A dish that was first introduced in the early 17th century to serve the king, Japchae has become a popular party side dish. In Hanja, jap means "mixed/stirred" and chae means "vegetables." This vibrant in colored dish has an assortment of flavors from the sweet carrots to the light bitterness of the zuchinni that makes it so wonderful. The sesame oil may leave your lips a bit greasy, but don't worry, it wipes off easily and won't be going to your hips.
Prep time: 45 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
1/2 bag (6 oz) of Dang Myun (Korean Sweet Potato Starch Noodles)
1 large carrot cut into matchsticks
1 cup of dried shitake mushrooms cut into strips
1 zucchini cut into thin strips
1/2 lb of fresh spinach
1/2 of medium yellow onion sliced thinly
1/2 lb of flank steak cut into strips
3 tablespoons of soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon of sesame oil
roasted sesame seeds optional
For the steak marinade:
1 tablespoons of soysauce
1 teaspoon of sugar
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 teaspoon of oyster sauce (optional)
1) Cut up the 1/2lb steak flanks into thin slices and marinate with 2 cloves of garlic minced, 1 tablespoon of soysauce, 1 teaspoon of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of oyster sauce. Cover this up in a bowl and place in refrigerator until you are ready to fry everything. This will give it some time to marinate and absorb the flavor.
2) Next, go ahead and place 1 cup of your dried shitake in a bowl of water to rehydrate. Leave them in for about 20 minutes or according to your package. In the meantime, boil a large pot of water to cook the sweet potato noodles. Follow the directions on your Dang Myun Noodle package to cook, but in general it will take about 10 minutes. (Test it the same way you would with spaghetti-until you can pinch it with your fingers) Take it out to drain. When it is completely drained, mix in 1 tablespoon of sesame oil so that it doesn't stick together.
3) Prepare the remaining ingredients now. Wash and cut up 1 large carrot into matchsticks and 1 medium sized zucchini. Slice 1/2 an onion thinly. When the shitake mushrooms are ready, go ahead and cut them into strips. Also, wash a 1/2 lb of spinach.
4) It's time to fry everything now. Fry each item separetely because some take longer to cook than others and we want the right texture for each. Warm up a skillet on medium heat and add about 2 teaspoons of oil. Fry the carrots and ocassionally stirring so that it doesn't burn. This will take about 5 minutes or until the carrots are soft. Place the carrots into a bowl or plate and repeat the same steps with the other ingredients. The zucchini and onions may take about 4 minutes. Spinach will take less than a minute and the mushrooms are about 2-3 minutes. The steak should be marinated enough by now. Turn the heat up to medium high and cook the steak until it is brown.
5) Everything is ready to be tossed together now. Toss the steak, carrots, mushrooms, zucchini, onions, spinach, and the Dang Myun noodles together in a large bowl. Mix everything together evenly. Add 3 tablespoons of soy sauce. (Depending on how you like it, add more or less soy sauce and sesame oil)
6) It's ready to serve and enjoy now! Sprinkle on some roasted sesame seeds if you would like.
*Special thanks to my dear friend Patty and her mom for teaching me this dish.