Double Mushroom Glass Noodles with Baby Bok Choy (Jap Chae)
Shimmering, chewy Korean glass noodles are easy and fun to prepare and make great potluck food, not to mention excellent leftovers. Though slippery, the sweet potato based noodles have a knack for drinking up the garicky soy sauce marinade and clinging to most any kind of veggie or tofu thrown in them. Jap Chae, glass noodles sauteed with an assortment of add-ins, is a complete meal, but if you need anything extra serve with a lightly seasoned Korean style veggie or a cabbage salad tossed with sesame dressing.
Tip: Grey, translucent Korean sweet potato noodles are typically packaged in their very long state and need to be trimmed into more managable pieces; after the cooked noodles have been drained and tossed with sesame oil, use clean kitchen scissors to cut noodles into pieces about 10 inches long. Or look for noodles that have been pre-trimmed into easy to cook bundles.
12 ounce package Korean sweet potato glass noodles (dang myeon noodles)
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
Garlic soy sauce
1/2 cup mild soy sauce
5 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
3 tablespoon brown sugar
4 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes or 2 minced red hot chiles
Veggies and Stir Fry
1/2 cup dried shitake mushrooms, soaked in boiling water until soft
1/4 cup dried black cloud ear mushrooms, soaked in boiling water until soft
3 tablespoons canola or peanut oil
1 large white onion, peeled, halved and sliced into thin half moons
1 large carrot, sliced into matchsticks
1 bunch baby bok choy, well washed to remove any grit
4 scallions, ends trimmed and sliced into 1 inch pieces
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
Additional toasted sesame seeds for garnish if desired
1. Prepare the noodles first: Fill the biggest pot you have half way with water, cover and bring to boil over high heat. Add noodles and cook for 4-5 minutes until al dente and not too soft. Drain in a colander, rinse with plenty of cold water and drain again. Pour noodles into a mixing bowl and toss with 2 teaspoons sesame oil. Use clean kitchen scissors to cut noodles into smaller lengths, about 10 inches long.
2. In a measuring cup mix together the garlic soy sauce ingredients. Drain the mushrooms, discard the liquid and slice into very thin strips. Separate the bok choy leaves from the stalks and slice the stalks into thin 1/4 inch wide diagonal pieces.
In a wok or cast iron Dutch oven heat the oil and add the onions and carrots and fry for 2 minutes. Stir in the mushroom strips and fry for another 2 minutes, then add the bok choy stems. Fry for another 3 minutes then add the drained noodles, bok choy leaves, scallions, sesame seeds and pour on the garlic soy sauce. Continue to cook and stir noodles until noodles are hot and the bok choy leaves have wilted and are tender. Remove from heat, sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired and serve immediately.
Jap Chae loves additions such as:
-1/2 recipe Basic Baked Tofu or 1 cup seasoned bake tofu sliced into matchsticks; add along with the mushrooms
-Replace bok choy with baby spinach or any Asian leafy green
-Add 1 to 2 cups of very thinly sliced sweet red peppers or shredded Napa or Savoy cabbage; add along with the mushrooms