Korean Stir Fried Noodles (Japchae 잡채) - AFF Korea Apr 2014

I just got home from an overseas trip (guess where ;P) on Sat midnight, so have been busy unpacking and washing clothes these two days.

For today's lunch, I thought of just making do with instant noodles since I was still in a holiday mood. While ransacking the fridge for leftover food stuff that could go into the instant noodles, I found a small bag of spinach, some mini portobello mushroom, carrot and onion. Since I also have a packet of dang-myun or Korean sweet potato noodles bought for AFF Korea Apr 2014, I decided to pick myself up and cook Japchae! Just need to hop over to the supermarket near my place to pick up some beef and spring onions (actually I also need to buy ingredients for dinner lah).

Ingredients were simple for this famous and popular Korea stir fried noodles - dang-myun, beef (or pork for those who don't take beef), spinach, carrot, onion, spring onion, sesame seeds and basic seasonings. The tedious part came from preparing and cooking each ingredient individually first then tossing them together to combine, which is different from the usual stir fried noodles where ingredients were all cooked together.

Nonetheless, it was not too difficult and soon I had a huge bowl of Japchae staring at me. I had in fact halved the recipe (reference from Beyond Kimchi and Maangchi) and I guess the actual portion could serve four people. The photos shown here were for one pax; I saved the other half for tomorrow's lunch. From the websites, they mentioned that Koreans ate Japchae as side dishes or with rice. To me, this is good enough as a main dish by itself :)

I love how all the ingredients blended with each other perfectly. The star of the dish, dang-myun had a bouncy texture which I like; the carrot and onions were crunchy and sweet, beef was juicy, spinach was a tad bitter though (probably I could add more seasoning during the preparation). The toasted sesame seeds also added a nice aroma to the dish. Overall, my Japchae was on lighter side today because I wanted a light lunch. Since I have still have more than half a packet of dang-myun left, the next time I cook it, I would add more seasonings to make it more flavourful.


Korean Stir Fried Noodles (Japchae 잡채)
(serves 2, recipe adapted from Beyond Kimchi and Maangchi)

Ingredients
  • 150g Korean sweet potato noodles (dang-myun)
  • 100g beef, cut into small strips
  • 60g spinach, cut into small sections
  • 1/2 carrot, juliened
  • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 mini portobello mushroom, thinly sliced
  • 3 stalks spring onion, cut into small sections


Beef marinade
  • 2 tsp soy sauce, 1/2 tsp sugar, 2 tsp rice wine, 1 clove garlic (minced), 1/2 tsp sesame oil, 1/4 tsp pepper

Mushroom seasoning

  • 1 tsp soy sauce, 1/4 tsp sugar, 1/4 tsp sesame oil

Spinach seasoning

  • Pinch of salt, sugar, splash of sesame oil

Noodle seasoning

  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce, 1/2 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp sesame oil, 1 Tbsp sesame seeds (roasted), 1/4 tsp pepper
Steps
  1. Marinate the beef with the seasonings. Set aside.
  2. Boil water in a pot. Blanch mushrooms for 2 seconds. Take them out and rinse them in cold water. Squeeze out excess water. Place in a bowl and set aside.
  3. In the same boiling water add spinach, blanch for 3 seconds. Take them out and rinse in cold water. Squeeze out excess water. Place in a bowl and set aside
  4. In the same pot of boiling water, add the noodles and cook for 6 mins.
  5. While the noodles are cooking, season the mushrooms and spinach with the seasoning ingredients separately. Set aside.
  6. Once the noodles are cooked, drain and rinse them under cold water. Cut the noodles into 2-3 sections. Set aside.
  7. In a frying pan, toast the sesame seeds for 1 min. Remove and set aside.
  8. In the same frying pan, add a 1 tsp of olive oil and saute the carrots with pinch of salt and sugar over medium heat, till slightly tender. Remove and set aside.
  9. Next, saute the onions with pinch of salt and sugar over medium heat, till translucent. Remove and set aside.
  10. Next, saute the spring onions with pinch of salt and sugar over medium heat for 20s. Remove and set aside.
  11. Next, saute beef and cook until done. Remove and set aside. Reserve the juice from the beef in the pan.
  12. Cook the noodles in the pan with the reserved meat juice over medium heat. Add the noodle seasoning and toss them well. Take the pan off the heat.
  13. Add the beef, spinach, mushrooms, onions,carrots, spring onions and sesame seeds into the pan. Toss well with the noodles.
  14. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve warm or cold according to preference.

I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest: Korea, hosted by Sharon of Feats of Feasts.

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