Korean Inspired Noodles

When I lived in Downtown Los Angeles, I would frequently get my groceries from the Little Tokyo Market on Fourth and Alameda. At one of the delis there, they had a cold version of the Korean noodle dish Japchae, and for today’s recipe I decided to make my own. Japchae is made with a soybean thread noodle, which is similar to but not the same as the glass noodles I often use in my Thai dishes.

For this recipe, I opted to make a vegetarian Japchae, so I doubled up on the amount of mushrooms to account for my lack of protein. Feel free to add sliced chicken or ground pork or tofu to yours. I used two types of shiitake mushrooms in this meatless Japchae: dried and fresh. I find that dried shiitake mushrooms, when rehydrated overnight, give off an earthy, meaty texture that I like so much when I have a traditional Japchae. If you opt for rehydrating dried shiitake mushrooms, try using my technique or using an empty quart container to make sure the entire fungus is submerged overnight. I hope you enjoy making this Korean noodle goodness!

Ingredients

1
package dry soybean thread noodles
4
cloves garlic
6
Tbsp brown sugar
4
Tbsp sesame oil
½
cup soy sauce
2
Tbsp sesame seeds
shiitake mushrooms
onions
bell peppers
carrots
spinach
cooking oil
salt
pepper

Preparation

Step 1

Boil a pot of water and cook the entire package of noodles for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water.

Step 2

Prepare sauce by combining minced garlic, brown sugar, sesame oil, soy sauce, and sesame seeds and stir until sugar is dissolved.

Step 3

In a large wok with oil on medium heat, cook sliced mushrooms and onions. Add a pinch of salt to the mushroom while cooking.

Step 4

Add sliced bell pepper, carrot, then spinach and stir-fry until the spinach begins to wilt.

Step 5

Add noodles and sauce and toss thoroughly, then remove from heat. Serve hot or cold.

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