Vegan Japchae (Korean Sweet Potato Noodles) Recipe
Japchae is one of Korea’s most festive dishes! Traditionally, people made this dish for community parties and family get-togethers. The various ingredients (Shitake mushrooms, spinach, red bell pepper, green onions, carrots, onions, etc) make the dish so colorful and delicious! It’s made with sweet potato noodles which are healthy and yummy. It’s a very accessible Korean dish for any non-adventurous friends you might have!
Vegan Japchae (Korean Sweet Potato Noodles) Recipe (Serves 4-6)
1 bag of Dangmyun (sweet potato noodles)
2/3 cup dried/sliced Shitake mushrooms
1 small bunch of spinach
1 red bell pepper
4 green onions
salt (sprinkle every time you stir-fry veggies)
drizzle of soy sauce (for stir frying mushrooms)
4 cloves of minced garlic
4 Tbs soy sauce (more or less, to taste)
2 tsp black pepper (more or less, to taste)
3 Tbs sesame oil (more or less, to taste)
1 tsp sugar (more or less, to taste)
1 tsp sesame seeds
1. Soak the Shitake mushrooms for several hours until soft, squeeze out water well.
2. Cut all vegetables into thin matchsticks (except the spinach).
3. Blanch the spinach and rinse in cold water and squeeze out water. Cut into bite sizes. (If you get small baby spinach, you can skip blanching and just stir-fry it like the other vegetables.)
4. Start water boiling for the noodles.
5. Stir fry the other vegetables individually with oil until soft and then remove (in other words, cook the carrots, and then remove before adding onions, and so forth). Add a sprinkle of salt each time you stir-fry a vegetable, except for the mushrooms which you will drizzle a little bit of soy sauce over. [Note the everyone cooks the vegetables to their preference. I like them soft, but some cook them so they are slightly crisp.] Remove the vegetables to a plate if your noodles haven’t finished cooking.
6. Remove the vegetables to a plate and cook the dangmyun in boiling water for 10 minutes.
7. When dangmyun is done (check if it’s soft and slightly chewy), drain well. Roughly cut into about 4 inch pieces with scissors.
8. Immediately, add soy sauce and sugar, then the dangmyun into the pan/wok and stir fry for 3-5 minutes over medium heat (this way, it will keep the noodles nice and chewy).
9. Add all the veggies to the dangmyun with garlic and black pepper. Mix well and stir fry over low heat for 5 more minutes.
10. Turn off the heat and add sesame oil and sesame seeds and mix well. Serve with rice and banchan, or just by itself!
These are the sweet potato noodles that you can easily get at any Korean grocery store!