Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Tuesday’s Cupful: Background of Japchae

Korea’s noodle stir-fry

The glassy noodles -- dangmyeon -- made from sweet potatoes and thinly julienned veggies comprise the trademarks of traditional Japchae.  This is a staple dish that’s served at most Korean family parties and special celebrations.  Legend and folklore tell that Japchae was invented in the 17th Century by a member of the King’s royal court.  The original recipe had sliced veggies and did not contain noodles.  Japchae translates into “mix of vegetables” from Korean.  Look for several recipe variations that include diverse ingredients, such as shitake mushrooms, bell peppers, or carrots.  Meanwhile, more hardy recipes call for beef, pork, or shrimp.  This dish can be served hot or cold and is usually garnished with sesame seeds.   

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