Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Jap Chae

My husband and I used to live near some dear friends who are Korean.  The wife, Suki, was a fantastic cook and delighted in sharing some of her cooking tips and recipes with me as I studied her every move in the kitchen.  I'd never had Korean food before meeting her and I was happy to make up for lost time at her dining table!  

Fast-forward six years and I'm walking through an Asian grocery store when I spotted a package of sweet potato noodles.  I almost bought out the entire shelf!  Seeing the package immediately sent a flood of tasty memories from a delicious dish Suki made that I'd forgotten about.  I brought the package home and started searching recipes to find something that would help me attempt at recreating what she made so well.  My creation certainly was not as good as Suki's noodles, but it was tasty and easy to put together.  Plus, since my family liked it, I now have an excuse to go back to the Asian market for  more noodles.  There are plenty of different ways to throw it together.  This is the recipe I used. 

1/2 pound dried sweet potato noodles
2 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil, divided
1 tablespoon cooking oil
3/4 cup thinly sliced onions
2 carrots, cut into matchsticks
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
3 stalks green onions, cut into 1″ lengths
1/2 cup mushrooms, thinly sliced (shitake, wood ear)*
1/2 lb spinach, washed well and drained
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Fill a large pot with water and boil. When water is boiling, add the noodles and cook for 5 minutes.  (Mine took longer - almost 10 minutes) Immediately drain and rinse with cold water. Drain again and toss with only 1 tsp of the sesame oil. Use kitchen shears to cut noodles into shorter pieces.  Set aside.
In bowl, mix soy sauce & sugar together. Add the cooking oil in a wok or large saute pan on high heat and swirl to coat. When the cooking oil is hot but not smoking, fry onions and carrots, until just softened, about 1 minute. Add the garlic, green onions and mushrooms, fry 30 seconds. Then add the spinach, soy sauce, sugar and the noodles. Fry 2-3 minutes until the noodles are cooked through. Turn off heat, toss with sesame seeds and the remaining 1 1/2 tsp of sesame oil.
*rehydrate your mushrooms if you are using dried

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