Japchae, jabchae or chapchae is a Korean noodle dish made out of dangmyeon (sweet potato starch noodles) cooked with vegetables (carrots, onion, spinach, and mushrooms) and meat which is served hot or cold. The name japchae in English means “mixed vegetables”. A dish popular in Korea, severed usually as a side dish but can also be served as mains.
Japchae was invented by Yi Chung during the 17th century as a dish to be served to King Gwanghaegun who had held a big gathering at the palace during those times. The king so loved the dish and in return promoted Yi Chung as his Secretary of the Treasury. During those times japchae was made only made out of only vegetables (no noodles) similar to the chopseuy then in the 20th century dangmyeon was added and become a primary ingredient of this dish.
Another simple noodle dish which you can pair with Korean Barbecues, rice and kimchi and in my personal opinion, this is better if enjoyed cold rather than straight out of the wok.
1 packet sweet potato starch noodles (dangmyeon)
200g beef, thinly sliced
1 bunch spinach or choysum
1 medium carrot, julienned
1 medium white onion, sliced
6 pcs dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated and thinly sliced (reserve liquid used for rehydration)
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp cayenne pepper
freshly ground black pepper
- Cook noodles according to instruction, drain then set it aside.
- Season beef slices in salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Blanch your spinach or choysum, and then rinse it with cold running water, set it aside.
- Prepare a wok add oil then in high heat stir fry beef pieces for around 2 minutes. Set this aside.
- Add garlic in the wok then sauté for 30 seconds.
- Add mushrooms then continue to stir fry for 30 seconds.
- Add carrot and onions then stir fry for a minute.
- Add the cooked noodles and vegetable greens, beef, soy sauce, cayenne, sesame oil, salt, sugar and freshly ground black pepper. Mix well then turn off the heat.
- Serve it hot or cold.