Last summer, a few other previous Korean ex-pat ladies and I was invited to the Korean embassy in Oslo to learn to cook korean dishes, they had set up an outdoor kitchen with gas burners and all the ingredients we needed. Before we started, we got an introductiom from the embassys chef in how to cook korean.
In this potato starch noodle dish it is about colors and uniformity, all the ingredients should be cut the same length and the vegetables are supposed to be cooked by color, so not to stain the lighter vegetables with the darker.
Stir frying each ingredient separately seems like a lot of work, but each vegetable requires a different cooking time and a bit of care.
The photo above is of me, taken before I reeked havoc in the embassy garden, because if accidents would happen, it happens to me. First I managed to spill soy sauce all over my work space and by trying to save the recipes I quickly moved the papers away and managed to light them by accident on my gas burner. Oh, the horror. I managed to pull myself together and finish with dignity.
Japchae means mixed vegetables, and this dish is often served at Korean parties and special occasions, with seasonal vegetables added. Japchae is most commonly served as a side dish, though it may be a main dish.
This recipe is from the embassy.
200 g potato starch noodles
150 g beef, sirloin steak cut into ¼ inch wide and 2½ inch long strips
1 red bell pepper
2 to 3 green onions, cut crosswise into 2 inch long pieces
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp sugar
1 clove minced garlic
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
Season the beef with the marinade in a bowl and set a side while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Make the seasoning sauce and set a side.
Make the egg garnish (jidan):
- Crack the egg and separate the egg yolk from the egg white. Remove the white stringy stuff from the yolk and the thick glob in the egg white. Stir in a pinch of salt with a fork, do not beat, you do not want bubbles in the eggs.
Add 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil to a heated non stick pan. Swirl the oil around so it covers the pan, and then wipe off the excess heated oil with a kitchen towel so only a thin layer remains on the pan.
Turn off the heat and pour the egg yolk and egg white mixture on each side of the pan. Tilt the pan carefully around so the mixtures spreads thinly, but hold them separate. Let it cook using the remaining heat in the pan for about 1 minute. Flip them over and let them sit on the pan for 1 more minute.
Cool and slice it into thin strips.
Boil water for the noodles.
Prepare the vegetables by cutting them into strips.
Put the noodles into the boiling water, cover and cook for about 8 minutes, until the noodles are soft and chewy.
Strain and cut them a few times with kitchen scissors. Put the noodles into the large bowl and add the sesoning sauce and mix. This process will season the noodles and also keep the noodles from sticking to each other.
Heat up a skillet over medium high heat, add 2 teaspoons vegetable oil with the onion and a pinch of salt. Stir-fry about 2 minutes until the onion looks a little translucent. Transfer to the noodle bowl.
Repeat this with all the vegetables one by one, from white to red..
Then fry the beef and stir fry for a few minutes until the beef is no longer pink, transfer to the noodle bowl.
Mix everything together and transfer it to a plate, add the egg garnish and sesame seeds, and serve.