Japchae is a very popular korean dish of noodles, vegetables, and sometimes meat. Healthy, flavorful, and colorful, the dish is always included in big feasts and celebrations. The noodles are the unique feature of this dish are the sweet potato noodles or dang myun. The noodles are smooth, glossy, and chewy and will pick up whatever flavors you add. We always have this dish at the holiday table.
A few months ago I had the opportunity to play with the OXO hand-held spiralizer. I wondered how zucchini noodles would fare in this dish. My first attempt I sautéed the zucchini noodles and over time, the dish say in a pool of liquid. Flavor was not sacrificed, but I was accustomed to the drier texture of the traditional dish. I salted the noodles beforehand to draw out the water from the zucchini and it gave a nicer presentation for the dish.
Traditionally, the dish is chock full of vegetables, but the addition of the zucchini noodles allows me to indulge a little more. Feel free to omit the beef to make the dish completely vegetarian for Meatless Monday. Don’t be intimidated by the long ingredient list, give this dish a try.
- 2-3 medium zucchini
- 1-2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- Vegetable oil for cooking
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 large carrot, julienned
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 5 oz. shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 small red bell pepper, julienned
- 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 3 teaspoons)
- 6-8 oz. beef - ribeye or blade steak, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 5 oz. package of baby spinach (small clamshell box)
- 2 + 2-3 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 1-2 Tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 Tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
- Salt and pepper
- 2 stalks green onions, thinly sliced
- Spiralize the zucchini in the OXO hand-held spiralizer by following manufacturer's instructions.You can also watch the video below. Place the zucchini noodles in a large strainer nested in a large bowl. Sprinkle and toss the zucchini noodles with the kosher salt. Let sit for 20 minutes.Take a small handful of zucchini noodles and gently squeeze them of excess liquid. Discard the liquid.
- Heat a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the zucchini noodles and quickly saute them until they turn a vibrant green, a few minutes. Set aside in a bowl.
- In the same skillet, add a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add the beaten eggs to the hot pan. Swirl the pan so that it’s evenly coated with the egg. It will be ready to flip once the edges start curling and the middle is starts to set. With your largest spatula, flip the egg over and let cook for about a minute. Take off heat. Slide egg onto a cutting board or platter and let cool. Once cooled, roll and cut into thin slices, like a chiffonade. Set aside.
- Wipe down the skillet with a paper towel. Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in the same skillet over medium high heat. Saute each vegetable – carrots, onions, mushrooms, red pepper – separately. Cook carrots until al dente or tender but still firm. Add ½ teaspoon of garlic in the last minute of cooking. Cook onions and ½ teaspoon of garlic until onions are light brown in color. Cook mushrooms and ½ teaspoon of garlic until mushrooms are light brown in color. Cook the bell pepper until soft. Add ½ teaspoon of garlic in the last minute of cooking. It is not necessary to clean the pan after cooking each vegetable. Add each finished vegetable into a large bowl.
- Heat oil in the same skillet and add beef to the pan. Just before the beef is fully cooked or is still pink, add a couple of tablespoons of soy sauce, a pinch of black pepper and 1 teaspoon of garlic. Adjust seasoning to taste.
- In a large pot, bring to a boil about 8 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of vinegar. Blanch the spinach for about 10 seconds and cool in a bowl filled with ice water. Drain, squeeze as much liquid out as you can, and add to the large bowl of vegetablesl.
- Season the bowlful of vegetables with 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds, and a pinch of salt to taste. Taste and adjust seasoning - add more soy sauce, sesame oil or salt if needed. Toss until everything is well blended and coated..
- Add the beef, zucchini noodles, half of the egg slices, and green onions to the vegetable bowl. Mix thoroughly and set aside until ready to serve. Use your hands if necessary!
- Plate the noodles on a beautiful large platter and garnish with the remaining egg slices and sesame seeds.
The OXO hand-held spiralizer is easy to use and compact. I have another spiralizer that takes up more precious kitchen real estate and it has since been relocated to the basement pantry. Take a look at how easy it is to use – no assemblage needed. Once you’re done, just pop it into the dishwasher.