Korean Japchae

Comprising of an assortment of vegetables with sweet potato noodles, Japchae is a traditional Korean dish usually served during special occasions or celebrations. Bearing similarities with our Chinese Chap Chye, this dish however, is not exactly a total stir-fry. The purists will insist that the dish tastes better when it is cooked separately and mixed together by hand thereafter. It is pretty time-consuming preparely the ingredients separately, perhaps the reason why it's only served during special occasions!

Serves 4

1 bunch                       sweet potato noodles
1/2 medium                 carrot, shredded
1 cup                          spinach
3 stalk                         spring onion, cut into 2 inches long
5                                 dried mushrooms, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes,sliced thinly
2 cloves                       garlic, minced
200g                            thinly sliced beef
1/2 medium                  onion, sliced
1 tablespoon                toasted white sesame
                                    sesame oil
                                    light soy sauce
                                    cooking oil


Bring a pot of water to boil. Add in the sweet potato noodles and cook according to packet instruction. Mine was cooked in 8 minutes. Strain and mix with 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce. Set aside in a large mixing bowl.

Cook spinach in a pot of boiling water for 1 minute. Remove and rinse through with cold running water. Squeeze out the excess water and cut into 2 inches long. Mix with 1/1 tablespoon of light soy sauce and 1/2 tablespoon of sesame oil. Transfer into the large mixing bowl with the sweet potato noodles.

Heat a pan with 1/2 tablespoon of cooking oil. Stir fry the shredded carrot for a minute. Transfer into the large mixing bowl. Repeat the same procedue for the sliced onion and spring onion, but using only 10 seconds for the spring onions.

Heat the pan with another 1/2 tablespoon of cooking oil. Add in 2 cloves of minced garlic, the sliced mushroom and beef. Stir in 1/2 tablespoon of sugar and 1/2 tablespoon of light soy sauce. Stir fry for a minute or until the beef is fully cooked. Transfer into the large mixing bowl.

Mix 2 tablespoons of sesame oil, 1 tablespoon of sugar and 3 tablespoons of light soy sauce. Pour into the large mixing bowl.

Mix all ingredients by hand (wearing gloves of course!) and serve warm with steamed white rice and kimchi.

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