Japchae with Vegetables

I made this last week and forgot to upload it. It’s Japchae and it’s a Korean noodle dish made with translucent noodles made of sweet potato starch. You will sometimes find them referred to as glass noodles and most times this noodle is made with tons of colorful vegetables and meat. In place of meat here, I add mushrooms and we don’t miss the meat at all.

This recipe is from my recipe book from Maangchi’s Big Book of Korean Cooking. If you don’t follow her on Youtube already, you’re missing out. She is a pint-sized dynamo and is so delightful to watch and listen to! I love her! She is such a warm and wonderful being you just want to pick her up and hug her. She is that amazing, adorable and awe-inspiring! There’s nothing this woman cannot do. Check her out here. Find her book here. 5.55 million subscribers can’t be wrong. That’s almost the entire population of the Earth!

Anyway, this recipe was vegan, but I wanted to try the egg garnish on top (the yellow ribbon above) so it’s technically vegetarian because of that. I didn’t find the egg to do much of anything for the dish, so I feel you won’t be missing out if you decide to leave it off.

Here we go!

Ingredients:

8 ounces – sweet potato starch noodles cooked on the stove in boiling water until al dente. When done, drain them over your spinach that sits in the colander in the sink to wilt it. (I find this to be easier than the way it’s written in the book.)

1- large carrot, cut into matchsticks

1 -red bell pepper, cut into strips

4-6 scallions, cut into 2 inch pieces

8 ounces – spinach, washed and cut into pieces

8 ounces of mushrooms (any kind you like: wood ear (soaked for 30 minutes) oyster, King oyster, portobello shiitake, or white button or a combo of any of these), sliced

1 egg yolk for paper strips (optional)

1 tablespoons- toasted sesame seeds

1/4 cup soy sauce (tamari if gluten-free)

1 – tablespoon toasted sesame oil

5 cloves- garlic, minced

3 tablespoons – brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon- black pepper

1/4 cup – vegetable oil (I used olive oil)

Directions:

Drain noodles over spinach to wilt

Mine looked like this. I couldn’t find the kind of spinach she used in the video I will list below, so a bag of spinach is fine!

Using scissors, pull noodles up from colander with your fingertips (this is hot, so cool fingers with cold water in between) and cut noodles into 5-6 inch lengths until it looks even (potato starch noodles are really long.)

Combine 1/4 cup soy sauce, minced garlic, 3 tablespoons of brown sugar and black pepper in a bowl until sugar dissolves

In a large bowl, combine mushrooms, carrot, scallions with 1/4 cup olive oil, and splash of water and coat all vegetables your using with the oil to prevent the ingredients from turning brown from the soy sauce mixture, but also prevent burning.)

Stir-fry the coated vegetables for five minutes, stirring occasionally

Add in your seasoning sauce and cook for another five minutes

Toss in your noodles and stir fry for another minute or so, and plate

Top with egg ribbon (if using,) and sesame seeds

Enjoy!

Note: To make egg ribbon, add oil to pan and heat up. Turn off heat and wipe oil out with a paper towel just so the pan is lightly coated. Separate egg yolk from white, scramble in a bowl and add to hot skillet that doesn’t have any heat under it. Move skillet around and let set. When cooked, turn over and the hot pan will cook the other side. Once cooled, roll egg yolk and slice into paper ribbons. Add garnish to the top and serve.

Egg yolk, cooked. Roll and cut slices to get ribbons.
Egg yolk ribbons

This is the video where Maangchi is making Japchae in her New York City apartment. Watching this first may bring to light things that are not clear here.

Anyway, we love this recipe and it’s not as difficult as it seems. It’s a sweet and savory sauce over al dente noodles and a whole lotta crunch going on with the vegetables. It’s definitely a keeper for us!

Thank you Maangchi!

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