Japchae is a dish of stir-fried noodles with vegetables and meat. It's one of the most popular dishes in Korea and can be served hot or cold. All the different components of this colourful and tasty dish can be assembled at the last minute. With sweet potato noodles glistening with sesame oil, sugar and soy, topped with vegetables and meat, japchae is great for entertaining or a special occasion.
- 300 g sliced scotch fillet
- 4–5 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 2 carrots, julienne
- 15 shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated in warm water for at least 1 hour, excess water removed, thinly sliced
- 4–5½ tbsp soy sauce
- ¼–½ tsp ground pepper
- 1 bunch spinach, blanched in salted water, excess water removed
- ¼ tsp minced garlic
- 4–5 tbsp canola oil (or grapeseed)
- 2 eggs, separated, beaten
- 300 g daeng myun (sweet potato noodles)
- 2½–3 tbsp sugar
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 1 chopped green onion
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1–2 tbsp sugar
- 1½ tbsp cooking sake
- ⅛ tsp pepper
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.
Marinating time 30 minutes
Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Add the scotch fillet and marinate for at least 30 minutes.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil in a pan. Add the onions and cook for about 1 minute. Remove from the pan and set aside.
In the same pan, heat 1 tablespoon of sesame oil. Add the carrots and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Add the marinated meat to the heated pan and cook for about 2–3 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from pan and set aside.
In the same pan, heat 1 tablespoon of sesame oil. Add the mushrooms, 1½ tbsp soy sauce and a little ground pepper. Stir-fry for about 1 minute. Set aside.
In a bowl, combine the spinach, 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and garlic. Season with salt. Set aside.
Heat 1 tbsp canola oil in a pan, pour in the egg whites to make an omelette. Remove from the pan and set aside. Repeat with the egg yolk. Cut omelettes into thin strips.
Bring a saucepan of water to the boil. Add 2 tsp salt. Add the dried noodles and cook for 5–7 minutes or until al dente. Drain (do not rinse noodles in water). Cut noodles with scissors into smaller lengths.
Heat 1–2 tbsp oil in a pan and add cooked noodles. Stir quickly and add 3–4 tbsp soy sauce and 2½–3 tbsp sugar. Mix to combine. Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl.
Add 2–3 tbsp of sesame oil to the noodles and season with salt and ¼ tsp ground pepper. Add extra soy sauce and sugar if needed. When the noodles have cooled, add the ingredients that were set aside and mix well. Serve japchae topped with the omelette.
• Once the sweet potato noodles are cooked and drained, it should be stir-fried in oil, soy and sugar mixture quickly. However, once this is done, the rest of the ingredients can be added and mixed closer to serving.