Japchae (also spelled chap chae) is a Korean dish of springy sweet potato noodles that is healthy, spicy and absolutely delicious.
The dish is cooked with spinach, carrots, scallions and shiitake mushrooms, making it perfect for vegans and vegetarians.
Here are some tips of how long to soak the sweet potato noodles before cooking:
- Sweet potato noodles are fatter and tougher, so soaking in water won’t get you the desired results. You should boil the noodles in hot water for five minutes, drain and then cut into shorter lengths.
- Traditionally, the noodles are mixed together with the other ingredients by hand. For ease of mixing, place all ingredients in a skillet.
- For extra flavour, add beef bulgogi or Korean fish cakes.
- 225g sweet potato noodles
- 115g spinach
- 1 1/2 tablespoons oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
- 3-4 fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 1 small carrot, cut into thin strips
- 1 stalk scallion, cut into 1-inch lengths
- 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
- salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon toasted white sesame seeds
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- Cook sweet potato noodles in a large pot of boiling water for about five minutes. Drain and rinse noodles under cold running water.
- Cut noodles using a pair of scissors into about 15 cm lengths. Set aside.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Blanch spinach until wilted for about one minute. Drain and rinse spinach under cold running water.
- Form spinach into a ball and squeeze to discard remaining water. Cut spinach ball into half.
- Heat oil in a skillet or wok and add the garlic, onion, mushroom, and carrot. Cook for about two minutes.
- Add the scallion and stir-fry for another minute.
- Turn the heat to low and add the noodles and spinach, followed by sesame oil, ingredients for the sauce, and salt to taste.
- Stir to combine well. Dish out, sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve at room temperature.
This article first appeared in rasamalaysia.com
Low Bee Yinn is a food blogger and cookbook author.