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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Japchae (Korean fried noodles) (vegan)

A simple and quick dish of stir-fried glass noodles and thin veggie strips. It's very often served in Korean meals as a side dish, though it can very well be encountered as a main as well. 
Japchae is a kingly dish :). It was created for a Korean king early in the 17th century and that king was so pleased with it that he rewarded the creator with a high office in return. But by far the loveliest thing about it is the fact that it's so easy and fast to make and that you can incorporate some seasonal vegetables in the basic recipe any time you want. Just stir fry them in some sesame oil, add soy sauce and glass noodles, give them another stir and it's done. Sprinkle some sesame seeds and thinly sliced chili on top and you can start digging in. :)
To me - especially since I really have a soft spot for glass noodles - this is the laziest and most delicious comfort food. I hope you'll enjoy as well.

Last year: Roasted white onions with breadcrumb crust (vegan).
Two years ago: Three color pizza with basil, mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and avocado.
Three years ago: Violet flame (cocktail).
Four years ago: Stuffed baked avocados (Middle Eastern).

Ingredients (serves 2):
  • 100 g dry cellophane noodles (sweet potato noodles)
  • 150 g mixed vegetables, cut into very thin strips (carrots, onions, spinach, mushrooms, bell pepper)
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • a bit of fresh chili and/or sesame seeds to garnish (I use black sesame for a better contrast and because it's more specific to Asian cuisine)

Cook the noodles according to package instructions. Leave aside. Get the veggies (I use a frozen mix so there's not much work left for me to do, I confess).
Heat the oil in a medium pan or wok. Add the sliced garlic. Stir around for 1 minute. Add the veggies. Stir well and fry them until softened (3-4 minutes). Add the drained noodles, the sugar and the soy sauce.

Mix well and let it cook for 1-2 minutes more for the flavors to meld. Taste and see if it needs a bit more soy sauce.

Transfer to serving plates. Garnish with sesame seeds and fresh chili slivers. It's done, dig in! :)

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