Japchae is one of the most popular noodle dishes during Korean holidays and festivities. It is made from sweet potato starch noodles (dangmyeon) that is stir-fried in sesame oil with a variety of vegetables and lightly seasoned with soy-sauce and sesame oil. It is one of the most popular dishes among Koreans and foreigners.
Japchae is a great choice for potlucks and group dinners because it is not yet a globally mainstream dish. It offers guests an delicious and authentic sample of Korean cuisine and flavors. With japchae, it is also easy to create a stunning visual presentation as there is a variety of colorful stir-fried vegetables. You can bet that your guests will be going back for a second plate.
To me, japchae signifies celebration! Even if it is not a potluck or large group dinner, you can still cook it for yourself. As you cook at home, remember to take some time and appreciate yourself! A confident chef means quality food. Quality food means happier lives!
Recipe modification: I have added a step (not shown in video) to boil the noodles for 5 minutes and then place them into the sauce. This speeds up the cooking process and ensures that the noodles are fully cooked.
Note that our Japchae recipe is using Baek’s Soy Sauce, which includes minced pork. If you want a vegetarian (vegan) friendly recipe, replace the minced pork in Baek’s Soy Sauce with shiitake mushrooms.
Japchae - Your Next Potluck Dish
Yield 4 people
Japchae is a very popular noodle dish eaten during celebrations in Korea. In the West, it is not that well-known. During your next potluck, suprise your guests with traditional Korean Japchae!
- Korean sweet potato noodles (Dangmyeon) - 480g
- Wood Ear mushroom - 1/2 cup (optional, can use shiitake mushrooms too)
- Carrot - 1/2 cup
- Onion - 1 cup
- Shiitake mushrooms - 1/2 cup
- Spring onion - 1/2 cup
- Baek's Soy Sauce - 1/3 cup
- Sesame oil - 4 teaspoon
- Brown sugar - 2.5 teaspoon
- Minced garlic - 1.5 teaspoon
- Sesame seeds - 1 teaspoon
- Black pepper - few shakes
- Fill up a large mixing bowl or pot with lukewarm water. Grab some noodles (a 2-person portion size is roughly equal to the width of your forearm, so we will do it twice for our 4-person portion).
- Place noodles into the water for 2-3 hours to re-hydrate.
- Take out a smaller mixing bowl and place the Earwood Mushroom in for 30 minutes - to re-hydrate them as well. Drain them afterwards
- While you wait, prep the other vegetables: cut carrots into thin julienne strips, cut onion and mushroom length-wise into strips, dice spring onions into small circles, cut the hydrated Earwood Mushroom in half.
- Put oil into a large frying pan and turn on medium-high heat. Put spring onions (1/4 cup) in and wait until they start sizzling in the oil.
- Then add in all of the vegetables into the pan. Cook them until onions begin to turn slightly clear. Season with black pepper.
- Turn-off heat and set aside the vegetables on a plate.
- Bring a pot up to boil and cook the noodles for exactly five minutes. Drain noodles through a strainer to get rid of excess water.
- Take out large frying pan and add sesame oil, minced garlic and spring onions (1/4 cup).
- Put the frying pan on a medium-high heat. Once the spring onion begins to sizzle, put in brown sugar and Baek's soy sauce. Stir until sugar melt and sauce becomes slightly sticky.
- Now add the boiled noodles into the sticky sauce and stir for about a minute. The noodles should have turn clear and be very soft to taste (sample one to check!).
- Then add the seasoned vegetables from the previous step into the noodles. Turn off the heat and add sesame oil and sesame seeds. Give a final mix.
- I have added an additional step (not shown in video) to boil the noodles for 5 minutes and then place them into the sauce. This speeds up the cooking process and ensures that the noodles are fully cooked.
- Watch video below for more details