Japchae is the world famous Korean noodle dish and it is so delicious. No wonder it is becoming more popular around the world. Although it is so worth of your time to make classic Korean apche, it takes quite an effort and time to make it traditionally. Here I reinterpreted Japchae and added a modern twist. I made this Beef Japchae with Asparagus and Mushroom and it was a huge success. Not only it is much easier to make than the traditional Japchae, but how delicious the outcome is. You are not missing any flavor of Japchae with this method.
What vegetables to use
- Asparagus: asparagus is not a Korean vegetable, but you will be quite surprised that it goes so well with Korean noodles. I suggest to look for slightly thin asparagus bundle rather that the thick kind. They will cook faster and matches well with other vegetables. Make sure to trim-off the the pale part of the asparagus.
- Red Bell Pepper: Looks for fresh and firm red bell pepper. You can use yellow or orange pepper instead but I like the vibrant red color of the red bell pepper gives to the dish.
- Mushroom: Use any mushroom you like. Button or crimini mushrooms are good. I chose shiitake and oyster mushrooms. I think using more than one kind of mushroom makes this Japchae more special.
- Beef: Use thinly sliced beef sirloin. You can find the pre-sliced thin beef cutlet in any grocery stores these days. You can also find the similar cut in most Korean stores, too, of course. Also you can use pork instead of beef. If you prefer to make the Japcahe meatless and vegan friendly, omit the beef.
Korean Sweet Potato Noodles
You have to use Korean sweet potato noodles called “Dangmyun”. It is made with sweet potato starch, thus the noodles look somewhat translucent once cooked. The noodle itself doesn’t any flavor in fact, so it is perfect to coat with yummy Japchae seasoning. You will love the pleasant chewy texture of this noodle. You can find the Dangmyun in Korean stores. Some of the well stocked local stores carry it too.
How to make it
Sometimes a quick tutorial video is much better than a thousand words. I suggest to watch 3-1/2 minutes of my YouTube video.
- 7 oz Korean sweet potato noodles (dangmyun)
- 3/4 lb thinly beef sirloin slices
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- dashes pepper
- 1 tbsp rice wine, optional
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 8 oz mushroom, sliced
- 1 bunch thin asparagus, trimmed
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- pinches salt
- 4 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tbsp Korean corn syrup, optional
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- Slice beef into 1/4-inch strips, Put them in a shallow mixing bowl and add soy sauce, sugar, 2 tsp of minced garlic, sesame oil, pepper, and rice wine. Mix well and set aside.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine all the Japchae sauce (except sesame seeds), and mix well; set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet or wok over medium heat. Add the onion and the rest of garlic and stir-fry 1 minute. Add the red pepper and continue to cook for another minute. Add the mushroom and pinches salt, cook until the mushroom is soft, adding more oil if necessary. Add the asparagus and pinch salt and stir-fry until asparagus is crisp tender, about 2 minutes. Transfer the veggies on a large platter and spread them out. Set aside.
- Bring a pot of water to boil and cook the noodles according to the package direction.
- Meanwhile heat a little bit of oil on a skillet again and cook the beef until browned. Place the beef on top of the veggies in a platter; set aside to cool.
- When the noodle is cooked, rinse under the cold water to remove the excess starch. Cut noodles with a pair of scissor if desired. Strain the noodles well.
- Heat the rest of oil in a skillet over medium heat and add the noodles and toss for 30 seconds. Pour the Japchae sauce over noodles and coat them well, about 1 minute. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the veggies and beef, toss well. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Leftover Japchae can be stored in the fridge up to one week. The noodles will turn opaque and hard once chilled. To reheat, heat a little bit of oil in a skillet over medium-high heatand stir-fry the leftover Japchae until the noodles becomes soft and translucent. Serve warm.