Korean Noodles with Beef and Vegetables (Jap Chae)

If you love Korean food and noodles, this is a wonderful recipe to try. Here are some notes that I use to keep me organized when I make this dish:

  1. Make sure to have all the ingredients prepped ahead of time to make it easy on yourself. And have a large plate or bowl ready to hold the cooked items and for the final mix.
  2. Use the same large sauté pan for steps 2-4, 6 & 8. Make sure to wipe the pan clean with a paper towel after step 6, but I’ll remind you again once I get to that step.
  3. Use a large pot for the noodles and prep an ice bath while the noodles are boiling.

Ingredients:

  • 2 bundles of big cellophane noodles/potato starch glass noodles (Dang Myun usually comes in a pack of 4 or 5 individually wrapped bundles. You can find these at most Asian stores or Korean markets.)
  • 5 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 carrots, julienned
  • ½ onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 lb baby spinach, washed
  • 1 lb beef, sirloin or any type of stir-fry meat
  • 6 cloves of minced garlic, divided
  • 3 bunches of green onion (green parts only) cut into 1 inch pieces
  • Sugar
  • Soy sauce
  • Olive oil
  • Sesame oil
  • 1 TB cooking wine (mirin or dry sherry)
  • sesame seeds
  • black pepper

Instructions:

Shiitake Mushrooms:

Rinse shiitake mushrooms. Place in a small pot covered with enough water to cover the mushrooms. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes or until soft. Drain and rinse in cold water. When cool enough to handle, squeeze out excess water, trim off stems and slice thinly. Set aside.

Beef:

  1. Thinly slice the beef into 1 inch strips and marinate with 1 TB cooking wine, 2 TB soy sauce, 1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp salt, black pepper, and 1 TB sesame oil. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.
  2. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat with 1 TB olive oil and add 1 teaspoon garlic. Stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the baby spinach and sauté. Add a pinch of sugar, black pepper, and a splash of soy sauce. Stir until wilted, about 2-3 minutes. The spinach will produce lots of liquid, so strain the spinach in a colander before setting it aside in the large plate or bowl I mentioned in the notes.
  3. In the same pan, add more olive oil if it’s needed, sauté the onions with garlic until they’re translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add the same seasonings as the spinach: a pinch of sugar, black pepper, and a splash of soy sauce. Cook for two minutes and add to the spinach you set aside.
  4. Now do the same for the carrots, sautéing it with garlic and adding a pinch of sugar, a splash of soy sauce, and black pepper. Cook for two minutes until soft but still with a bit of crunch.  Add to the spinach and onions bowl.
  5. Take out the beef from the fridge. You’ll cook it with the mushrooms.
  6. Lastly, sauté the shiitake mushrooms with garlic. Add sugar, black pepper, and soy sauce. Cook for 2 minutes.  Add beef and sauté until cooked. Check and adjust the seasoning. You may need to add more soy sauce. Remove from pan and set aside. Turn off heat. Wipe pan clean and leave on the stove for step 9.
  7. Fill the pot halfway with water. Bring to a boil and add the noodles. Cook for 7 minutes. Stir occasionally. Make an ice water bath for the noodles and let noodles sit in it for 10 minutes. Drain noodles again in a colander, and cut the noodles in half with scissors. Toss the noodles with 2 TB sesame oil. Set aside.
  8. Heat the saved sauté pan over medium heat with 1 TB olive oil. Add the remaining garlic and stir fry the noodles for about 2 minutes. Add 2 TB soy sauce, 1 TB sugar, and black pepper. Keep mixing until the noodles are uniform in color. Taste for seasoning. You may need to add more soy sauce or sugar depending on your tastes.  Lower the heat to medium low. Add the green onions and the rest of the vegetables and the mushrooms and beef, a small amount at a time, mixing well before adding more. Cook until everything is mixed and heated through.
  9. Serve over rice. Garnish with sesame seeds.