I once tasted Japchae in a restaurant at Nagasaki, during my stay in Japan. I fell in love with it immediately. I have not had Japchae for many years now. After I started blogging, I wanted to make Japchae, and savor the tasty dish again. The main ingredient in Japchae is the sweet potato noodle, for which I searched for in many stores. Finally I got it from Hong Kong Market. It turned out to be cream colored noodles (sweet potato noodles) and not like the Korean vermicelli (sweet potato starch noodles) which I saw in some of the photos of Japchae. At the Hong Kong Market, you will get lot of noodles, but on the cover, only a few have descriptions written in English. So finding what you want is really difficult, since I was not familiar. I have also seen pumpkin noodles there.
In spite of this difficulty, I love to shop there, because I like to shop not knowing what is in it? It started from my stay in Japan. While in Japan I bought a product and used it as body soap for a few months, until one of my Japanese friends told me what it was.
I decide to make a Vegetarian version of Japchae. In addition to the noodles, I added carrot, green onion, green bell pepper, mushroom and Gai- lan (Chinese broccoli). Japchae is usually not served as main dish but as a side dish. According to Wikipedia it originated in 17th century. First it was made only with vegetables; the addition of noodles came about at a later date.
There is lot of versions of Japchae; with adding sea food, meat etc. Cooking styles can also vary a lot. You need to cook noodle separately, then stir fry each vegetables separately, sauce is made with soya sauce, salt and sugar. Then gradually mix in noodles with vegetables. Finally it is served with toasted sesame seeds.
I read in an article that Korean People eat noodles for their longevity, “So it is served at birthdays, family gatherings, or any big party.”
I used Gai-lan instead of spinach in the traditional Japchae. In order to save time, I cooked vegetables together. Twisted the sauce too, adding a little bit sweet chili sauce, rice wine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce along with soy sauce used sesame seed oil to fry.
I am in hunt for sweet potato starch noodles/ Korean glass noodles, when I find them I will make this recipe again with them. If you are a noodle dish fan, try this one. You are going to make this one more often.
Here goes the recipe.
Gather your ingredients
In a saucepan heat 4 cups of water, when water starts boiling add sweet potato noodle and cook for about 4 minutes. Then wash with running water and set aside.
While noodle is cooking chop vegetables you need
Heat oil in skillet and add ginger, garlic, then onion, carrot and bell pepper, green onion and mushroom. cook everything until the carrot is done. Then wilt gai-lan , add soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sweet chili sauce ,Worcestershire sauce, salt and brown sugar. Then add cooked noodles and mixed everything so that
sauce get coated well. Then finally add toasted sesame seeds.
|Japchae: Korean Sweet Potato Noodles With Gai-lan|
by Swathi @ Zesty South Indian Kitchen
I am linking this delicious Noodle to Favorite recipes : Pasta event hosted here