Japchae is a delightful Korean food which is a favorite at dinner parties, barbecues, and get-togethers. There are three things you want to get right. First marinating the meat. Second, properly sauté the vegetables. Third, the sauce. If you get these right, then you will have Japchae that is so delicious that everyone will rave about it.
How to Marinate Meat for Japchae
If you have ever attempted making stir fry from home, there is one thing that you probably did not know. Because you did not know this thing, what happens is your meat will turn out dry and bland tasting. What’s the problem? The problem is that when you make a stir fry of any sort you are using small bits of meat applied to high heat. The small chunks of meat are delicate, and will quickly evaporate moisture. During this process they will shrivel up, and be dry before the vegetables have had a chance to cook.
The solution is to marinade the meat first for at least 20 minutes in a sugary and salty solution. What happens is the texture of the meat changes drastically when sugar is applied to meat. If you eat stir fry at an asian restaurant the meat is almost always rubbery, slippery, chewy, yet very tasty. This texture difference is caused by the marinading of the meat. Specifically, the sugar in the marinade changes the texture of meat and changes its cooking characteristics. The good news is that you don’t need much sugar for this effect to occur.
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Gather all the ingredients for making japchae. Then read these tips foundhere.
If you are using dried shiitake mushrooms and jelly ear mushrooms, soak them in the water for 15-20 minutes.
In a big pot, start boiling 4 qt water.
Slice onion, carrot, yellow pepper, green pepper, and pork into 1/4in. thick. When the mushrooms are soft, gently squeeze them to remove water. Slice them into 1/4in. thick. Take apart oyster mushrooms to individual stem.
In a bowl, mix all the mushrooms and pork. Season them with soy sauce, sesame oil, pepper, sugar, and garlic. Set aside.
On a non-stick pan, on medium heat, add onion and cook for 3-5 minutes, then put in a large bowl. Make sure you spread them evenly in a bowl so that way onions won't be cooked from the heat.
Add yellow and green peppers, and little bit of oil then cook for 3-5 minutes. Put in a bowl.
Add carrots and oil, cook for 5 minutes. Put in a bowl.
Add oyster mushrooms, jelly ear mushrooms, and oil. Lightly coat with soy sauce, cook for 3 minutes. Put in a bowl.
Add oil and pork and shiitake mushroom mixture, cook for 5-6 minutes. Put in a bowl.
When the water boils, add the package of noodle in a pot. Cook for 6 minutes or what the direction says on the package.
When the noodle is ready, strain in a colander, then rinse with cold water. Keep the pot on a side for next step.
In the same pot, add soy sauce, oil, and sugar. Cook on low heat. Turn off the heat. Add cooked noodle and stir very well to coat with the sauce.
Add the noodle in a bowl.
Before start mixing all the cooked ingredients, put a cotton glove first, then plastic glove on top so your hand doesn't get burn!
Mix everything throughly. Sprinkle sesame seeds. If needed, season with extra soy sauce, sesame oil, and sugar.
Japchae (Stir Fried Glass Noodles)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 239Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 2g10%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Total Carbohydrates 22g7%
Dietary Fiber 3g12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Chef Tips: Making Great Japchae
Be sure to use a wok that is made for stir frying. Making japchae in a wok that is made for stir fry is much better than using cheaper thin woks that stick to everything. Cast Iron works the best and is ideal for making fried rice as well. When you cook a japchae you want wok that will not stick to the starch in the noodles. A cast iron surface is ideal for making japchae. With a cast iron wok your japchae wont stick to the wok after proper seasoning. This may take awhile for you wok to become properly seasoned, and japchae make stick or cake on you cast iron in the beginning. But once you have seasoned the wok it wont stick to your japchae. Its important to know that with cast iron you don't want to use regular dish soap. Rather use salt to clean your cast iron, and fresh water. After washing put on the stove and heat the cast iron until dry, coat with vegetable oil and store it away. This way your cast iron wont rust and will be ready for the next time you cook. Cast iron provides cooks with superior heat retention to prepare asian recipes. Sturdy base and consistent source of heat helps keep the wok stationary on the stove top.
To make Japchae (Stir Fried Glass Noodles), start by preparing your ingredients placing them near the stove where you can work each step. Make sure you season beef for a better taste. If you don't have spinach, you can use a green bell pepper, however, I prefer spinach for the taste. Once your assembly line is ready, then follow the instructions below.