Japchae or Chap Chae is a well known Korean side dish or snack. I know this much because Filipinos are now more fond of the Korean culture. Which includes their food.
There is a lot of difference between japchae (chap chae) and the typical Pinoy pancit. Although pancit is a dish that we should be proud of, sometimes we want to try something else. But what makes this dish different from ours?
First of all, the noodles. Japchae Chap Chae makes use of chewier noodles - glass noodles as they call it. Second, its taste. It is made to taste sweet instead of just plain salty. Lastly, the ingredients used. It may seem a little new to most Filipinos, but Koreans actually put strips of scrambled egg into their own pancit variation. This makes the dish something really interesting to make and eat.
A little background on this Korean favorite
It is said that the dish has long been existing since the 17th century Joseon dynasty. They serve it during specific royal celebrations. Achieving a certain color requirement is the reason why they included all those colorful vegetables and ingredients for the recipe. Until this day, it is well-loved by everyone in their country. And now, people all over the world have come to appreciate it too.
Ingredients for Japchae or Chap Chae
You may get a little overwhelmed with all the ingredients you’ll be needing to make the recipe. But don’t worry, that only happens at first. You’ll soon realize that you can buy all these ingredients without trouble.
Japchae or Chap Chae tastes unique. But even if that’s the case, it only uses basic flavors. We’ll be needing soy sauce and salt for the perfect saltiness and sugar for the subtle sweetness. Additionally, we'll be needing black pepper and garlic too. Then sesame oil too, which is an essential ingredient in several Korean stir-fried recipes.
I used vegetable oil to stir-fry and cook everything. But any cooking oil will do too.
Get the best beef eye filet mignon that you can get. This savory meat will make the dish amazing. They must be cut into strips for even distribution.
The dish is known for its colorful visuals. For that, we must use colorful vegetables. Vegetables like baby spinach, green onion, onion, shiitake mushrooms, carrots, and red bell pepper satisfy the color requirements the most. They also offer amazing health benefits.
Check the nearest Korean mart in your area to buy dangmyeon sweet potato starch noodles. It is important to get the exact noodles since it is the signature of japchae. Don’t worry, they’re easy to find nowadays.
The additional color aesthetic of yellow will be provided by the scrambled egg. Additionally, it adds to the unique taste of the dish.
We will finish it off with a garnish of sesame seeds. Same as the majority of their dishes, they use the seeds for aesthetics and additional nutty flavor.
How to cook Japchae or Chap Chae
Get a bowl and put the beef. Add in soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, black pepper, and sesame oil. Mix until well-combined. Cover and marinate in the fridge for a while.
In a medium heated pan, put vegetable oil to fry the scrambled egg. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Boil some water in a pot. Blanch the baby spinach for 1 minute. Drain and transfer to a bowl after blanching them.
Add soy sauce to the blanched baby spinach and mix well. Set aside afterward.
Cook the dangmyeon sweet potato starch noodles according to package instructions. Drain from water then add to the bowl with baby spinach.
Put soy sauce, sesame oil, and brown sugar before mixing well. Use your hands (covered with kitchen gloves) to mix sauce properly.
Stir-fry the onion and green onion until they become soft and translucent. Once cooked, transfer to the bowl of noodles.
Cook the shiitake mushrooms using the same pan. Continue cooking until soft. Again, transfer to the noodle bowl.
Stir-fry the strips of carrots and red bell pepper for 20-30 seconds. After that, put it in the same bowl.
Get the marinated beef from the fridge and cook in the pan until the color changes. Transfer to the noodle bowl.
Add minced garlic, brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, black pepper, and sesame seed. Use kitchen gloves and mix well. Transfer to a serving plate.
Roll and cut the scrambled egg into strips. Use as a garnish for the japchae, along with more sesame seeds.
I really love this Japchae or Chap Chae recipe, I made it several times for my friends and family and it was a hit! I highly recommend you try this and hope you come back for more recipes! Thank you!
Japchae or Chap Chae Recipe
- 500 g beef eye filet mignon cut into ¼ inch wide and 2½ inch long strips
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 clove garlic minced
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp sesame seed oil
- 1 large egg beaten
- 50 g baby spinach washed and drained
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 200 g dangmyeon sweet potato starch noodles
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion sliced thinly
- 3 stalk green onion cut crosswise into 2 inch long pieces
- 5 pcs shiitake mushrooms sliced
- 1 medium carrots cut into matchsticks
- ½ red bell pepper cut into thin strips
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- In a bowl, marinate the beef with soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, black pepper, and sesame oil. Cover and refrigerate for while preparing the other ingredients.
- Make the egg garnish by cooking the beaten egg in a pan over low heat. Tilt the egg around to spread it evenly and cook for one minute. Flip it over and let it sit on the pan for 1 more minute. Allow it to cool down and slice it into thin strips.
- Boil a pot of water, add the baby spinach and blanch for 1 minute. Drain and transfer in a bowl. Add a teaspoon soy sauce and teaspoon sesame seed oil.
- Cook the sweet potato starch noodle according to packaging instruction or until the noodles are soft and chewy. Drain and add it to the bowl with blanched spinach. Add another teaspoon of soy sauce and sesame seed oil. Mix by hand (with gloves) and set aside.
- In a large pan or wok, add a little bit of vegetable and stir fry the onion and green onion until soft and translucent. Once done, add it to the bowl.
- Next, stir-fry the carrots and red bell pepper for 20-30 seconds. Transfer into the noodle bowl.
- Take out the marinated beef from the fridge, cook in the same pan over medium heat for 3-4 minutes until it change color. Combine it with the noodles.
- Lastly, add minced garlic, brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame seed oil and ground black pepper. Adjust the measurement according to your own preference.
- Mix well and transfer in a serving plate. Top with egg strips and sprinkle sesame seeds.