Japchae, so, for those that don’t know, Japchae is a Korean dish that literally means mixed vegetables.
Japchae is a classic authentic dish made with a sweet potato noodle that is both chewy and springy. It’s often paired with thin strips of beef or pork in a sweet savoury sauce. It’s also very common to top this with an egg garnish. All this seasoned with soy and sesame oil. I used chicken strips today.
How long does it take to cook Japchae noodles?
Sweet potato starch noodles are a staple in Korean homes, often used in soups and stews. There are numerous ways cooking the noodles some pre-soak before cooking, some cold rinse after cooking, I just boil until they’re soft and a bit elastic! This can typically take between 10 to 15 minutes to boil. To check if the noodles are done, pinch of a piece of noodle if it breaks off easily it’s done. Also, you can check to see the centre of the noodles are clear or if they are look slightly white and starchy. White and starchy means that the noodles need to be boiled a little longer.
What is Japchae sauce made of?
Japchae sauce is a sweet and savoury sauce made of sugar, dark soy sauce and sesame oil in a perfect balance of sweet and savoury.
The real secret to successfully creating the authentic flavour of this dish is to find the right balance between soy sauce, sesame oil and sugar. Be sure to proportionately increase the sauce amounts if using more ingredients than the amounts in the recipe.
Is Japchae served hot or cold?
Japchae can be served hot or cold or at room temperature, however I would recommend enjoying the noodles while they are hot or room temperature because the flavours are fuller and more well-rounded.
Japchae is a very popular party food and usually eaten during holidays and celebrations. It’s a very convenient dish served on a large platter to please any guests!
I know I always get an ooh and an aah when I serve this!
2 chicken breasts thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper cut into strips
Half an onion sliced
1 carrot julienned
4 mushrooms sliced
12 oz glass noodles
3 chillies sliced
4 spring onions cut into lengths
1 egg beaten
Bag of spinach
4 garlic cloves minced
1 tsp sugar
3 tbsp soy sauce
Pinch of salt 1 tsp mirin/rice wine vinegar
3 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp chilli flakes
Plenty of ground black pepper
Glass Noodles Sauce:
3 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp pepper
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
Firstly, take a bowl.
Add all the ingredients for the marinade, mix well, and add the chicken. Give everything a good mix and leave for as long as possible.
Now take a large bowl. This will be where you combine all the ingredients together at the end and for the noodles.
Add the ingredients for the sauce for noodles in the bowl. Mix till sugar dissolves.
Boil a pan of water. Add 1 tbsp salt. Get a colander or seive ready under cold tap. When boiling, add the spinach to the pan and blanche. After 20 seconds, remove the spinach with a slotted spoon into colander and run cold water through. Gently squeeze out water and place it in the noodle bowl at the side.
Place pan back on heat and cook the noodles for about 10 mins or till cooked. Drain well, then add to the bowl. Mix it into the soy and oil, but don’t mix in the spinach. Add the noodles to the sauce while the noodles are hot – this helps the noodles absorb all the sauce and prevents them from sticking together. I prefer not to rinse the noodles as it makes them too watery for me, and they absorb flavors better when they’re hot.
Clean all the ingredients. Cut the carrot into matchsticks. Thinly slice the onion. Run the knife through the white parts of the scallions lengthwise, if thick, and then cut into about 2-inch long pieces. Remove the stems from the mushrooms, and slice into 1/4-inch thin strips.
Take a non-stick pan or wok. Gently heat, then add a tiny drizzle of oil. Spread oil over base, then add the egg in a thin layer. Turn off the heat and wait till it sets. This is your paper egg. Set aside to cool. Once cooled, roll and slice into thin shreds.
Now add drizzle of oil, add the carrots, a pinch of salt, and stir fry. When the carrot sticks are half way cooked, about a minute, push them to one side of the pan to make room for the red peppers. Cook another minute. Add to the noodles. Stir-fry the onion slices until translucent, sprinkling with a pinch of salt. Stir-in the scallions and cook briefly. Do not overcook. The vegetables should be crisp. Transfer to the bowl with the noodles.
Continue to drizzle oil and cook each of the veg just for a few minutes and add to the bowl. They should have bite and remain crispy.
Once all veg is done, it’s time to stir fry the chicken. Heat the pan, add a good drizzle of oil, and place the chicken in the pan. Give this a good stir fry on high till chicken is cooked.
Add this to the bowl with all the pan juices.
Gently mix all the ingredients in the bowl. It’s usually advisable to use your hand. Gently mix separating the noodles and incorporating all the ingredients together.
Adjust salt, and add more sesame oil or soy sauce if required.
Serve with drizzle of chilli oil.
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