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Quick Vegetarian Japchae - Korean Sweet Potato Noodle Stir Fry

One of the most popular Korean dishes around. Japchae (잡채) literally means “mixed vegetables.”

Submitted by Dai-Wen, one of our customers and amazing cook.

japchae recipe

The secret to this noodle dish is preparing everything before you start cooking and having a couple of pots on the go. The balance between sugar and soy is up to you, but we prefer a light version, without much oil and more veg than noodle.

The whole process should only take 20 minutes if you can multitask and use a couple of stoves at a time. Traditionally everything is prepped and cooked separately, to be tossed altogether at the end, but the below recipe takes a few shortcuts. 

 Have on stove:

  • Pot of boiling water for sweet potato noodles and spinach
  • Small fry pan for eggs
  • Larger fry pan for other ingredients

Ingredients:

  • Korean sweet potato noodles - 150g
  • Spinach - 100g
  • Garlic - 2 cloves, smashed and minced
  • Carrot - 1/2 small, or 1/4 large, julienned very thinly into 4cm matchsticks
  • Onion - 1/2 if small, 1/4 if large, sliced thinly
  • Red Chilli - 1, deseeded, cut in half, and sliced thinly into 4cm x 2mm matchsticks
  • Shiitake mushrooms - 5, sliced 
  • Green onion - 2 stalks, sliced very thinly into l4cm x 1mm matchsticks
  • Eggs - 2, yolk and white separated
  • Sesame oil - 2 tsp
  • Oil - 2 tbsp
  • Soy sauce -  2 tsp + 3 tbsp
  • Sugar -  1tsp + 1.5 - 2 tbsp depending on personal taste
  • Toasted sesame seeds - 1 tbsp 

Method:

  1. Chop all the vegetables and prepare eggs by separating the white and the yolks (beat these lightly to incorporate). 
  2. Boil the sweet potato noodles according to the package (6-8 minutes), take out and immediately run it under cold water to wash off the residual starch, drain and set aside in a large mixing bowl. Should be cooked through and very springy. Use scissors to cut it a few times. 
  3. In the meantime while waiting for noodles to cook, in a small fry pan, add some oil and on a very low heat, pour the egg whites on to let it set and flip. It shouldn't be bubbly, but smooth and even. Do the same with the beaten egg yolks, spread it thinly on the pan with a spatula if needed, but it should be glossy. Take off the heat and chop into small thin matchsticks 4cm in length. Set both aside.
  4. Blanch spinach in the same pot of boiling water after the noodles are taken out for 30 seconds to a minute. Rinse with cold water, squeeze out excess moisture, chop once and set aside. 
  5. Add half the oil to the larger frying pan, add in the garlic, onion and carrot and fry on high heat for a minute or two. Take it out and set aside.
  6. Add more oil to the pan, this time adding in the shiitake mushrooms, 1 tsp of sugar and 2 tsp of soy sauce on high heat, until it becomes glossy and darker brown. Should be a minute or two, adding in the red chillies for another 30 seconds to finish. Set aside.
  7. In a small bowl, mix the rest of the soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil and taste for balance. If you like it more sweet, add in a little more sugar. 
  8. Toss everything together (Cooked vegetables, eggs and sliced green onions) in the large bowl with the noodles and sauce - the easiest way is to use your hands to make sure every strand of noodle and vegetable is coated and mixed through. 
  9. Serve by topping with the sesame seeds on top. 

Happy cooking and enjoy!!

Give a tag on Instagram @seasonsfruitmarket if you made this and it was delicious!

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