Making JapChae

If you’ve eaten korean food before, especially in a party type of setting or at someone’s house, you may have eaten japchae. It’s kind of an iconic korean dish, for whatever reason. I actually am not crazy about it, but when people want to expose newbies to korean food, japchae is often used, along with korean bbq. It’s typically a side dish or an accompanying dish made of potato starch noodles, veggies, and sometimes meat. It’s often served cold or lukewarm. It’s not a hot dish. It’s really up to you what kind of veggies you put in it. So here’s a version that my mom made so that W could learn how to make this.

This is not a difficult dish to make at all, but it is manually intensive. You need some decent knife skills, or at least it helps. And it also will look a lot more attractive if you’re very good at julienning. So here we go. Julienne some carrots into thin sticks. In a pan with some vegetable oil, sautee them up with a little salt. Take a thing of kamaboko and julienne that up too. Sautee it up with a little salt. These were some dried shitake mushrooms. Soak them so they spring back to life. Then remove the stems and julienne the tops. Sautee this with some oil and salt. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Thinly slice up some onions and sautee with oil and a little salt until soft. I think you’re probably catching on by now. Feel free to use other veggies you like. Spinach is often seen in most japchae variations. My mom doesn’t like to put spinach in there as she feels it makes it spoil faster. Thinly sliced red, yellow, or orange bell pepper would have been a nice touch. You can also put egg in here as well. Mix up an egg, cook it in a big pan like a thin pancake and slice it up into thin strips. Really, make your japchae to suit what you like.

Thinly cut up some sliced beef. These are slightly still frozen so it’s easier to cut. Cook the beef up with some oil and a little salt.

Here are the potato starch noodles. You know these are the right ones because it has a picture of japchae on the package. Then it has to be right, right?

Cook these up according to the directions. They don’t take long to cook. Thoroughly rinse the cooked noodles in cold water.

Yep, that’s right, you have to heat these up a little too. Add a little oil, a little salt, and heat these up a bit.

Throw everything into a big ass bowl and mix!

I said mix!

Add some soy, some sesame oil, and some sugar. Add little by little, and adjust to your liking while mixing and tasting. And really, that is it!

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2 Responses to

Making JapChae
  1. Taylor says:

    Thank you for this. Bookmarked! You’ve made it look really simple. Any time you want to photo-document your mom making Korean yums, bring it on.

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