Several weeks ago, I posted a new-to-me recipe for sweet ginger chicken wings.  I was introduced to this recipe during a cooking class at one of my favorite spots, Kitchen Art.  One of the other dishes that we had that evening was the following and I really enjoy these two dishes together.  I will warn you that the first time you make it, it will seem like a lot of steps and take awhile, but now that I have made it several times, I can zip right through it. 

6 oz Korean vermicelli noodles (or your favorite rice noodles)
1 TBSP soy sauce (I use low-sodium)
1 TBSP sesame oil

1 bunch spinach (washed and stems removed/trimmed)
½ TBSP soy sauce
½ TBSP sesame oil

Vegetable oil, as needed for frying

1 carrot, cut into strips
1 onion, sliced
8 oz white mushrooms, sliced
1 bunch green onions, sliced
4-6 oz shiitake mushrooms, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced

2 TBSP soy sauce
3 TBSP sugar
2 TBSP sesame oil
3/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 TBSP toasted sesame seeds

Directions

  1. Boil the noodles in a large pot of boiling water according to package directions; drain once done and put them in a large bowl (retain the water for blanching the spinach in the next step). Cut the noodles several times with scissors and toss with 1 TBSP each of soy sauce and sesame oil.  Set aside.
  2. Return the hot water from the noodles to the pot, bring to a boil, and blanch the spinach (about 1 minute); drain and rinse under cold water.  Gently squeeze out excess water and cut into bite-sized pieces.  Add ½ TBSP each of soy sauce and sesame oil; combine with the noodles.
  3. Place a small amount of vegetable oil in the skillet and stir-fry the carrot strips for ~1 minute; transfer to the large bowl.
  4. Add more oil as needed and stir-fry the onions until translucent; add to the bowl.
  5. Add more oil as needed and stir-fry the mushrooms; add to the bowl.
  6. Add more oil as needed and stir-fry the green onions and garlic; add to the bowl.
  7. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 2 TBSP soy sauce, 3 TBSP sugar, 2 TBSP sesame oil, and 3/4 tsp black pepper.  Pour this over the noodle and vegetable mixture; gently combine and top with the toasted sesame seeds.

Notes: I have used other vegetables including: bell pepper strips, broccoli florets, asparagus, and zucchini strips.  While I do enjoy the spinach called for in this recipe, I don’t always include it, as essentially any combination of vegetables that you enjoy can be used.  While stir-frying each vegetable separately uses several prep bowls and may seem to be tedious, it ensures that each vegetable is cooked properly without some becoming mushy.  I cannot find the vermicelli noodles in the store that I shop at but do enjoy this dish with the Thai Kitchen brand rice noodles, which are available in both white and brown rice.  This dish re-heats really well, so I often make a double batch to ensure that we will have plenty of leftovers.  The original recipe also calls for 1/3 lb beef (such as sirloin or flank steak, cut into thin strips) but I leave this out since I serve it with these chicken wings

Japchae (Korean Stir-Fried Vegetables and Noodles)
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