Monday, April 18, 2011

Japchae, Korean Glass Noodles

It was opening weekend in the Tuscan Garden (our ongoing garden makeover project)……that means that Garden Guru and Max have started to settle into their Summer weekend home.

What it means for BR is that the Tuscan Kitchen
is also getting into full swing and producing yummy meals to keep the hard working crew fed.  OK…not that the Tuscan Kitchen doesn’t usually produce yummy things to eat, but I must admit, there is often a bit more effort and creativity that goes into the meal planning.
You see, Garden Guru is basically working for meals…..lucky us! 
He works damn hard, so the least I can do is make sure he gets what he wants in the food department!

To kick off the season Garden Guru and BR requested Kalbi Beef, or Korean Shortribs, which I blogged about here.
Strange that we are going to all the trouble of creating a wonderful Tuscan Garden, that is, Tuscan as in Italian garden and the boys want Korean for dinner.  Go figure

Anyways, I aim to please, so Korean it was.

To round out the dinner menu we started with Korean dumplings (recipe post coming soon) and enjoyed our shortribs with the Korean version of stir fried noodle dish, Japchae.

Japchae is a Korean dish made from cellophane/glass noodles (called dangmyeon- noodles made from sweet potato starch), stir fried in sesame oil with various thinly julienned vegetables.  This is a great dish to sneak in a ton of vegetables.

Korean glass noodles – Japchae Recipe
Serves 4-6 as a side dish
1 package dried Dangmyeon (Korean sweet potato noodles) (about ½ lb)
2 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil, divided

1 tablespoon cooking oil

3/4 cup thinly sliced onions

2 carrots, cut into matchsticks

1 zucchini, cut into matchsticks
1 cup beanspouts
2 cloves garlic, finely minced

3 stalks green onions, cut into 1 lengths

1/2 cup mushrooms, thinly sliced (*shitake or wood ear -rehydrate is using dried)
1/2 lb spinach, washed well and drained

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons sugar

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
Fill a large pot with water and boil. When water is boiling, add the noodles and cook for 5 minutes. Immediately drain and rinse with cold water. It is important to rinse the noodles thoroughly, otherwise there is a bit of an odd taste/odor to them.

Drain again and toss with only 1 tsp of the sesame oil to prevent the noodles from sticking.
This next step might be a bit unorthodox…. If Koreans are anything like the Chinese long noodles=long life, but in this case these noodles are really long and very difficult to toss about without creating a big mess. So, I use kitchen shears to cut noodles into shorter pieces. If you choose to skip this step, you might live longer but you will have a huge pile of unruly noodles to work with!  Set noodles aside.

Chop and prep the vegetables.

In bowl, mix soy sauce & sugar together. Add the cooking oil in a wok or large saute pan on high heat and swirl to coat. When the cooking oil is hot but not smoking, fry onions, carrots and zuccihni, until just softened, about 1 minute. Add the garlic, green onions, bean sprouts and mushrooms, fry 30 seconds. Then add the spinach, soy sauce, sugar and the noodles. Fry 2-3 minutes until the noodles are heated through. Turn off heat, toss with sesame seeds and the remaining 1 1/2 tsp of sesame oil.


  1. Yippee, it's gardening time again!. These were a yummy delight.

  2. Mmmm, you just gave me a craving. Going to go eat this right now, although too lazy to cook it myself :o)