This is probably one of the first few Korean dishes I’ve tried that made me fall in love with Korean food 10 years back(other than a whole lot of other dishes like Bibimbap and Beef and Octopus Stew!). I was introduced to this by a good friend when she brought me to her favourite Korean restaurant in Strathfield, Sydney and what was really delicious and unique about that Japchae was that the cook added dokbokki and it was cooked in a slurpilicious beef stock gravy.
Most of the other versions I’ve tried(and those I’ve seen on the internet) don’t usually come with gravy. Most of the versions as you can see on the internet also call for the usual soya sauce, garlic, sugar, pepper and sesame oil seasoning. I’ve tried making it using these seasonings a couple of times and though it’s tasty, something still seems to be missing. Since I don’t have beef stock available, I’ve come up with another solution. And I think it works!
Want to guess what it is? Here’s the answer:
Yup, it’s..beef bulgogi marinade!!! Or in my case, beef galbi marinade cos I think this is a tad sweeter than beef bulgogi marinade.
So here’s the recipe I came up with. You can also add carrots cut in thin strips(I omitted them as I was too lazy!)
250 g Korean potato noodles
150g thinly sliced beef (I used sukiyaki beef in this case)
3 stalks of spinach
4-5 medium shiitake mushrooms(soaked till softened in hot water)
1/4 of a white onion, sliced into strips
Beef bulgogi/galbi marinade
Soak the potato noodles in hot water for about 25-30 minutes till softened. Whilst waiting for it to soften, add about 1 tbsp of bulgogi marinade to the beef, 1/2 tsp of soya sauce and 1 tsp of garlic. Stir well and leave to marinate for the next 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, chop the spinach into 5 cm stalks and rinse in hot water, then pour off the water. Add a few drops of sesame oil and soya sauce.
We’re now ready to cook! Add a few drops of sesame oil to a wok and stirfry the mushrooms. Add a few drops of soya sauce to season and quickly remove from wok.
Add 1 tbsp of oil and stirfry 1 tsp of garlic, then add the marinated beef in. Do not overcook the beef. Once it turns colour, quickly remove from the wok.
Add two tablespoons of cooking oil and stirfry the sliced onion till slightly softened. Add 2 tsp of chopped garlic and continue to stirfry. Then add the mushrooms and drained potato noodles. Mix around a bit. Pour the seasoned spinach into the noodle mix and drizzle a mixture of 4-5 tbsp of soya sauce, 4 tsp of sugar, 2 tbsp of sesame oil and pepper to taste. Add in 1 tbsp of bulgogi marinade to the noodles and continue to stir the noodle mixture. Turn off the heat and add in the cooked beef strips and stir for a bit more till the noodles absorb the sauce fully.
And here is one delicious dish that actually tastes good when it’s eaten hot…and even refrigerated!