Jap Chae

If you’ve ever eaten Korean food, you’ve probably enjoyed the delicious side of glass noodles, slippery and sesame-flavored, studded with sautéed veggies. It’s one of my favorites, and after I bought the “Lucky Peach Presents: 101 Easy Asian Recipes” cookbook, I had a recipe to try. I made this yesterday, altered it a bit, and wow. Delicious!

Here’s what you need:

10 ounces sweet potato/cellophane noodles (I bought mine on Amazon)

3 tablespoons neutral oil (safflower, vegetable, grapeseed), divided

1 large red onion, thinly sliced

1 bell pepper, thinly sliced

salt & pepper

2-3 medium carrots, peeled and julienned (or at least cut into long rectangular pieces)

8 oz shitake mushrooms, sliced

1 bunch scallions, cut into 1 inch pieces

3 large garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup mirin

1/2 cup soy sauce

2 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons sesame oil and 3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds OR 4 teaspoons sesame oil (I didn’t have sesame seeds, so just did all sesame oil, and it was great)

Here’s what you do:

1. Boil a pot of water. Prepare an ice bath. Cook the noodles according to the package instructions. Drain. Plunge in the ice bath. Drain again. Place in a large bowl.

2. In a sauté pan over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of the oil, red onion and bell pepper, and cook until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes.

3. Season the onions/peppers with salt and pepper. Then add the remaining tablespoon of oil, the carrots, mushrooms, scallions and garlic, and cook until all veggies are softened and slightly golden, about ten minutes.

4. Pour the veggies into the noodle bowl. Then pour the mirin into the pan to deglaze and boil off the alcohol, about 3 minutes. Stir in the soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil. Combine for one minute, then remove from heat.

5. Pour the sauce over the noodles, add the sesame seeds (if using), and stir to combine.

Allow to cool slightly and then enjoy!

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