This recipe calls for sweet potato starch cellophane noodles called dangmyeon - I found these at the Korean section of the supermarket.
The recipe is fairly straight forward, but a little time consuming. This is because all the ingredients for the dish is cooked individually before it is combined to form the dish. According to the recipe's writer, Alice of Savoury Sweet Life, by frying them individually, the flavor and color of each vegetable is preserved without any cross blending of the other ingredients. As a result, the frying pan becomes more seasoned as layers of umami (pleasant savoury taste) build on each other.
The final dish is a delightful and flavourful mix of noodles, colourful vegetables and tofu. I'd have to say this is one of the most beautiful Korean dishes I have seen. It is tasty and aromatic - the noodles are springy and firm to the bite. The noodles, vegetables, tofu and sesame seeds provide a wonderful blend of texture to the dish, while the sesame oil and pepper makes it amazingly fragrant.
There appears to be quite alot of oil and sesame oil used in the recipe. Because I prefer a less oily dish, I have cut down on the amount. Do adjust it according to your family's taste. My whole family gave this amazing Korean dish a big thumbs up.
Korean Jap Chae
Recipe Serves 2-3 as a main dish, or 4-6 as a side dish
Recipe from Herbivoracious
- 1 bundle of sweet potato starch cellophane noodles called dangmyeon (I used 200 g)
- 1/2 bunch of fresh spinach
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, julienned
- 1 carrot, peeled and cut into match sticks
- 1/2 red bell pepper, julienned
- 8-10 fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 2 stalks green onions, sliced in 1.5” slices (green parts only)
- ½ block of firm tofu, cut into small rectangle pieces (approx. 1.5”x1”x.25”)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Olive oil or Canola oil (amounts will vary, please see directions)
- soy sauce (amounts will vary, please see directions)
- sesame oil (amounts will vary, please see directions)
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
- Boil one bundle of noodles for 5 minutes until softened and al dente in texture. Drain the noodles and do not rinse. Add noodles to a large mixing bowl and cut them three times with kitchen shears.
- Add 2 tablespoons each of soy sauce and sesame seed oil (I added only 1 tablespoon of each). Toss noodles until sauce is evenly distributed and set aside. Using the same pot as the noodles, add enough water to boil spinach for 1 minute. Remove spinach from water and allow to cool just enough to squeeze as much water out as possible. Cut spinach in thirds, and massage it while seasoning with 1 teaspoon of sesame oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Add spinach to the large noodle filled bowl.
- Heat a wok or large frying pan on high. Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil and cook sliced onions for 2 minutes stirring them as they start to turn translucent. Season with a 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Add onions to the large bowl of noodles.
- Repeat the same process as the onions except reduce cooking times to 30 seconds for the carrots, 2 minutes for the bell red pepper, 1 minute for the shiitake mushrooms, and 10 seconds for the green onions.
- Fry tofu squares for 1 minute per side – but do not add tofu to the large bowl of noodles.
- Add 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of sesame oil (I used 1/2 tbsp), and 2 tablespoons of sugar (I omitted), and ½ teaspoon of ground pepper to the large noodle bowl and toss everything until well mixed.
- Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil (I added just a few drops) to the hot wok and add minced garlic. Allow garlic to cook for a few seconds and add the entire bowl of mix noodles and vegetables to the wok/pan. Stir-fry everything for 2-3 minutes and turn off heat. Gently add tofu and transfer noodles to a large serving platter. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on top. Serve warm or cold. Enjoy!.