Monday, April 28, 2014

Korean Beef Japchae (잡채)

Growing up in Singapore, I love eating Chap Chye (杂菜) or mixed vegetables, especially the Hainanese version. The Korean Japchae (잡채) is a "distant cousin" of the Chinese Chap Chye, though the ingredients are quite different. The Chinese Hainanese version usually contains glass noodles (tang-hoon), chinese cabbage, carrots, dried shiitake mushrooms, dried shrimps, dried lily buds, dried beancurd sticks (tau-kee), black fungus, black moss (fa cai), oyster sauce and soya bean paste (tau-cheo) or red fermented bean curd (nam-yee). (冬粉,大白菜,红萝卜,香菇,虾米,金针,腐竹,黑木耳,发菜,蚝油豆酱或南乳). On the other hand, if you look at the Korean version, what you see in common are just the glass noodles, carrots and shiitake mushrooms.  Despite the difference, the Korean Japchae was still delicious nevertheless. 

But I still prefer the Hainanese version, there is more crunch and flavour. Next time I must bug my mama to impart part of her Hainanese cooking skills to me, and show me how to cook the famous Hainanese Chap Chye. :p

Adapted from Aeri's Kitchen

Main Ingredients
1/2 carrot
1/2 onion
1/2 sweet pepper (also known as paprika)
2 eggs
olive oil
salt and black pepper

Beef Ingredients
170g thinly sliced beef
1 tbsp light soya sauce
1 tbsp cooking wine/dry sherry
2 tsp minced garlic
3 tsp sugar
pinch of black pepper

Mushroom Ingredients
3 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked for 30 min
1.5 tsp light soya sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp minced garlic

Spinach Ingredients
100g spinach
1 tsp light soya sauce 
1/2 tsp sugar

Noodle Ingredients
2 tbsp olive oil
100g cellophane noodles (also known as glass noodles, tanghoon, 冬粉)
2 tbsp light soya sauce
1/2 tbsp sugar

1.5 tbsp light soya sauce
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp sesame seeds (omitted)
1/8 tsp black pepper

1. [Marinate Beef] - Slice the beef thinly and marinate it with light soya sauce, cooking wine, minced garlic, sugar and black pepper for 30 min. Set aside.

2. [Prepare Mushrooms] - Soak 3 dried shiitake mushrooms for 30 min, squeeze out the water, remove the stems and slice thinly. Mix the mushrooms with the mushroom ingredients (light soya sauce, sugar and minced garlic) and set aside.

3. [Prepare Spinach] - Add the spinach to a big pot of slightly salted water (salted water keeps the colour green), boil for 30 sec, remove and rinse in cold water. Then squeeze out the excess water, marinate with the spinach ingredients (light soya sauce and sugar) and set aside.

4. [Prepare Other Veggies] Slice the onion and paprika thinly. Julienne the carrots.

5. [Boil Noodles] - In a pot of boiling water, boil the glass noodles according to the package instructions, then drain the water and set aside. (My glass noodles was from Vietnam and only require boiling for 4 to 5 min, instead of the 11 min in the original recipe by Aeri's Kitchen)

6. [Cook Omelette] - Beat up the eggs lightly and season with pinch of salt and pepper. Heat up a pan, add a little oil and fry the eggs into omelette. Remove and cut into strips.

7. [Fry Noodles] - In a non-stick pan, add olive oil followed by the glass noodles, then add light soya sauce and sugar. Fry for 2 min and mix well until the noodles are evenly coloured by the sauce. Remove and set aside.

8. [Fry Beef] - In a lightly-oiled pan, fry the marinated beef until cooked. Do not over-cook otherwise the beef becomes too tough. Remove and set aside.

9. [Fry Mushrooms and Veggies] - In a lightly-oiled pan, add the mushrooms, onions, carrots and paprika and fry together for 1 min. Remove and set aside.

10. [Assemble and season] - In a large bowl, add the noodles, beef, all veggies including spinach together. Add the seasoning and mix well.

Voila, here is the Korean Japchae ala Miss B. The dish looks simple although it took a bit of preparation, but it was well worth the effort. :)

I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest: Korea, hosted by Sharon of Feats of Feasts.


  1. I actually like japchae a lot, try using their dangmyeon next time, it has chewier texture.

    1. Ah, is that why the korean dangmyeon noodles has to be cooked longer, bcos it is more chewy? Thanks for the tip, I will try out next time. :)


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