japchae

Japchae

veganmofo2013

Anyone else ever feel like they buy a lot of different veggies at the farmers market and then have no idea what to do with them? I mean, hello, purple eggplants, bright red peppers, carrots, tomatoes–it’s all so gorgeous and tempting!

I guess I mostly have that problem on nights when I just don’t feel like cooking. Whether it be because I went mountain biking after work and it’s 8 pm or if I just had a crappy day with clients and I want to veg out on the couch, those days happen more than I’d like them to. And, yet, I still gotta get dinner on the table.

It’s nights like those that I turn to stir-frys.

But sometimes my usual stir-fry + almond butter sauce + noodles or rice gets a little old. Sometimes I want more spunk to my vegtastic dinners.

On a night like that I finally tried Bo & Jeana of Bap Story’s Japchae, stir-fried glass noodles with vegetables. And, hello easy deliciousness, japchae is definitely hitting the weeknight rotation!

The most time consuming part of the dish is prepping all the vegetables to cook. And, unlike most stir-frys, each vegetable is cooked separately and then set aside. In that way, each item retains its unique flavor and adds its own one-two to the meal. Obviously the original calls for meat, but I subbed out some Beyond Meat Grilled Chickn Strips and added more veggies to the mix.

The strips gave great texture to the noodle dish and each vegetable really make each bite slightly different and delicious. I loved the method of cooking everything separately and then combining at the end. Plus, who doesn’t like the chewy texture of sweet potato noodles? Like I said, a winner of a recipe and one I highly suggest you try with whatever market haul you’ve brought in for the week.

Japchae

Adapted from Bap Story

1/2 large white onion, sliced thinly
1/2 large carrot, sliced into matchsticks
1 red bell pepper, sliced thinly
1 green bell pepper, sliced thinly
1 large chinese eggplant, sliced into thin strips
1 package Beyond Meat Grilled Chickn Strips
Neutral oil for stir-frying (I use Rice Bran oil)
200g sweet potato glass noodles
8 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1 c cherry tomatoes
Salt and pepper

Ingredients for chickn marinade:
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp rice wine
1 tbsp sesame oil
Pepper

In a small bowl mix the marinade ingredients with the chickn strips and set aside. Put a pot of water on high heat to boil the noodles.

In the large pan or wok, stir fry the onions, bell peppers, eggplant, carrot, then chickn strips in that order with the neutral oil and season with salt. The ingredients must be stir fried separately to keep the flavors in tact. And the order of frying should be from the lightest color to the darkest.

In a pot of boiling water add the glass noodles. Let cook for 8 minutes. Put in a colander and run under cold water to prevent overcooking. Drain thoroughly.

In the same frying pan, heat up the sesame oil and add the drained noodles. The oil helps prevent the noodles from getting soggy. Mix around then add the soy sauce and sugar. If the noodles seem wet and slippery just let it sit in the pan for a little bit until all the moisture is gone and the noodles are more sticky than slippery. It should taste more salty than usual because the stir fried ingredients will balance out the taste. If it’s still bland add a little more soy sauce.

Turn the heat off. Add the stir fried ingredients and mix it all up with your hands or tongs. Taste one more time and season with salt and pepper if needed.

Put in a serving bowl and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Serves 4


On this Day in MoFos Past:
2009: Why I love VA
2010: Roasted Garlic Butternut Tomato Soup
2011: Boylan Heights
2012: Olive Trees & Honey – Yemenite Eggplant Casserole

Comments
6 Responses to “Japchae”
  1. Monika says:

    This looks delicious, and I love fast and easy dishes I can make in my wok! I also love cooking everything separately and then mixing it together at the end. This sort of sounds like bibimbap, only over glass noodles instead of rice, and the mixing is done before the plate hits the table, not before.

  2. That looks amazing! I have got to pick up some more beyond meat. That stuff is the bomb!

  3. This dish looks beautiful and so flavorful with all those colors! Yep, sometimes I end up making a sort of hot pot of getting-too-old veggies that I bought but couldn’t figure out what to do with them. Can you believe I have not tried Beyond Meat products yet?

  4. Mel says:

    Gorgeous looking dish! I’ve made a couple of different japchae recipes but those glass noodles don’t seem to go down well with my fellows. I quite like their chewy texture and would love to chow down on a big bowl of this!

  5. I definitely have this problem! I’m not creative enough for all the exotic veggies I want to use! But your idea looks amazing – when in doubt, add glass noodles and mock chicken!

  6. vegpedlr says:

    I love japchae! I love the funky texture of the sweet potato starch noodles, they’re a nice change of pace. And I totally know what you mean about farmer’s market excess, I’ve got bitter melon on deck for Work With It Wednesday. Good luck!

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