Sunday, April 10, 2011

I cooked: Japchae (Korean glass noodles)

One of my personal favorite Korean dishes is japchae. Japchae, literally meaning "a mixture of vegetables" is made with dangmyeon, mixed vegetables and meat (optional, hence it is suitable as a vegetarian dish). Dangmyeon, a type of translucent glass noodles is made from sweet potato starch and is similar to Chinese glass noodles, but slightly chewier and thicker.

We spotted dangmyeon when we were out grocery shopping one day and felt inspired to cook japchae. Although it was The Unc's first time cooking japchae, he has cooked plenty other Korean dishes hence we had faith that it would work out well. It can be served either hot or cold, however we decided to serve it a hot main dish.

In Korean cuisine, the vividness of colour is important hence a variety of colorful vegetables are used. The vegetables are usually sauteed separately to preserve their colour as each has a different cooking time.

The noodles turned out to be perfect in taste and texture, and what a feast for the eyes with its beautiful mesmerising colours!

Vibrant colors

Japchae (Korean glass noodles)
Preparation time: 15-20 minutes
Cooking time: 15-20 minutes
Serves 4

150g beef, cut into thin strips (you can also use chicken or pork)
300g dangmyun or dangmyeon (potato starch noodles)
200g spinach
2 red chilli
2 medium onions, sliced thinly
2-3 clove of garlic
1 shallot, sliced thinly
1 carrot, julienned
2 stalk spring onions, cut into 3cm length
3 shitake mushrooms, soaked and sliced thinly
Soy sauce, to taste
2 tbsp Sesame seeds
2-3 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp brown sugar
3 eggs, yolk and white separated

For beef marinade
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp Shaoxiang cooking wine
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
Pepper, to taste

1. Soak the dangmyeon in cold water for 20 minutes prior to cooking. After soaking, cut into half of the original length (approx 6 inches). Then cook for 5 minutes in boiling water. Strain and soak in cold water, ready for use.

Dangmyeon, before cooking

2. Marinate the beef strips with pepper, soy sauce, sesame oil, cooking wine, and sugar 20 minutes before cooking.

3. Heat a frying pan on medium heat and add the marinated beef strips (No oil required). Cook for 2-3 minutes, until the beef is cooked thoroughly. Remove from heat.

4. For the shitake mushrooms, you can either add them to the beef and cook together, or cook separately. Use the shitake mushrooms to "mop" up the caramelised beef juices left from Step 3.

5. To create a more colorful garnish, the egg white and yolk are separated and cooked individually. Beat the egg white / yolk and season with salt. In a frying pan, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil and cook the egg white first, remove from heat, followed by the egg yolk. After the egg has cooled, cut into thin strips like shown in the picture below.

6. Blanch the spinach in hot water for 2-3 minutes. Remove and blanch in cold water and leave aside.

7. Heat the sesame oil in the wok on a medium heat. Start by adding the garlic and onion, and stir fry for 1 minute, followed by the carrots. Cook for a further 2 minutes, then finally add the spring onions and chilli and give it a quick stir. Add brown sugar and soy sauce to taste.

8. Add the glass noodles, spinach, beef and mushrooms and give it another quick stir to mix the ingredients well together. Garnish with the omelette strips and some sesame seeds.

*This recipe was featured on Asian Food Channel's FB page on 28 Sept 2012.


  1. Yours is more colourful than mine! I realize that I am dangmyeon intolerant!

  2. Small Kucing: It is healthy but at the same time, very very yummy! :)

  3. yikes, looks a very labor-intensive recipe! but yeah, your version is a lot more attractive and colorful than the usual japchae that i've noticed. kinda reminds of yee sang, somehow :D

  4. Walking here~nice blog! full with food! yummy~


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