8.02.2011

Japchae (or Korean Glass Noodles)

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When I brought these leftover Korean glass noodles for lunch, my coworkers said they looked like real restaurant leftovers. I'm sure it helped that I had them in a real leftover container, but either way, I took this as a compliment. And these noodles looked even better the night they were made. By restaurant -- ME.

This is one of my favorite dishes to order when we go out for Korean food. And it turns out, it's very easy to make, once you spend some quality time chopping your veggies. But after the chopping prep is done, it's easy sailing. The noodles cook quickly in about seven minutes, and the sauce is only two ingredients!

Although delicious, this dish was missing shitake mushrooms. And it's not even because I dislike mushrooms. I do. But I could do shitakes, and in some recipes they are essential. It's just that I didn't have any around, and I decided to make the noodles after I got home. And when I get home, it's hard for me to leave. So for next time, I would add the mushrooms and probably marinade my own meat, just because I like doing that sort of thing. And seasame seeds. I forgot to add these! They were all ready to go, but we were too hungry. And too lazy to get up after we sat down and dug in.
Marinated beef from the Korean market.
The sauce, dark soy sauce and sugar.
Japchae (or Korean Glass Noodles)
Serves 4

250 grams of sweet potato noodles (these do not have any sweet potato flavor)
1 large onion, sliced
2 carrot, cut into matchsticks
1 red bell pepper, cut into matchsticks
handful of scallions, cut into 1 inch strips
1 large bunch of spinach, washed and dried
3 garlic cloves, minced
3-4 tbsp sesame oil
thinkly sliced beef, sirloin or similar, about 8 oz, I purchased the marinaded kind from the Korean market, but I will include a recipe for the beef marinade if you prefer to do your own 

Sauce
8 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp sugar

Beef Marinade
1tbsp soy sauce
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
a couple of scallions, chopped finely
1tbsp rice wine
1tsp sesame oil
pepper

1) Boil your water and cook your glass noodles according to instructions, mine took only 7 minutes. Drain and rinse your noodles with cold water. Set aside for later use.
2) While your noodles are cooking, start your stir fry. Add a couple of tablespoons of sesame oil to a pan, and then add your onion, garlic, carrot and bell pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes. I like my veggies crisp, so I don't overcook. 
3) Transfer veggies to another plate, add more oil to the pan and cook your meat. Once the meat is almost done, add the green onions, and cook for another 2 minutes. Then, transfer the meat to your vegetables. 
4) Add a bit more oil to the pan, add your noodles and your sauce. Cook for a few minutes, add the spinach, veggies and meat back to your pan, cook for a couple of more minutes, and you're done!

(If you had used mushrooms, which you really should, cook those first, before the veggies. Also, don't forget the sesame seeds like I did!)

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