Japchae is a classic Korean dish that everyone loves. It’s a great holiday dish or a pot luck dish to bring to a party.
Japchae, Korean Sweet potato Noodles, is one of the most popular Korean dishes there is. Every time I take non-Korean friends out to restaurants, that’s what they want to order. Also, it’s the most often requested dish for a pot luck dinner.
But to be honest, I have a love/hate feeling towards it. Why? Because it takes so long to prepare and it only takes one quick slurping of the noodles to finish the whole thing.
No kidding. There’s never any leftovers. That’s how good it is.
This noodle dish is so versatile because you can make it vegetarian by omitting beef. Or if you don’t eat beef, you can add chicken too. I sometimes like to add shredded cabbages or broccoli florets to get more veggies on the plate.
Japchae literally means a “collection of vegetables” and this popular dish that originated in the 17th century didn’t actually include noodles then.
The sweet potato vermicelli or Dangmyun can be found in most Asian markets or on Amazon. Just be aware that the package is very large. Don’t be intimidated by the size though. The dried noodles tend to take up big volume so the package is huge. Again, the noodles are hard and brittle. The color is almost transparent but has a tinge of grey color. The noodles are folded in half (because they are long) and will be in a long package. Make sure it’s made ONLY with sweet potato starch and not added wheat or rice starch.
Jap Chae – Korean Noodles Recipe
- 8 oz dry sweet potato vermicelli or cellophane vermicelli
- 4 oz rib eye steak cut in strips
- 4 tbsp avocado or neutral oil divided, for pan frying
- 2 tsp sea salt add a pinch while sautéing the following vegetables
- 1 med onion sliced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 4 oz baby spinach
- 1 med carrot julienned in 2″ lengths
- ½ red bell pepper sliced in strips
- 1 c sliced mushrooms shiitake or white mushrooms
- 7 scallions cut in 3" lengths on bias.
- 2 tbsp soy sauce or Tamari or Coconut Aminos
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- ¼ tsp sesame seeds for garnish
- 1 tbsp soy sauce tamari or coconut aminos
- ½ tsp toasted sesame seed oil
- ½ tsp mirin
- ½ tsp minced garlic
- Soak two large bunches of dried noodles in cold water.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the beef marinade and beef and set aside.
- While noodles are soaking, boil a large pot of water. When water boils, cook the noodles for about 3-4 minutes. Cook until the noodles are soft but not mushy.
- Take the noodles out of the pot, and rinse under the COLD running water thoroughly.
- Drain the noodles and place them in a large bowl. With the kitchen shears, roughly cut the noodles in a few places. You will add all the ingredients to this bowl so make sure it is large enough to accommodate all the ingredients.
- Heat a large sauté pan on medium heat. Add 1 tbsp of avocado oil and when the oil is hot, sauté onions until the color is translucent and the onion is soft. Add a pinch of salt to the onions and repeat with other vegetables while sautéing.
- Add garlic to the onions and sauté for one additional minute. Transfer the onions and garlic to the large bowl.
- Add more oil to the hot pan and sauté, Pepper, spinach, carrots, and mushrooms in order, while adding pinches of sea salt as you cook. When each vegetables are cooked, add them to the large bowl with noodles.
- Sauté the beef in the same pan with the rest of the oil for 2 minutes or until the color of the meat is opaque. Add the meat to the large bowl.
- Add the sliced scallions to the bowl.
- Add soy sauce, sesame oil, and black pepper, and mix the noodles and vegetables gently with your hands or tongues.
- Garnish with toasted sesame seeds before serving.