Asian Cuisine Failure: Japchae

It should come as no surprise by now that I like to try my hand at making (mostly) authentic Asian dishes. I decided to try making the Korean dish known as japchae. This is a dish made using super thin noodles created with sweet potato starch. It’s flavored with sesame oil, has some veggies, soy sauce, and sugar to complete it.

I decided to attempt this dish because I was looking up how to cook sweet potato noodles and the first hit I got was for Korean japchae. Now, I did not have the actual noodles necessary to make this. I was also lacking green onion, beef, and shiitake mushrooms (I did have portobello, though). So…my thought was just to use real sweet potatoes. I have a spiral slicer and it will turn sweet potatoes into spiralized noodles.

Now…I think I would have been fine if I just decided to stir fry the raw noodles. But oh no. I boiled them. This led them turning from long angel hair pasta into quarter inch strings. I probably would have been fine if I did not throw the pasta into the stir fry pan to reheat it. But I did. Sigh. This was also very heavy on garlic so it became rather spicy. You see…I used two cloves of elephant garlic versus two normal sized cloves. So what I got was a bit of a mushy mess with a weird texture. Oh, the taste is fine. But the appearance and texture and slightly over spiciness (though I do love garlic) makes it an epic fail. LOL. Now, I must find time to go to my Asian grocery store that’s half an hour away and score the correct noodles. I suppose I could get away with using rice noodles or vermicelli.

One comment

  • NeeNee, you need to make sure you buy the Korean glass noodles. They are thicker and suitable for stir fry. Don’t use the Chinese glass noodles as they are also thinner, won’t come out the same. You just have to soak the noodles in water until they are soft, don’t soak in boiling hot water as the texture will change to cooked noodles and you can’t stir fry it 🙂

    Good luck and I hope it turns out for you 🙂

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