Japchae is one of Korea’s favorite traditional dishes. This dish was first introduced to me when we visited our friends in Arizona. The first time I tasted it, i was already hooked. Japchae usually has meat in it so when it was served to me, I just put aside the meat. I knew that it will be one of my favorites. Japchae is a noodle dish that is prepared and cooked almost exactly like the ‘Pansit’ (noodles with stir fry vegetables ) of the Philippines. The only difference would be the kind of noodle and the variety of vegetables used. One of the reason why this is a sold out dish in our family is because Austria loves every type of noodles. As long as my kids eat what I cook, i’m a happy mommy! Here is my version of Japchae vegan style.
- Starch noodles (“dangmyun”)
- 1 bunch of spinach
- 1 medium size carrot or bell pepper
- 2 cups of bean sprout
- 1 medium size onion
- mushrooms (5 dried shiitake and 1 package of white mushrooms)
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 7-8 green onions
- soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, pepper, and sesame seeds
Makes 4 servings.
How to prepare your ingredients before stir frying:
- Soak 5 dried shitake mushrooms in warm water for a few hours until they become soft. Squeeze the water out of them and slice thinly.
- Slice a package of white mushrooms (2 cups’ worth).
- Cut a carrot into thin matchstick-shaped pieces 5 cm long.
- Cut 7 -8 green onions into 7 cm long pieces.
- Slice one onion thinly.
- Slice 150 grams of beef into thin strips.
Now let’s start!
- 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 shiitake 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 fried tofu!