Japchae is a dish of deliciously chewy cellophane noodles made from sweet potato starch. The noodles are tossed with julienned vegetables and sometimes meat (this recipe includes marinated beef), and each component is separately stir-fried. It’s a popular Korean dish for parties and can be served hot or cold. Vary the vegetables in the recipe as you please – others to consider are green beans and spinach, or make a mushroom japchae with a selection of Asian mushrooms.
- 100 g lean beef, cut into thin strips
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- ½ tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp sugar
- 200 g japchae sweet potato noodles
- 80 ml soy sauce
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 onion, finely sliced
- vegetable oil
- 1 carrot, julienned
- 1 green capsicum, julienned
- 6 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked until soft, finely sliced
- 1 egg, separated
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Combine the beef with the marinade ingredients and set aside.
Soak the noodles in cold water for a few minutes, then cook in plenty of boiling water for 5 minutes. Rinse in cold water and drain well. Cut the noodles into 10–15 cm lengths approximately. Mix with the soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil.
Stir-fry the onion in a little oil with a pinch of salt. Scoop onto a plate and repeat with the carrot, then the capsicum, then the shiitake mushrooms.
Beat the egg yolk and white separately and fry as 2 thin omelettes. Cut into strips and place in a bowl.
Stir-fry the beef and add to the plate of vegetables.
Stir-fry the noodles for a couple of minutes and put into a large mixing bowl. Toss with the meat and vegetables. Add more soy sauce, sugar or sesame oil to taste. Serve garnished with the sliced egg.
Instead of green capsicum, use green beans or English spinach lightly blanched and stir-fried. Several kinds of mushrooms can also be used to make "mushroom japchae".