Archive for Dinner

Japchae (or Chapchae), Korean Stir-fried Noodles with Vegetables

I love Korean food.  Japchae is one of my favorites because it has noodles, beef, and a lot of my favorite vegetables like mushrooms, onions, carrots and spinach leaves.

During my first tour to Korea (I served there twice), I remember ordering Japchae and rice from the Korean place on base.  About 15 minutes after placing my telephone order, I’d listen intently for the revving of the Adashi’s moped as he tried to climb the hill to my BOQ (Bachelor Officer’s Quarters).  The sound of the overworked moped meant dinner was about to be served!

This is a quick dish to make, but as my former Korean nanny told me, there is an art to putting it together.  The ingredients must be layered, then gently mixed (by hand) to evenly distribute them without mashing anything.  This is how I make my japchae all the time–cooking each type of ingredient separately (the meat is cooked separate from the vegetables) then layered and mixed.  It is, after all, how Ajima did it, and that’s how it shall be done.

The japchae pictured below was actually cooked by my teenaged daughter.  She whipped it up so quickly that she forgot to take photos of the step-by-step process.

We WILL make this again, however.  When we do, I’ll be sure to take photos of each step and update this recipe.

Don’t let that stop you from making this dish.  It’s so easy–if my teenager can do it, so can you.  Give it a try.  I know you’ll like it.

ENJOY!

JAPCHAE

Japchae

Japchae

 

INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 pounds beef, sliced thinly
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 small bag of carrots, pre-cut into strips (or 1 large carrot, julienned)
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 package button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 package shitake mushrooms, sliced (see note below)
  • 1 bag of fresh spinach leaves
  • 10 stalks green onions, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 bag Korean vermicelli (sometimes called starch noodles, glass noodles or sweet potato noodles), called Dangmyun in Korean

This is what one brand of Dangmyun looks like:

dangmyung

I also use this brand a lot:

dangmyung 2

 

NOTE:  If you’re using dried shitake mushrooms, soak them in a bowl of warm water until soft.  Squeeze all the water out of the rehydrated mushrooms then slice thinly.

 

DIRECTIONS:

1.  Fill a large pot half-full with water and bring to a boil.  Add the bag of vermicelli noodles.  Cook for 4 minutes or until the noodles are soft. Drain then place in a large mixing bowl.

2.  In a large pan or wok, place the beef, sugar, soy sauce and 2 tablespoons sesame oil.  Stir fry over medium heat until the meat is done.  Stir often to prevent scorching.  Remove the meat from the pan when it’s cooked through; place it in the large mixing bowl, on top of the noodles.  Leave any sauce or drippings in the pan.

3.  Add 2 tablespoons of sesame oil to the pan.  Add the carrots and onions.  Stir fry over medium heat until the carrots are slightly wilted and the onions have begun to caramelize.  Once done, remove from the pan and add to the mixing bowl, on top of the cooked meat.

4.  Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of sesame oil to the pan along with both types of mushrooms.  Stir fry for a couple of minutes until the mushrooms have wilted and browned.  Add in the spinach leaves and green onions.  Cook for another couple of minutes, just until the spinach leaves have wilted slightly.  Remove from the pan and add to the mixing bowl, on top of everything else.

5.  Using your impeccably clean hands (I wear cooking gloves–you can buy this in any drug store; they’re the thin, plastic, disposable kind), mix all of the ingredients together.

6.  Do a taste test — if you think it needs more soy sauce or needs a little more sugar, add it in at this time, then mix some more.

7.  Serve as a meal, or alongside Korean BBQ Short ribs (or Galbi, in Korean).  Enjoy!

Japchae

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Beef Stir Fry with Eggplant, Mushrooms and Bean Sprouts

Beef…it’s what’s for dinner.  🙂  I love that commercialized tag line.

Beef stir fry is another one of those versatile dishes that you can change by adding different vegetables.  I like using whatever looks freshest at the grocery store.  Use whatever vegetables you like, or modify this further by substituting the beef with chicken, pork, or even shrimp!  You can even make this a vegetarian dish by stir frying firm tofu in place of the beef.  The options are virtually endless.

Beef Stir Fry

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds thinly sliced beef
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon accent (or aji), optional
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into small pieces
  • 2 medium Japanese eggplants, sliced
  • 1 package sliced mushrooms, about 2 cups
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 4 tablespoons Korean seasoned soybean paste (see note)
  • 1 bag fresh bean sprouts

Directions:

1.  In a large pan or wok, brown the beef over high heat along with the sesame oil, black pepper, accent and garlic.

DSC_0057

DSC_0060

2.  When the beef is browned, add the onions, broccoli, eggplant and mushrooms. Cook over medium high heat until the eggplant and mushrooms have wilted slightly.

DSC_0061

DSC_0067

DSC_0068

DSC_0069

3.  In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, and Korean seasoned soy bean paste. NOTE: If you can’t find the soybean paste, substitute with like amounts of hoisin sauce. Add the soy sauce mixture to the pot; stir to combine all the ingredients.

4.  Add the bean sprouts. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes until the bean sprouts have wilted only slightly.

DSC_0070

5.  Serve with hot rice and enjoy!

This makes enough for about 8-10 servings.

  DSC_0081

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Pork & Shrimp Chop Suey with Noodles

Chop suey most often refers to a stir fried noodle dish, but I like my version of chop suey with a bit of gravy.  I guess my brain refuses to separate spaghetti noodles from sauce, so my chop suey is saucy.  That’s got a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?  Saucy Chop Suey?  🙂

Anyhow, my recipe is made with slices of pork, shrimp, and a variety of veggies — I like adding carrots, cabbage, mushrooms, peppers, and onions.  My mom adds celery in hers, but that’s one vegetable I am not too keen on, so it stays out in my version.

Add your favorite ingredients to make it your own.  Give it a try and let me know how you like it.  🙂

 

CHOP SUEY

IMG_0382

This recipe makes enough to feed a family of four, plus enough leftover for a couple of packed lunches the next day.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds lean pork, sliced into 1-inch long strips
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups carrots, thinly sliced
  • 3 cups cabbage, sliced into 4×1-inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 2 pounds raw shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup soy paste (or regular soy sauce will do)
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 box spaghetti noodles, cooked per package directions

IMG_0350

Directions:

1.  Using a wok or large pan, cook the pork with the 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, about 5 minutes.  Stir occasionally to keep the pork from burning and sticking to the pan.

IMG_0356

2.  Add the carrots; stir to mix then cook for another 2 minutes.

IMG_0360 IMG_0362

3.  Mix in the cabbage and onions; cook for another 2 minutes.

IMG_0363

4.  Add the garlic, peppers and mushrooms.  Stir to combine then cook for a minute or two.

IMG_0368      IMG_0369

5.  Add the shrimp, soy paste, bouillon cubes, and 1/4 cup of water (set the remaining water aside).  Stir then cook for about 3 minutes; the shrimp should begin to turn pink.

IMG_0367 IMG_0377 IMG_0373

6.  Turn the heat to high.  Mix the remaining water with the cornstarch; stir until the cornstarch is completely dissolved.  Pour the cornstarch mixture into the pan, stirring constantly to prevent lumps from forming.  Cook for a minute over high heat; the mixture should start to thicken.

IMG_0365 IMG_0379

7.  Turn the heat to low.  Add the cooked spaghetti noodles to the pan.  It’s easier if you use a pair of tongs to mix the pork mixture with the noodles.  Once the noodles have heated through, remove from the heat and serve.

IMG_0385

Enjoy!

Pork & Shrimp Chop Suey with Noodles

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Recent Entries »