Why did I start this blog? I have been having episodes of inflammation in my hands and fingers, feet and toes, and joints for some time now. I’ve consulted the doctor and have had tests done. It’s not rheumatoid arthritis and my uric acid is normal (tho at times borderline normal). In an effort to determine which food triggers the inflammation, I have been systematically eliminating certain foods from my diet and then bringing them back. After several years, I have now come to the conclusion that I seem to be reacting to animal protein in general (like some sort of allergic reaction). Different animal proteins affect me to different degrees; some cause inflammation faster than others. So I have decided to reduce my intake of meat. No, I am not going vegetarian; maybe semi-vegetarian if there is such a thing. I will be adding interesting and not too difficult recipes here as I find them. I will also include arthritis management tips that have worked for me.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Meat-less Japchae

I  wanted to prepare japchae, a Korean noodle dish, and followed a recipe that I found on the internet (Source). However, I made a few tweaks. Since I did not want to use any meat, I omitted the beef. For the white mushrooms, I used oyster mushrooms. I also did not have any spinach on hand so I decided to substitute the spinach with pansit-pansitan (Peperomia pellucida) which was growing freely in my backyard (see previous post). The dish was delicious, if I may say so myself!


Starch noodles (“dangmyun”)
150 grams of beef (I omitted this)
1 bunch of spinach (I used pansit-pansitan instead)
1 medium size carrot
1 medium size onion
mushrooms (5 dried shiitake and 1 package of white mushrooms (I used oyster mushrooms)
3 cloves of garlic
7-8 green onions
soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, pepper, and sesame seeds


Soak 5 dried shitake mushrooms in warm water for a few hours until they become soft. Squeeze the water out of them and slice thinly.

Slice a package of white mushrooms (2 cups worth).

Cut a carrot into thin matchstick-shaped pieces 5 cm long.

Cut 7 -8 green onions into 7 cm long pieces.

Slice one onion thinly.

Slice 150 grams of beef into thin strips. (omitted)

Boil 2 bunches of noodles in boiling water in a big pot for about 3 minutes. When the noodles are soft, drain them and put in a large bowl. Cut the noodles several times by using scissors and add 1 tbsp of soy sauce and 1 tbsp of sesame oil. Mix it up and set aside.

*tip: 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.

In the boiling water, add a bunch of spinach (pansit-pansitan) 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 it gently to get the water out, then cut it into 5 cm pieces. (I just boiled the pansit-pansitan and shocked it in ice water; no need to cut)
Add ½ tbsp soy sauce and ½ tbsp sesame oil and mix it and place it into the large bowl.

On a heated pan, put a few drops of olive oil and stir fry your carrot strips for about 30 seconds.

Place a few drops of olive oil on the pan and add your sliced onion. Stir fry until the onion looks translucent. Put it into the large bowl with your carrots.

Place a few drops of olive oil on the pan and add the sliced white mushrooms. Stir it for a bit and then put it in the large bowl.

Place a few drops of olive oil on the pan and add your green onions. Stir for 1 minute and put it into the large bowl.

Place a few drops of olive oil on the pan and add your beef strips (I omitted this) and your sliced shitake mushrooms. Stir it until it’s cooked well, then add 3 cloves of minced garlic, ½ tbsp soy sauce and ½ tbps sugar. Stir for another 30 seconds and then put it into the large bowl.

Add 2 tbsp of soy sauce, 3 tbsp of sugar, 2 tbsp of sesame oil, and 1 tsp of ground pepper to the large bowl. Mix all ingredients, then sprinkle 1 tbsp of toasted sesame seeds on the top.

Makes 4 servings.