Japchae is a Korean dish made from sweet potato noodles, stir fried in sesame oil with various vegetables, sometimes served with beef, and flavored with soy sauce, and sweetened with sugar. It is usually served garnished with sesame seeds and slivers of chili. I have always liked this dish so i wanted to try making it so i searched the net and it turned out to be pretty simple and quick. It can easily be made into a vegetarian only dish and friendly to a wide variety of vegetables and/or meat but don’t skimp on the sesame oil as i find that is one of the key ingredient. The hardest part is probably finding the noodles but you should be able to find in any asian grocery store.
8 ounces sweet potato noodles
1/2 bunch spinach (about 4 ounces), rinsed and trimmed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
6 ounces beef rib-eye, cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch-thick strips
1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/4 medium onion, sliced
3 to 4 pyongo or shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 carrot, shredded or cut into thin strips
3 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup sugar
Toasted sesame seeds for garnish
Cook the sweet potato noodles in a large pot of boiling water for 4 to 5 minutes.
Immediately drain and rinse thoroughly under cold water. Be sure not to overcook the noodles, or they will lose their chewy texture. If you like, cut the noodles with scissors into 6- to 7-inch lengths for easier eating.
Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef, garlic, 1 teaspoon of the soy sauce, and 1 teaspoon of the sesame oil. Stir-fry until the beef is cooked, 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the onion, mushrooms, and vegetable but not the spinach and cook until the onion is translucent, about 3 minutes.
Add the green onions and stir-fry for another minute.
Lower the heat as low as possible and thoroughly combine the noodles, beef mixture, spinach, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt and the sugar. Serve warm, sprinkled with sesame seeds.