Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Korean recipe: Japchae (stir-fried noodles with vegetables)

Recipes with noodles are a staple in many Asian countries including South Korea, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia.

I first tasted japchae (stir-fried noodles with vegetables) at a Korean restaurant in Malate in Manila, Philippines and since then, I always order it. I think the appeal of japchae lies in the taste. It has a sweet flavor. In addition, it has many wonderful ingredients including beef and spinach.

[caption id="attachment_153" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="Japchae (Photo courtesy of"][/caption]

When I visited my friend in Canada last year, I cooked japchae and she loved it. I always cook japchae whenever I have visitors at home.

It's easy to prepare. Here's the recipe from

Text from


Makes 4 servings.

How to prepare your ingredients before stir frying:

  1. 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.

  2. Slice a package of white mushrooms (2 cups’ worth).

  3. Cut a carrot into thin matchstick-shaped pieces 5 cm long.

  4. Cut 7 -8 green onions into 7 cm long pieces.

  5. Slice one onion thinly.

  6. Slice 150 grams of beef into thin strips.

Now let’s start!

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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!).

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Place a few drops of olive oil on the pan and add your beef strips and your sliced shitake 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Serve with rice and Kimchi, or as a side dish.


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