Japchae

This is an absolutely DELICIOUS dish, but it is very involved.  Give yourself about two hours from start to finish.  Every ingredient is seasoned and cooked individually, then they are all mixed together in a huge bowl.  In the process you will dirty a TON of dishes, but don’t let that deter you – the great blend of flavors and textures is completely worth it!  
(adapted from Growing Up in a Korean Kitchen by Hi Soo Shin Hepinstall)
4 tbsp rice wine or vermouth
3 tbsp sugar
8 green onions, white and pale green part only
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp sesame seeds
salt 
pepper
8 oz chicken breast, sliced into 1/8″ by 3″ strips
8 oz lean beef tenderloin, sliced into 1/8″ by 3″ strips
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 oz dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in boiling water for about 2o minutes, then drained
3 tbsp soy sauce
5 tbsp sesame oil
1 lb napa cabbage hearts, stem part only, cut into 3/4″ by 3″ strips
1 lb spinach leaves, cut into 3 inch pieces
8 oz sweet potato noodles
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 jalapeno, cut into thin strips
To make the seasoning for the meat: combine 2 tbsp vermouth, 1 tbsp sugar, 4 green onions, 2 cloves garlic, lemon juice, sesame seeds, and 1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper.  
Stir well, then pour half into each of two bowls.  
Toss the chicken in one bowl and the beef in the other


Heat 1 tbsp oil in a skillet, then add the chicken and cook for about 10 minutes.  Transfer to a large bowl.

Wipe out the skillet, heat another tablespoon of oil, then add the beef and cook until done.
Place in the bowl with the chicken.
Squeeze as much liquid as possible out of the mushrooms, then cut into slivers.
Toss with 1 tbsp vermouth, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 2 green onions, 2 cloves garlic, 1 tbsp sesame oil and a pinch each of salt and pepper.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in the skillet, add the mushrooms, and cook for 10 minutes.  Transfer to the bowl with the meat.
In a large pot, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil.  Blanch the cabbage for about 3 minutes, then drain and plunge into cold water.  
Squeeze out as much moisture as possible, then add to the bowl with the meat and mushrooms.
Fill the pot with water again, and blanch the spinach for about 10 seconds.
Drain, squeeze out all the water, then transfer to a bowl and toss with 1 tbsp vermouth, 1 green onion, 1 clove garlic, 1 tbsp sesame oil, and a pinch each of salt and pepper.
Add to the bowl with the other ingredients, then add the peppers.
To cook the noodles, boil 3 quarts of water and add the noodles.  Boil for about 5 minutes, then drain.  Add to the bowl with meat and vegetables, add all remaining ingredients, and toss well.

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12 comments to Japchae

  • Katie

    Seriously, I think it may be totally worth the effort b/c this looks AMAZING!! I’m starring this and getting the ingredients. TOTALLY my type of dish. YUM! Thanks for the recipe!!

  • RLBerry

    That looks so good. I will have to attempt this sometime – on a weekend!

  • Steph

    I totally agree.. this is absolutely delicious! The best part is it tastes good warm or cool. When my mom makes this, we usualy just throw in some vegetables to save time, but your dish looks really good and well worth the 2 hours!

  • Joelen

    I love japchae and tend to order it whenever I'm eating Korean. It's been awhile since I've made it but it's never taken quite as long to prepare it. I think the reason why is that I pick up the marinated/pickled veggies from the panchan bar at one of the markets and reserve some marinated kalbi (since I tend to make japchae & kalbi around the same time)to throw into the mix. Do you marinate the veggies too after blanching them? I think my cheater way takes a good 30 mins… I can't wait too long to have some good japchae! :)

  • Alicia

    I *LOVE* Korean food, and this looks great! I usually end up with bulgogi, so this will be a nice change. :)

  • Maria

    I have never attempted Korean food. Great job! This looks awesome! I will have to give it a whirl!

  • Lisa

    Very impressive! It looks really good. Maybe if I’m feeling ambitious one weekend this fall I’ll do it. Korean, Thai and Chinese are the three cuisines I’m most unfamiliar with making so it might be fun to start giving them a shot!

  • Katie

    Ooh, I does look delicious! I love the vibrant colors.

  • That Girl

    I am so impressed by all you Asian dishes since you never do the stereotypical Americanized versions!

  • Jaime

    i’m so impressed w/all the ethnic dishes you prepare! i only wish i was that dedicated when it came to cooking! i focus more of my energy on baking ;)

  • […] for lunch. I knew I loved japchae (sweet potato noodles with beef and vegetables) before we came (Here is the recipe I use), but it was great to try it here. Gimbap is rice and various fillings wrapped […]

  • A mandoline definitely helps with the prep time on this dish. Yours looks awesome!

    I have a veg version of Jap Chae my mom gave me, of course it’s the best recipe ever, because it’s hers :D.

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