmyeon)
  • 200g thinly sliced beef (can be substituted with tofu for a vegetarian version)
  • 1 medium carrot, julienned
  • 1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups of spinach
  • 5 mushrooms (shiitake or any preferred), thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil for cooking

Instructions:

  1. Prepare the Noodles:

    • Boil the noodles according to package instructions, usually about 5-7 minutes.
    • Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process. Cut into manageable lengths.
    • Toss with a tablespoon of sesame oil to prevent sticking and set aside.
  2. Prepare the Vegetables and Meat:

    • Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat.
    • Sauté the garlic and onions until they start to soften.
    • Add the beef and cook until it’s nearly done. Remove and set aside.
    • In the same pan, add a little more oil if needed and stir-fry the carrots, bell peppers, and mushrooms until just tender.
  3. Blanch the Spinach:

    • Blanch the spinach in boiling water for 30 seconds, then rinse under cold water, squeeze out excess liquid, and set aside.
  4. Combine Ingredients:

    • Return the noodles to the skillet along with the cooked beef, vegetables, and spinach.
    • Add soy sauce, the remaining sesame oil, sugar, salt, and pepper. Stir well to combine all ingredients.
    • Cook for a few more minutes until everything is heated through and well combined.
  5. Serve:

    • Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
    • Serve warm or at room temperature.

Tips for Perfect Japchae:

  • For the best texture, do not overcook the noodles; they should be slightly chewy.
  • Adjust the seasoning with additional soy sauce or sugar according to your taste.
  • Japchae can be made ahead and tastes even better when the flavors have time to meld together.

Japchae is a versatile dish that allows for plenty of customisation according to your taste preferences or dietary needs. Its vibrant colors and diverse textures make it as pleasing to the eye as it is to the palate. Enjoy the process of cooking this traditional Korean dish and share it with family and friends!

Let me create two images that reflect this recipe: one capturing the cooking process and another showcasing the beautifully assembled dish.

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