Japchae is a sweet and savory Korean vermicelli noodle dish made with sweet potato starch. The noodles are usually cooked with an assortment of vegetables and served as a side dish or as an entree. Did you know, in both Korean and Chinese, the term japchae 잡채; 雜菜means mixed vegetables. As a linguaphile, I always find it so interesting to see commonalities between vastly different languages, especially that of Chinese words, phrases and their similar meanings in Korean and Japanese. Like when I found out the word for library in Japanese was toshokan 図書館, which sounds like the Chinese equivalent for tu su guan圖書館, and then in Korean it is also doseogwan 도서관! So cool!! Anyhow, moving on...
This is an easy recipe that everyone in my family enjoys. It's not oily or greasy, and packs lots of healthy veggies. Japchae has a sweet and savory profile, making it palatable for kids and seniors alike. My grandmother who is notoriously picky about all foods other than her own, also enjoys japchae! The sweetness not only comes from the sugar and soy sauce, but also from the natural sweetness of the carrots. Some japchae dishes include protein like sliced beef or chicken, but today's recipe is mainly vegetarian. Feel free to add protein as you like!
This dish is quick to pull together with a little prep for the veggies and boiling the sweet potato noodles (dangmyeon). You can buy this noodle at your local Asian supermarket or Korean market.
I used dried shiitake mushrooms and re-hydrated them, saving the mushroom broth to use when cooking the japchae instead of water. I would much rather use dried shiitakes and re-hydrate them instead of using fresh shiitakes because there is a depth of flavor from the drying process that concentrates the mushroom flavor to a whole different level of umami. Like a dry-aged steak, the flavors of the aged beef are more pronounced and richer when dried than a fresh cut. Also, the mushroom broth that comes out of rehydrating is great for cooking and replacing vegetable stock in recipes.
When I boil the noodles, I also cook the veggies at the same time, starting with the carrots. Then the garlic and mushrooms go in, and lastly the spinach. From there, the noodles are tossed in and the sauce joins the party!
With a sprinkling of sesame seeds and fresh chopped scallions, the dish is complete and ready to eat. Enjoy as a meal by itself, or cook it as a side dish to eat with Korean bbq at home--grill up some meat, serve with fresh lettuce leaves, kimchi, potato salad..the list goes on. I am seriously missing Kbbq right now. 😞
We hope you enjoy this Korean staple dish as much as we do!
In honor of National Wing Day, we wanted to make some killer wings to celebrate on the day of. But, what we wanted to eat for dinner.. was noodles. Who says we can't have both? We decided to experiment and mashed the two together and are happy to present the SAMYANG RAMEN WINGS!! Crispy, Crispy noodley wings.
Since the Samyang Ramen noodles are a Korean brand, of course our wings had to be the Korean style double fried wings!
The wings came out feeling very similar to the crunchy, candylike textures of Korean fried chicken wings like BonChon, and the spicy flavor was unmistakably that of the Samyang hot chicken ramen. It was a happy marriage of ramen and wing night! The corn syrup and brown sugar will help dial down the heat a lot, but if it's still too spicy for you, feel free to put less of the Samyang sauce or put more sugar. Up to you! If you're up to the challenge, don't put the brown sugar at all...we pray for your butthole. 🙏🌶🌶🌶🔥🔥🔥
• 12-15 wings
• 1/2 tbsp fine sea salt
• 1/2 tbsp black pepper
• 1/2 tbsp minced ginger
• 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
• Canola, peanut, or any kind of frying oil - enough to fill pot so that wings can float freely
• 3 packages of Samyang Extra Spicy Roasted Chicken Ramen - BUY THE 5 PACK HERE
• 3 eggs
• 1 cup potato starch
• 2 tbsp oil
• 2 tbsp minced garlic
• 1 cup brown sugar
• 1/2 cup corn syrup or rice syrup (We used Karo Dark Corn Syrup)
1. Rinse the wings and dry to remove excess water. (Water will cause the frying oil to splash)
2.Season with salt, pepper, minced ginger and sesame oil.
3. Let the wings marinate for 30 minutes, while you prep your dipping stations. Heat up your frying oil.
4. Crush 1-2 packages of uncooked noodles using a rolling pin, hammer, or your fist. Pieces should be small, roughly 1/4 inch or less, but not quite to the point of powder. We just smashed all of the noodles in the bag with a rolling pin until well crushed.
5. Using a food processor, powderize about 1/3-1/2 of the crushed, uncooked noodles. (Be sure to pulse, as dry materials in a processor tends to heat up). Combine this with your potato flour.
6. Whisk 3 eggs until smooth.
7. Evenly coat each wing with the flour mixture. Then dip each with the egg until evenly spread, and finally coat with the crushed noodles. Set aside. These should be done one at a time, like a production line so the wings don't spend too much time sitting in any one station.
8. Once all the wings are ready, check your oil for temperature. It should be around 375F degrees, but for those of us who don't have a kitchen thermometer, a wooden chopstick can be used to guesstimate. If the chopstick starts to bubble, it is hot enough to cook with. (Something I learned from my parents).
9. Submerge the wings into the oil one by one. Make sure there is enough oil for the wings to float without touching each other for a nice even fry. If there isn't enough oil, any wing resting on the bottom of the pot/pan will likely burn. Wings should fry for 12 minutes, or until internal temperature of 165F degrees.
10. Remove the wings from the oil onto a rack so any excess oil can drip off. Do not set on a flat surface as the oil will puddle and soak back into the wings.
11. Prepare the sauce. Pour about 2 tbsp oil into a deep set pan and heat. Add garlic, corn syrup, the three SAMYANG ramen sauce packets, and brown sugar. Mix until thick.
12. Once the sauce is complete, return wings into frying oil for 3 minutes. Then take it out and place them onto the rack. Allow any excess oil to drip off.
13. Dip, drizzle, coat, shower, or however you prefer to sauce your wings.
14. Make sure you eat some before serving, who knows how long they'll survive. Serve whatever is left!
We hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did! The wings definitely packed a punch in the spice department and is best enjoyed with a cold beer. Crunch away on these juicy, spicy, crispy wings during a party, for dinner, or when you're craving both ramen and wings at the same time! Happy National Wing Day!
Just a girl, her husband and two dogs who love food ♥❤🐶👫🐶❤♥