Recipe: Japchae (Clear Noodles Stir-fried with Vegetables)
Makes 4 entrée servings or 8 to 10 servings as part of a multi-dish buffet menu 3/4 cup sliced, rehydrated dried shiitake mushrooms...
Makes 4 entrée servings or 8 to 10 servings as part of a multi-dish buffet menu
3/4 cup sliced, rehydrated dried shiitake mushrooms*
½ loosely filled cup rehydrated, dried wood ear mushrooms (also called tree ear mushroom or black fungus)*
2 ½ cups julienned white onion, divided
½ pound rib eye steak, very thinly sliced
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon toasted ground sesame seed*
5 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon Asian-style sesame oil, divided*
2/3 to 1 cup light olive oil, or as needed
Organic Korean salt* or kosher salt as needed
1 bunch green onion, trimmed and cut into 3-inch pieces
1 bunch spinach, cleaned, blanched, shocked in an ice bath, and squeezed well
1 ½ cups julienned carrot
1 package (6 ounces) dried vermicelli clear noodles (also called sweet potato starch noodles or yam noodles)*
2 teaspoons sugar
1. In a medium bowl, mix mushrooms, 1 cup white onion, meat, pepper, ground sesame seed, 2 tablespoons soy sauce and 2 teaspoons sesame oil. Set aside to marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes.
2. Heat a little olive oil in a medium nonstick sauté pan or skillet over medium-high to high heat. Sauté the remaining 1 ½ cups white onion, stirring frequently and sprinkling with a little salt, until lightly caramelized. Transfer to a large bowl, piling the onion in one side of the bowl. In the same sauté pan, and without wiping out the pan in between ingredients, sauté in succession the green onion pieces, spinach, and carrot, adding a little oil as needed for each vegetable and lightly seasoning each separately with salt. Sauté each vegetable until just flash seared but still crisp and very colorful. As each is done, add it to the bowl with the onion, putting each vegetable in a separate pile.
3. Using the same sauté pan and raising the heat to high, sauté the reserved meat mixture in a little olive oil but without adding any salt, just until the beef is no longer red, or until done to your liking. Add the beef to the bowl of vegetables. Set aside.
4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the noodles, and return to a boil. Reduce the heat but keep the water boiling, for 3 minutes. Drain in a large strainer or colander then immediately rinse in cold running water, moving the noodles through the water and rinsing thoroughly until all the starch is rinsed off. Drain well.
5. In a large heavy pan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon sesame oil over high heat. Add the drained noodles and toss to coat evenly with the oil. Add 1 tablespoon soy sauce and mix thoroughly, turning the noodles over and over in the pan (you can use tongs for this) for 2 to 3 minutes, just to get a little color on the noodles. Add the noodles to the bowl of vegetables and meat.
6. Toss the ingredients in the bowl to mix evenly, then, lifting noodles by the handful, cut with kitchen shears into 6- to 8-inch lengths. In a small bowl, mix the sugar with the remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce until sugar is dissolved, then toss this mixture with the noodles. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if needed, with soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil. Serve warm or at room temperature.
*Available from Korean grocers and supermarkets with well-stocked Asian food sections.
Adapted from a recipe by Heejung Kim
When vice president of Sub Pop Records Megan Jasper isn't running things at the office, she's working in her garden at her West Seattle home where she and her husband Brian spend time relaxing.