Japchae (chapchae 잡채) is a popular Korean dish made from Korean glass noodles (dangmyeon 당면) with stir-fry vegetables and meat. Japchae may sound and look like our Chinese chap chai (mixed vegetables with glass noodles) and that’s it. The texture and taste are totally different. The noodles, dangmyeon is chewy are made from sweet potato starch. I’m so in love with dangmyeon! You hear me? Haha
Like Cazzycazz, I’ve never order this dish at Korean restaurant before because I think it’s not worth it. RM30 wor. I can get the ingredients at less than half that price. Even after cooking this dish twice at home, I still think it’s not worth ordering from restaurant. Stingy is me. Hahaha But I guess I gotta order at least once so that I can compare the taste right?
Before we proceed let me give you a head up. Your first time preparing this dish is not gonna be eventful. There are so much slicing and ‘put aside’ involved. But I assure you it’s so gonna be worth it! After that everything is a breeze. After that means 2nd time and beyond cooking this dish. 🙂
Come now let’s cook this lovely dish.
Begin by soaking 4 pieces of black fungus in water.
I had a hard time finding ’em in the kitchen pantry.
Next, slice pork belly into about 0.3cm.
Rub the sliced pork belly with salt and then rinse with water.
Add soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, salt and black pepper. Mix well.
Let it sit in the fridge while you prepare other ingredients.
This is the Korean soy sauce (ganjang) that I used.
Next slice bell peppers, carrots, onions, spring onions and black fungus.
This is dangmyeon, Korean glass noodles.
Bring a pot of water to boil and place the noodles in. Boil for about 7-8 minutes. The recipe call for 50g which I think is too little. Hence I add another 100g making it 150g. Noodles cooking time become a little longer.
While you are boiling the noodles, start by frying a beaten egg in a pan. Season with salt and pepper. Cut into thin strips once done. Set aside.
Next in the same pan, stir-fry the pork until done. Put aside.
Without washing the pan (since I want the precious sauce from the meat to seep into the veggies), stir-fry bell peppers and season with salt. Put aside.
Continue with stir-frying carrots, black fungus and onions separately. Adding oil and salt necessarily. Set them aside once done.
Here’s the result of the separately cooked meat, omelette, onions (nearly hidden), carrots, black fungus and bell peppers.
Drain the cooked noodles well. I wash the noodles under running water a few times. Look at the transparency of the noodles. Lovely ya? 😉
Now heat some oil in the same pan. I didn’t wash my pan as it is non-stick. Stir-fry the noodles for few minutes. Since it’s already translucent after boiling, I judge the cooking time by testing bits of the noodles. As long as I can chew and swallow, that’s good. LOL
Then add spring onion, cooked meat, onions and vegetables. Mix well.
Add sesame oil, sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Serve in a dish and garnish with omelette strips and toasted sesame seeds. I also add a little spring onions on top.
Remember to saute the vegetables separately to preserve their color as they each has different cooking time – the vividness of color is very important in Korean cuisine.
Isn’t this dish beautiful? It’s so colorful and appetizing!
I was so happy with the outcome of this dish that I happily snap away without realizing I’ve forgotten to garnish with toasted sesame seeds. Hahaha
Here’s one with sesame seeds.
You can serve this dish as main or side dish. For me I love to eat it just like that and with rice too.
Just leave the meat out if you’re going for a full vegetarian dish.
Japchae is a versatile dish. Feel free to be creative and add your favorite veggies and meat.
Btw I’ve just bought Korean sesame oil. I will be making my 3rd japchae soon. I heard Korean sesame oil is very yummy one. 🙂
Cooked my 3rd japchae using Korean sesame oil. I also added Korean anchovies dashida (soup stock) in the fry noodle stage. The final taste is aromatic and even more delicious! Adding anchovies dashida was taught by a food promoter.
