Latest Stories


‘Japchae’–Korean noodles



One of the things I remember fondly about my visit to Seoul last year was the food.

While my daughter and I were impressed by our tour of palaces and heritage places, and were charmed by the poetic scenery of cherry blossoms and landscapes of distant mountains shrouded in mist, we were also really fascinated by the cuisine.

One of the things we liked was the tempting spread of appetizers served before every meal. The most famous of these, of course, is the kimchi, fermented pickled cabbage with very spicy and slightly tart flavors. But then there would be other palate ticklers, too, such as bean sprouts, potatoes, radish, cucumbers and spinach—each with its own unique combination of salty, spicy and sour flavors, and all dutifully whetting the appetite for the main dishes to come.

I was therefore pleased when Hotel InterContinental announced its special food festival featuring Korean cuisine. In tandem with ARA Korean restaurant, Café Jeepney is serving this week, until May 27, a buffet of Korean specialties that include the rich beef stew called galbijim (or kalbijim); bibimbap (rice bowl with beef and assorted vegetables); and japchae, the sweet glass noodles mixed with thinly sliced beef and vegetables.

Here’s a recipe for japchae, one of the most popular Korean dishes.

(Korean dishes will be part of the lunch and dinner buffets in Café Jeepney until May 27. Buffet price is P1,600++ per person. Call 7937000.)


Makes four servings.

6 c water

225 g (8 oz) vermicelli/sotanghon  or glass noodles

5 fresh shiitake mushrooms

2 tbsp cooking oil, divided

2 eggs, beaten

Salt, to taste

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 c bite-size cabbage leaves

1 medium carrot, sliced into thin sticks

2 stems spring onions, cut into about 1-inch lengths

½ c water

3 ½ tbsp sugar

¼ c + 2 tbsp soy sauce (6 tbsp total)

1 tbsp sesame oil

150 g thinly sliced beef sirloin

1 tbsp sesame seeds

In a large pan, bring the six cups water to a boil. Add noodles and cook for two to three minutes or until tender. Drain noodles then set aside.

Remove stems from mushrooms and discard stems. Slice mushroom caps into thin lengths. Set aside. Heat 1 tbsp  of the cooking oil in a skillet. Season eggs with salt and cook them in the skillet scramble-style. Remove eggs from skillet and slice them thinly.

Heat remaining 1 tbsp  cooking oil to low heat in a large pan or wok and sauté garlic until fragrant, around one minute. Increase heat to medium, then add cabbage, carrots, spring onions, the prepared mushrooms and the one-half cup water. Cook-stir for about one minute to soften the vegetables.

Combine sugar, soy sauce and sesame oil in a small bowl then pour into pan. Add the beef and simmer for a few seconds so the beef starts to get cooked.

Add the drained noodles. Stir well so the noodles get coated evenly with the soy sauce mixture. Simmer for about one minute then remove from heat. Transfer to a serving platter. Arrange scrambled eggs on top and sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving.

Visit author’s blog at www.normachikiamco.com, www.facebook.com/normachikiamco; follow on Twitter@NormaChikiamco.

Cook’s tips

To bring the pot of water to a boil faster, keep the pot covered until the water boils.

Sukiyaki-cut beef is good to use for this recipe. Or you can also use shrimps. Peel the shrimps before adding to the mixture.

This is best served immediately after it is cooked. However, if you have to reheat it: Mix 1 tbsp sugar, 2 tbsp soy sauce and 1 tsp sesame oil in a bowl. Pour over the noodles and stir to mix while reheating noodles in a pan. This refreshes the noodles and keeps them from getting dry.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Food , Japchae , kimchi , Korean noodles

  • Patas

    Korean foods is one of the best for me, aside from Filipino and Jap foods.
    I had the honor of being among a Korean family dinner time for 2-years. Home-cooked meals, super-delicious! Thank you, Lee-family (Fe, Bryan, James)!

  • ryq24

    just looking at the picture makes me hungry!

  • http://recipesyoulike.blogspot.com/ sheetal

    seems very tasty and easy to make , will try this one

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  3. Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  4. President Quezon was born here–and so was Philippine surfing
  5. Almost mugged on Chino Roces Avenue
  6. Transitions and resurrection in the performing arts
  7. How healing waters accompanied my journey of faith
  8. ‘Archaeology tour’ of Cebu’s heritage of faith
  9. Palawan favorite getaway of show biz celebrities
  10. Joe de Venecia visits the Queen Mother of Cambodia
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  3. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  4. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  5. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  6. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  7. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  8. This is not just a farm
  9. 12 other things you can do at Pico de Loro Cove
  10. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  1. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  2. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  3. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  4. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  5. Manila in shock over model Helena Belmonte’s death
  6. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  7. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  8. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  9. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  10. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?


  • Intrigues mar signing of Bangsamoro draft law
  • Singson apologizes for delay in Edsa road repairs
  • Congressmen seek end to small-town lottery operations
  • 16-year-old survives in wheel well of US flight
  • MMDA to blame for delay of Edsa reblocking – DPWH exec
  • Sports

  • Reigning champs Miami open playoffs with win
  • Spurs subdue Mavericks in playoff opener
  • Wawrinka beats Federer to win Monte Carlo Masters
  • Ageless Hopkins pitches 50-50 Mayweather deal
  • Goodbye MGM, Las Vegas for Pacquiao?
  • Lifestyle

  • Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  • Transitions and resurrection in the performing arts
  • ‘Archaeology tour’ of Cebu’s heritage of faith
  • Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  • ‘Imports’ from London, and play of the year
  • Entertainment

  • Discovery network cancels Everest jump
  • ‘Captain America’ stays strong atop US box office
  • Easter musings
  • Solenn in shorts
  • Unmerry mix of attention-calling moves on ‘Mini-Me’ TV tilts
  • Business

  • Oil prices down in quiet Asian trade
  • Asian shares mixed in holiday-thinned trade
  • BDO seen keen on bidding for Cocobank
  • Bataan freeport investment pledges up 1,302%
  • Golden Week
  • Technology

  • PH has slowest internet in Southeast Asia
  • Nintendo’s trailblazing Game Boy marks 25th anniversary
  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Opinion

  • Gigi’s home
  • Palace stonewalls on MRT inquiry
  • Couple of things too
  • There is plenty of water behind Wawa Dam
  • Triduum thoughts of a young boy
  • Global Nation

  • Filipinos in Middle East urged not to panic amid MERS-CoV scare
  • Obama on mission to quiet Asia skeptics
  • Search for Etihad passengers launched
  • Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  • Tim Tebow’s charity hospital in Davao seen to open in 7 months