Home Cooking: Chicken JapChae

Yellow peeps, I am here again sharing another experiment and there’s another story behind this experiment.

I think I am a little obsesive compulsive in terms of my cravings for particular foods, so when I want to eat something (home-made, I have to make it). Just because I love watching cooking show so so very much. I even subcribed a few YouTube channels to ease me following their updates. Mostly Asian cooking tho, but I follow celebrity chefs too, like Gordon Ramsey, Jamie Oliver and Nigela Lawson. They both have their role in shaping my experiments. Good influences I can tell. Just because I am more familiar to Asian foods, I learn and cook more Asian foods instead.

Back to the story, I was watching Korean Drama and on one of the scenes they ate Jap Chae. It invited me to browse on Jap Chae recipe. I came across several blog posts and also Maangchi’s and Seonkyeong Longest‘s, after watching their videos I thought I could make it (with a little twist, I remembered I didn’t have everything I needed but I was too lazy to go grocery shopping afterwork). I came home, first attempt, I cooked vegetarian Jap Chae in one go (I peeked on my notes back and forth tho). Taste good (of course it is good, I cooked it myself. Hahaha… I am so proud of my self, do you know?). So, I prepared more ingredients as I attempted to cook a larger batch. I love cooking on big batch to share it with my family and colleagues. Hearing their comments and seeing them eating make me happy.

On my vegetarian japchae, I used tofu (豆腐)instead of meat and I used black mushrooms or ear mushrooms to replace shitake. Told you, I was too lazy to shop extra ingredients that I needed. From what I learnt, Korean normally serve Jap Chae on special occasions only such as Korean New Year (Cheoseok), but nowadays it’s very easy to find as more and more stalls and restaurants have it on their menu. Ah, Jap Chae originally didn’t use noodles, but as it developed and became more popular, noodles became its signature.

One more thing that need to note, all the ingredients are individually cooked. Why? Based on all sources that I got through, everything is individually cooked because each and every ingredients have their distinc flavour and texture and cooking it individually will enhance their flavours. So yes, it is a necessity to cook it separately.

Let’s get down to the recipe. What would you need?

  • 2 cups carrots (julienned)
  • 1 cup spinach (blanched in boiling water, cut into smaller sizes)
  • 100 gr chicken breast (cut into smaller bites)
  • 100 gr glass noodles (boiled, take out and pour some iced water to stop the cooking process. Add sesame oil to keep it from sticking)
  • 50 gr black mushrooms (ear mushrooms)
  • 1/2 cup sliced onion
  • 1 block Taiwan Tofu (or other tofu of your choice), it’s very optional (the original didn’t use it), sliced and deep fried
  • Salt ( & sugar
  • Minced garlics
  • Cooking oil
  • Soy sauce
  • Sesame seeds
  • Oyster sauce
  • White pepper powder
  • Water

Noodles seasonings:

  • 1 tbsp Sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper powder
  • 1/2 tsp sugar

Carrots seasonings:

  • a pinch of white pepper powder
  • a pinch of salt

Spinach seasonings:

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • minced garlics (about 1/2 tbsp)
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Tofu seasonings:

  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • minced garlics

Ear Mushrooms seasonings:

  • 1 tsbp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • minced garlics

Chicken marinade:

  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • minced garlics (about 1 tbsp)
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper powder
  • a pinch of sugar (to taste)

We have everything written, then what do we need to do? We’ll start cooking all ingredients from lighter colour to darker. But, I will deep fried my sliced tofu in different wok before I add its seasonings.

  1. Boiled water in a pot. Boiled glass noodles for 5-7 minutes. Take it out. Strain it well and put it into a mixing bowl. Add the seasonings and mix it well, set it aside.
  2. Spinach goes in, add a pinch of salt. Let it boiled for a minute or two. Take it out. Pour ice water in to stop the cooking process. Squeeze the excess water, cut it on a chopping board and seasoned. Mixed with the seasonings well, go into the mixing bowl.
  3. Sauteed onions on a medium – low heat until it’s fragrant and translucent. Go into mixing bowl.
  4. On the same pan, add a dash of cooking oil. Sauteed carrots with its seasonings. Add into mixing bowl.
  5. Stir fry minced garlics, deep fried tofu, soy sauce and oyster sauce. Stirred it well and then goes into the mixing bowl.
  6. Add a dash of cooking oil, stir fry mushrooms, minced garlic with soy sauce and oyster sauce. Set it into the mixing bowl.
  7. Another spoon of cooking oil goes in, stir fry minced garlics, chicken, sugar, soy sauce and white pepper. And again goes into the mixing bowl.
  8. Get ready to get your hand dirty, mixed everything well. Sprinkled some sesame seeds on top and served. Psst… Japchae can be served cool too.

 

I made it for my colleagues too, but as it takes sometimes to cook I prepared everything in advance and stored it in the fridge. There was one colleague that I argued with, I knew she has an allergy to pork. Soooooo…. I told everybody at work that I cooked Pork Japchae instead. Hahaha… I can be so mean. I made a simple video too, by the way.

Hope you enjoy.

xox

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