japchae on a white dish

Lidia Bastianich samples Korean food and learns about Korean wedding traditions when she attends a celebration in Flushing, Queens in Lidia Celebrates America: Weddings: Something Borrowed, Something New.

Course: ,


  • 2 bunches starch noodles (dangmyun)
  • 150 grams of beef, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch of spinach
  • 1 medium size carrot, cut to julienne strips
  • 1 medium size onion, thinly sliced
  • 5 dried shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 package white mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 7-8 green onions
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce, plus more to taste
  • 3 ½ tablespoons sesame oil, plus more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted


  1. Boil 2 bunches of noodles in boiling water in a big pot for about 3 minutes. Take one sample and taste it to see whether or not it’s cooked properly. If it feels soft, it’s finished. (When you drain the hot water from the pot, don’t discard the hot water. Put it back into the pot so you can cook your spinach quickly.) When the noodles are soft, take them out and put in a large bowl.
  2. Cut the noodles several times by using scissors and mix in 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and 1 tablespoon of sesame oil. Set aside.
  3. In the boiling water, add one bunch of spinach and stir it gently for 1 minute. Then take it out and rinse it in cold water 3 times. Remove any grit or dead leaves thoroughly while rinsing. Squeeze gently to get the water out, then cut into 5 cm pieces. Add ½ tablespoon soy sauce and ½ tablespoon sesame oil, mix, and add to the large bowl of noodles.
  4. On a heated pan, put a few drops of olive oil. Add carrot strips and cook, stirring with a spatula, for 30 seconds. Add to the large bowl. Add a few more drops of olive oil to the pan and cook sliced onions, stirring until the onion looks translucent. Add to the large bowl. Add a few more drops of olive oil to the pan and cook white mushrooms. Add to the large bowl. Add a few more drops of olive oil to the pan and cook green onions, stirring for 1 minute. Add to the large bowl.
  5. Add a few more drops of olive oil to the pan and add beef strips and shiitake mushrooms, stirring until fully cooked. Add 3 cloves of minced garlic, ½ tablespoon soy sauce, and ½ tablespoon sugar. Stir for another 30 seconds and then add to the large bowl.
  6. Add 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 3 tablespoons of sugar, 2 tablespoons of sesame oil, and 1 teaspoon of ground pepper into the large bowl. Mix all ingredients well, then sprinkle 1 tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds on the top.
  7. Serve japchae with rice and Kimchi, or as a side dish.
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