Recipe from Flavours magazine (March-April 2009)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
salt and black pepper to taste
100g pork, beef or chicken, sliced
50g dangmyeon (dried sweet potato noodles) [I used 150g instead]
2 tablespoons oil for frying
1 carrot, cut into julienne (thin strip)
2 small onions, finely sliced
1/4 green bell pepper, finely sliced
1/4 red bell pepper, finely sliced
1/4 yellow bell pepper, finely sliced
4 pieces black fungus, soaked, sliced
1 egg, beaten
2 stalks spring onion, sliced
sesame oil to taste
sugar, salt and pepper to taste
toasted sesame seeds for sprinkling
To marinade meat:
1. In a bowl, add all the marinade ingredients.
2. Add the meat and mix well.
3. Place in the refrigerator to marinate for about 20 minutes.
To cook noodles:
1. Add water in saucepan and bring to a boil.
2. Add noodles and boil for about 7-8 minutes or until noodles are cooked. Drain the noodles.
To cook meat and vegetables:
1. Heat some oil in a pan.
2. Stir-fry the meat until cooked. Dish out and put aside.
3. Add a little more oil and stir-fry the following ingredients separately: carrot, onion, bell peppers and fungus. Remember to add salt. Dish them out and set aside.
To fry omelette:
1. Place some oil in a clean pan and add the egg. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Once omelette is set, cut into thin strips.
To fry noodles:
1. Heat some oil in a pan and add the noodles. Stir-fry until translucent.
2. Then add the meat and vegetables which you have set aside and spring onion. Mix them well and season to taste with sesame oil, sugar, salt and pepper. Optional: Add Korean anchovies dashida.
3. Place the japchae in a plate and garnish with omelette strips and toasted sesame seeds.
Hope your enjoy this beautiful dish.
oh my I love your photos..
Perfect outcome, looks so fantastic and you are so good at taking beautiful shots.
I bet paying 30.00 would not beat your version of the same food.
Thank you dear. I bet there are better picture out there.
Just beautiful! I have never seen kelp noodles look so vivid. Makes me want to do a photo shoot with a bowl of them 🙂
The black thingy is not kelp. It’s black fungus. Thanks for dropping by. 🙂
have to try this out – looks too good to not give it a roll but have to omit the black fungus for the sake of the mat salleh taste buds!
Do tell me what you think later. If you slice the black fungus thinly it won’t be that prominent. That’s how I can eat it. I hate it in large sizes.
Hi, just a reply to your comment on my blog with regards to Azrul’s restaurant – there’s only one McDs at SS15, subang jaya. One the same row with the many banks and around Inti and Taylors college.
Thanks. I’m a little blur when it comes to Subang. SS15? Not sure where. But if you tell me Inti and Taylors then I know. Hehe
Amy!! Beautiful beautiful beautiful shots!!
Yeah i almost had a heart attack when making this dish and snapping pictures at the same time. And the ‘set aside’ is rather annoying 😀
I just bought the Korean soy sauce and also Korean sesame oil, i wonder whether it will turn out much better than the local one??
Hey Cazzy, thank you! You’re making me into a ‘kembang’ person. Haha
I didn’t find any different when using Korean soy sauce. Yet to try with Korean sesame oil.
Nice. I tried the same dish with slightly different method and it turned out well (could be better). This dish is nice to look at and good to eat
Hi, I agree with you totally. Japchae is a pretty and yummy dish. 🙂
You’ve made the dish so colourful!!! I was getting soooo hungry from just reading the page and looking at the photos. I got some japchae from a salad shop yesterday and it was good, but it was mostly cellophane noodles and not much veggies. I’m going to use your recipe to make some today and triple the vegetables!
Hi Jane, hope you like this version. Colorful and appetizing. 🙂
Oh my goodness this was healthy and delicious! I didn’t have the potato noodles, so I used Vietnamese brown rice noodles and I added kimchi, snap peas, and marinated the chicken in chili sauce (sadly I had no gochuchang) and soy sauce instead. End result? Awesome fool proof meal. The few drops of sesame seed oil I added just infused itself into the dish and tasted great with the chili infused chicken which, because of the marinade, was very tender. (I had never marinated chicken before I stirfried it… yes I’m very young, that’s why I didn’t know to do it XD). Be warned that if you are a slowpoke like me and paranoid of cutting your fingers, the preparation may take a minute (looottttsss of cutting and washing) but it will be beyond worth it. Print this out, go to the store and make this the next chance you get!
Hi Maria, indeed it was hard work preparing this dish but all worth it in the end ya. I’ve been lazy but I’m going to make one again soon for the year-end party. Thanks for dropping by. 🙂