Japchae – Korean Glass Noodle Stir Fry

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Japchae

Japchae is a Korean dish made with glass (sweet potato starch) noodles and vegetables. I have had glass noodle dishes before but never been served them by Koreans, so when our couchsurfing hosts in Gyeongu, South Korea mentioned that Japchae would accompany the acorn jelly salad for dinner I was elated.

Veggies for japchae

Anxious to accurately document the recipe, I had my notebook and pen in hand as Minju dictated the list of ingredients she used for the Japchae. As a vegetarian, instead of beef, she added fish cake and imitation crab sticks. For the other mix ins we had carrots, enoki mushrooms, jalapeno peppers, onions and bok choy (instead of the traditional spinach). I even got to participate in the veggie julienning process and received compliments on my swift knife skills (always flattering).

For bibimbap

bibimbap

As we sat down to our first home cooked meal in a while, D and I were so thankful to Minju and Phillip for preparing something that closer resembled a feast than a simple one-dish meal. As is natural in South Korean dining, we had multiple plates of various kimchi accompanied by the acorn jelly salad, bibiminbap (rice with kimchi, sesame oil, a fried egg, and Korean red pepper paste) and the Japchae. Everything was delicious and we truly felt incredibly welcome into their home.

our couchsurfing dinner_

The Japchae is a simple recipe but the key is to julienne all the ingredients and keep the strips of veggies the same size. The proper way to stir fry the veggies is one at a time but in today’s busy world it’s easier to just throw them into the wok all together, adding the bok choy last. Only lightly fried, the veggies stay somewhat crisp and without being overloaded with sauce the entire dish feels healthy, wholesome and authentic.

Definitely a recipe I will be recreating at home.

Japchae

Japchae - Korean Glass Noodle Stir Fry
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A simple and healthy stir fry - an authentic Korean recipe
Recipe type: Stir Fry
Cuisine: Korean
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 12 ounces glass noodles
  • 1-2 carrots, julienned
  • 6-8 ounces enoki mushrooms, cut off the root
  • 6 imitation crab sticks, separated
  • 3 long jalapeno peppers, cut into matchsticks
  • ½ onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 fish cake, thinly sliced
  • 2-3 baby bok choy, chopped
  • 8 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons agave
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Instructions
  1. Soap noodles in cold water for 30 minutes, and drain. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and boil noodles for 5 minutes. Rinse in cold water and drain.
  2. Heat vegetable oil in a wok over high heat until hot but not smoking,
  3. , Add all veggies except for bok choy and cook, tossing occasionally 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add noodles to the wok and toss. Add bok choy and toss, until bok choy slightly wilted.
  5. In a separate bowl combine soy sauce, sesame oil and agave. Mix until smooth.
  6. Add sauce to the wok and toss until combined. Remove from heat. Serve hot or cold.

 

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Comments

  1. says

    I’ll be going to Korea for a conference next month and have always been scared of Korean food so I’ve been worried about what I’ll eat there, but if the food is like this then I’m in for a treat! Glad you shared this and hope you’re having a great time!

    • Vicky says

      Thanks! There’s tons of delicious food in Korea though some scary food as well (stewed chicken feet and silkworms) so you do have to be careful at some places but there are a lot of options. Bibimbap is definitely a safe option – a rice dish with Korean red pepper paste, a fried egg, and various pickled/fermented veggies and sometimes meat. You mix it all together and it’s pretty good and always cheap. Dumplings are a safe option too. Oh and you must try out Korean bbq – they bring over a plate with raw sliced pork and you cook it yourself on a grill, cut it up into smaller pieces and then assemble your own lettuce wraps with it and various other fillings – so so good. Beef Bulgogi is also delicious — essentially paper thin cut beef stir fry in sauce with mushrooms etc, to be eaten with rice – delicious. As you can see there are lots of options so don’t be scared! Best of luck with the conference and do let me know what you think of the food!

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