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That Slippery, Chewy, Crunchy JAPCHAE


By: Sarah


The summer season is really heating up, and so are the picnics, cookouts, and potlucks! Don’t be stumped by what to take to the parties… who doesn’t love noodles, go with JAPCHAE, it is a yummy alternative to the traditional Pancit Bihon or Pancit Palabok.

Japchae or Korean Stir-fried Noodles recipes are widely available in google or you tube. You may choose the long and detailed recipe instructions and get overwhelmed with all the many ingredients or do some shortcuts and make Japchae fun to make again and again. There’s not much difference in taste, you still get to enjoy the sweet-savory umami deliciousness.

My simple ingredients for Japchae (some call it Chap-chae!)

24 oz Japchae Noodles (Dangmyeon) are sweet potato starch or glass noodles. Cook them in boiling water for a good 7 minutes; the noodles should have turn clear and chewy Drain through a strainer and flavored with a mixture of soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil.

Canned mushroom slices I substitute for the Black Fungus (or Tengang Daga/Wood Ear) that you had to rehydrate.

Bag of pre-washed and ready to eat Spinach, why not! Also some julienned carrots, red bell pepper, celery, zucchini, cucumber to create stunning visuals in the dish.

Choice beef such as Sirloin, Rib-eye or Round thin strips that I cook like I would a bistek dish. You can freeze slightly before slicing. Perhaps experiment with chicken, pork, shrimp, other protein sources, oh yes.

Scrambled eggs, leave some for garnish.

Umami flavors of minced garlic, black pepper, sugar, soy sauce, and sesame oil — the perfect combination, ever.

Here’s why I like Japchae better than Pancit for potlucks. There’s less veggies preps, sweeter than Pancit (oh Pinoys just love to make savory dishes sweeter, consider Pinoy-style spaghetti), and ok to serve hot or cold. Reheat with additional umami sauce, and it’s Japchae deliciousness again. Japchae can be eaten freshly made or the day after. If you can boil and stir-fry, you can make Japchae. Let’s do it!

JAPCHAE (Ingredients and Procedure)

24 oz Japchae Noodles

Bring a large pot of water to boil, add the noodles. Stir, cover and cook for about 7 minutes until soft and chewy. Drain and cut them into 5-inch long pieces with pair of scissors. Season with umami seasoning of 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons sugar and 4 tablespoons sesame oil, mix together. Set aside.

24 oz choice beef in thin strips

Place in bowl and umami marinade: 1 tablespoon minced garlic, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper, 4 tablespoons soy sauce, and 2 tablespoons sesame oil. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 min. Cook like you would bistek, and set aside.

3 large eggs, beaten Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Cook until firmly set and cut into long thin strips. Transfer to plate and set aside.

Stir-fry a tablespoon of minced garlic and 1 medium onion, sliced with a little oil. Add carrots, celery, red bell pepper, canned mushrooms slices and spinach. Add cooked japchae noodles, cooked beef strips, scrambled egg strips, and more umami seasoning of: 6 tablespoons soy sauce, 6 tablespoons sugar, 4 tablespoons sesame oil and 1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper. Use the same measures of Umami seasoning if your want more sauce or when reheating Japchae.

You may garnish with more scrambled egg strips and sesame seeds.

Try more favorites at Korean restaurants — bulgogi and kalbi jim. But you need to try my easy and sumptuous take on the popular Japchae. Who’s watching the ICONIC concert of Megastar Sharon Cuneta and Asia’s Songbird Regine Velasquez? Tickets selling fast, grab yours early, call Direk Gerry Rebello 773-677-3403. It’s summer, stay hydrated, and yes, have fun in the sun!

At the Fisher House VA Hines with Central Leyden Post VFW 5979 and the Chicago Nightingales and volunteers, making and serving breakfast for military families undergoing treatment. The Foundation provides comfort homes that are located near major military and VA Medical Centers and ensures that families never pay a lodging fee. The volunteers are inspired by the many caregivers, service members, and veterans that they’ve touched. Photo Credit: Rose San Diego

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