Asparagus and Mushroom Japchae

Asparagus and Mushroom Japchae

When I was at the Korean food festival a few weeks ago I got to watch a demonstration on how to make japchae which was a nice reminder that japchae has been on my to try list for a while. Japchae (or jabchae or chapchae) is a Korean stir fried pasta dish made with dangmyeon, a cellophane noodle made with sweet potato starch. In addition to the noodles, japchae includes various vegetables and it is seasoned with soy sauce, sugar, sesame seeds and chili peppers. For my japchae, I went with a pretty standard list of ingredients including spinach, mushrooms and a carrot and with asparagus is season I could not resist adding some to the mix! I used a variety of more exotic mushrooms including enoki, shiitake and oyster mushrooms.

Japchae is pretty easy to make and it helps if you have everything chopped and ready to go before you start. One thing that you will want to do is to make sure that you cut the noodles after they are cooked as they are very long. Unless of course you really enjoy slurping. :) The asparagus and mushroom japchae turned out really well! The dangmyeon noodles had a soft, almost jelly like texture that I quite enjoyed and I certainly like their glass like appearance. The sweet and salty flavour combination of the mirin and soy sauce worked really well together and the sesame flavour rounded everything out and gave the dish an intoxicating aroma. I am definitely looking forward to using these sweet potato noodles more.

Asparagus and Mushroom Japchae

Asparagus and Mushroom Japchae

Servings: 4
  • 1 pound dangmyeon (Korean cellophane noodles made from sweet potato starch)
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 pound mushrooms, I used a mixture of shiitake, enoki and oyster mushrooms (trimmed, cleaned and sliced)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (gluten free for gluten free)
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 4 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 4 green onions (sliced)
  • 1 red chili pepper or chili pepper sauce to taste (sliced thinly)
  • 1 carrot (julienned)
  • 1 pound thin asparagus (trimmed, cleaned and cut into bite sized pieces)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (gluten free for gluten free)
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 cups spinach (packed)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (toasted)
  1. Boil the noodles for 5 minutes in a large pot of water, drain and rinse in cold water.
  2. Cut the noodles into manageable lengths and toss in the sesame oil to prevent them from sticking.
  3. Heat the oil in a pan.
  4. Add the mushrooms, soy sauce, mirin and sesame oil and cook until the mushrooms are tender, about 7-10 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic and green onions and cook until fragrant, about a minute.
  6. Add the carrot and asparagus and cook until tender, about 2-4 minutes.
  7. Add the noodles, soy sauce, mirin and sesame oil and cook for a few minutes.
  8. Add the spinach and cook until it wilts.
  9. Taste test and season appropriately with soy sauce for extra saltiness or mirin for extra sweetness.
  10. Remove from heat and serve garnished with the sesame seeds


Bethany said...

Oh wow! I love japchae! I made it once with my (Korean) mother in law, but haven't had the heart to try on my own yet -- maybe I wlll now! She did also tell me to cut the noodles, and said that it's actually dangerous not to, because some people get noodles stuck in the back of their throat while slurping. Eek!

pixen said...

MmmmmMMmm! I love Chap Chye :-) That's what it's called in Hokkien/Fujian dialect. It's one of the easiest to cook in Oriental cuisine. You can add anything you fancy to this dish including fermented tofu! You can also add in cut sweet beancurd skin which is made from soy pulp [another byproduct from soya beans that comes in sliced 2" x 6" rectangle sheets;2 types-Sweet(reddish) and Salty (Light brown)] We used Mung bean vermicelli (tang hoon) and some Chinese communities used potato starch transparent noodle. I tried before using Shirataki noodles and turned out just as good too.

Thank you for sharing the recipe and I love that yummy spears of Asperagus!

Jenn said...

I have not ventured into Korean cuisine much, but this looks awesome! I will def. have to give it a try :) Another great use of asparagus too!!

Joanne said...

I love the texture of japchae! I've never made it before myself. That crunch is awesome.

Ruth Daniels said...

It's always wonderful to find a brand new (at least to me) dish on Presto Pasta Night Roundups. Thanks for sharing this one.

And since there are a few Korean grocery stores here in Halifax, I will definitely be trying it.

Anonymous said...

Wow!! FINALLY people who have tried the recipe!!!! It's great to hear!

Chiara "Kika" Assi said...

I'm off to find cellophane noodles... It might take me a while, but I definitely want to try this dish.

Ana Powell said...

I always learn new stuff with you.
Really delicious dish ♥

Maria said...

I've never tried japchae ... this looks soooo good! You've used asparagus in so many beautiful ways.

Kelly said...

Love it. I'm a huge fan of sweet potato noodles so this sounds like a great way to prepare it.

Kimberlita said...

Yum... i made chapchae a little while ago, and it is so easy and tasty! (
Love the idea of using asparagus...will try that next time.

Daily Freebies said...

looks awesome...mmmmm! nice work!!

Anonymous said...

Question re: use of toasted sesame oil:
I know that I have read somewhere that it should be used only at the end inotherwords not to cook with it. So tossing the noodles with it is good. But for the veggies the sesame is used along with other oil. Anyone know anything about this?? This is not to say that I haven't seen other recipes cooking with it. I just wondered. Thanks for any insight

Kevin said...

Anonymous: Sesame oil has a low burning point so you do not want to use it as the primary frying oil though you can mix it with other oils with a higher burning point. In this recipe I add some while cooking the mushrooms and then again when cooking the noodles as I want both the mushrooms and the noodles to absorb the flavour and it is not intended to be the frying oil. Adding the sesame oil at the end when everything is done cooking also works well.

PreeOccupied said...

I have a lousy experience eating Korean just that one time. But this looks quite tempting. I love the way you treat asparagus.

Anonymous said...

Definitely going to try this! My boyfriend and I love going out for Korean and this is one of our go-to dishes. He'd be so excited to try to make it at home. Thanks!

eatme_delicious said...

Yum! I tried japchae for the first time a couple of months ago and it is yummy!! Thanks for sharing this recipe. Love that it's vegetarian too!

Anonymous said...

Where can one buy these jap chae noodles in Toronto?

Kevin said...

Anonymous: I got the japchae noodles in a grocery store in Korean Town, along Bloor Street between Christie and Bathurst Streets. I have also seen them a a few more generic Asian grocery stores.

Pal Ashford said...

Are the mushrooms supposed to be sliced, chopped or cooked whole?

Kevin Lynch said...

Pal Ashford: Slice the mushrooms.

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