Search this blog


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Dangmyeon Japchae

The little voice inside my heart whispered Japchae to me, and since that delicate sound, Japchae has been on my mind.  I've made an adapted version of this a few years ago with whatever I had on hand, but this version is the authentic one.  This Japchae is the one made with real dangmyeon sweet potato starch noodles, real shitake mushrooms, and real Korean kimchi on the side.  This time, it was store-bought kimchi, but I intend to make some myself soon, since I recently found a Korean cooking blog, Maangchi, that explains the technique.  I'm so lucky to have an Asian Wonderland supermarket where I live to supply myself with all these foreign yet so perfectly familiar ingredients.
I'm not sure I've ever been so excited about fermented or cultured cabbage in my life.  I'm not sure how I am able to be so enthusiastically excited about something I'm so familiar with, I should not be surprised by how delectable it is.  The best parts of life are when the most familiar parts completely take over you in a way you find so immensely pleasurable you completely let yourself go, completely blown away, and even more impatient for the next time.. if there is a next time..
Serves 4
250g or 2 bunches sweet potato noodles (dangmyeon)
few drizzles EVOO
1 carrot, julienned
1 onion, sliced into moons
5 shitake mushrooms, soaked and sliced
1 handful sliced black mushrooms, soaked
1 bunch spinach, cooked (or 4 defrosted cubes)
7-8 scallions, cut into 2 inch pieces
200g thinly sliced steak
3 cloves garlic, grated
2 Tbsp sesame oil
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp mirin
1 Tbsp cane sugar
lots of fresh ground black pepper
sesame seeds for garnish
1.  Cook the noodles in a pot of boiling water for about 5 minutes or until tender.  Drain but do not rinse.  Place in a large bowl and toss with 1 Tbsp sesame oil and 1 Tbsp soy sauce.
2.  In a wok or heavy based pan, splash some olive oil on high heat and cook the sliced carrots for about 1 minute, stirring.  Add the cooked carrots into the bowl with the noodles
3.  Drizzle a bit more olive oil into the wok and cook the onions until translucent.  Add the onions into the bowl with the other friends.
4.  Drizzle just a touch more olive oil into the wok and cook the soaked mushrooms.  Cook for a few minutes until fragrant, then add the spinach and heat through.  Add this into the bowl with everyone else.
5.  Drizzle another dash of olive oil into the wok and add the scallions.  Stir fry for about 30 seconds, then add the steak slices.  Color well and add 1 Tbsp mirin and a bit of soy sauce.  Cook for about 2-3 minutes, then add it all to the bowl.
6.  Add the sugar, rest of the sesame oil, and soy sauce into the bowl with some freshly ground black pepper.  Toss well.  It should still be piping hot if you organized yourself well.

Serve garnished with sesame seeds and with a side of kimchi, if you are lucky enough to find some.
If needed, additional sesame oil and soy sauce can be added to each individual serving.  I didn't want to overdo it with the seasoning and found that my way of doing it was exactly how I wanted it (but yet so surprisingly good I wondered if I was still on Earth).
Those noodles are truly amazing.  It's like they come from a different universe.  This is the first time I've used them for their intended purpose (in a hot dish) and they are extremely hard to substitute.  They keep their chewy texture, they are clear and brownish when hot, but when used in a salad become translucent blue.. which is freaky, but I love it!
The kimchi I had was very spicy, so I didn't feel the need to add any more heat.  If you don't have kimchi, you might want to add some chili powder or even cut a whole thai chili into your plate.  I really enjoyed the acidity of the kimchi with the japchae.. it took me to another level.. again...
Print Friendly and PDF

1 comment: