It wasn’t until this year that I learned about this legendary meal that consists of glass noodles with all of the most marvelous veggies and meat mixed in with the most flavorful sauce you can imagine.
My daughters and I are frequent customers of a local Korean grocery and we have gotten to know the owner. He recently commented to me that I tend to buy creative ingredients and asked me if I have ever made japchae. I confessed I had never heard of it, and he said it was necessary for me to make it in order to make my daughters happy. He explained what ingredients were needed and said I could be creative with the composition, so here is my take on japchae.
Japchae was once an exclusively royal meal in Korea, but is now enjoyed by the masses as a celebratory dish that is served at special occasions, like weddings and birthdays. I can certainly see why it was considered a royal meal. It’s that good. Enjoy!
1 lb. thick-cut pork chops
1 Tbsp. dark soy sauce
1 Tbsp. white sugar
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
3 tsp. mirin
1 small onion, sliced
1 large red bell pepper, sliced
1 carrot, julienned
1 bunch spinach, roughly chopped
8 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
2 large eggs, beaten
Olive oil, salt, pepper
1 lb. sweet potato (glass) noodles
1/3 c. dark soy sauce
1/3 c. honey
1/4 c. sesame oil
Sesame seeds, green onion for garnish
Freeze pork for about 20 minutes that it becomes firm. Then, using a very sharp knife, sliced into very thin slices. Combine all ingredients for pork marinade in a bowl. Place the pork slices into the marinade and refrigerate for a minimum of two hours or overnight.
Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Pour beaten eggs in and cook until set. Flip and cook until set on the other side. Slide onto cutting board and chop into thin slices.
Next, add a little more oil and cook the onions until soft and translucent. About four or five minutes. Set aside onto a plate to cool. Repeat this process with the red pepper, carrots, spinach and mushrooms.
pour the pork and marinade into the same skillet and cook until the sauce is a bit caramelized. Set aside.
Cook the sweet potato noodles boiling water for then time indicated on the package.
In the meantime whisk together the ingredients for the sauce.
Drain the noodles and cut them, if you would like. Put the drained noodles into a large bowl. Add the pork, vegetables and egg. Pour sauce in slowly, tasting frequently, until the desired result is achieved. Garnish with sesame seeds and chopped green onions. Serve immediately.