Japchae (Korean Cellophane Noodles)

I just came back from Philadelphia for a medical interview. Can you believe it...the entire East Coast is caught in a snowstorm, while here in California, people are shuddering at the thought of possible rainfall tomorrow. What a change. Well, I'd better get used to it because it looks like I'm going to be moving there this coming fall.

Despite the snow, nothing could stop me from (of course) looking at the food. I visited a completely AWESOME place called Reading Terminal Market, which is just a huge congregation of people selling all kinds of food out there: produce, meats, Italian delicacies, spices, Thai food, Indian food, flowers, even groceries. The most interesting sight was the Amish people, who made everything from Dutch Apple Pie to freshly baked cinnamon rolls that literally filled the air with their wafting scent.
Note: the picture to the right is one I found online. I actually forgot my memory card, so I couldn't take any pictures during my trip :(

Anyway, I'm back in San Diego now, and today I thought I'd use up some leftovers to make Japchae. It's sort of a comfort dish for me; my mom used to try making it, but without a recipe, she turned it into some weird Korean/Chinese hybrid dish. I got to try the real thing when my Korean apartment-mate took me home one weekend, and her mom made me her own delicious, home-made version. I found an authentic recipe myself with Maangchi's website, but I also tweaked a few ingredients to my own taste.



-150g rib-eye beef (thinly sliced)
-1 bunch spinach
-1 medium carrot (cut into matchsticks)
-5 dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated and sliced
-3 cloves garlic, diced
-1 onion, sliced
-1 bunch green onions, cut into long strips
-Soy sauce
-Sesame oil
-Korean starch noodles
-Sesame Seeds, toasted (I forgot to add this)
-Rice wine vinegar (optional)

1. Boil the noodles in water for about 5-6 minutes.Remove and add 1 tsp soy sauce and 1 tsp sesame oil. Place in a large bowl.
2. Wash the spinach, then blanch in boiling water and drain. Squeeze out excess liquid and cut into small pieces. Add to noodles.
3. Stirfry the carrots in sesame oil for about 30 seconds. Add to spinach.
4. Stirfry the onion until they become clear. Add to carrots.
5. Stirfry the garlic for about 1 minute. Add the beef and mushrooms. Add 1/2 tsp soy sauce and 1/2 tbsp sugar. Add in the green onion pieces.
6. To the bowl add 2 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp sugar, 2 tsp sesame oil and rice wine vinegar to taste. Top with toasted sesame seeds.
7. Mix, then ENJOY!


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