When I first moved into my neighborhood in North Seattle, the closest grocery store featured mostly Chinese ingredients. Over the years, they began to emphasize other cuisines such as Korean, Indian, Russian etc in order to compete with another nearby asian store.
I was not happy at first. Many of the items were unfamiliar. Last week I decided to explore the store with an open mind to try new ingredients and recipes. I bought a package of glass noodles. My first experiment came out fine according to my brother, though personally I thought I could do better. Second time around, I did a little research first. The dish turned out delicious!
I hope you enjoy my semi-lazy version of japchae.
Vegetarian Japchae (stir fry glass noodles)
1 bundle of glass noodles (about 1 lb for two people)
1 cup dried shiitake mushrooms
1 Tb minced garlic (I used a jar of pre-minced garlic)
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 egg, scrambled
handful of spinach
2 Tb soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1/4 cup gochujang
1. Boil a large pot of salted water and cook the glass noodles as instructed on the package. When the noodles are nearly done, add in the spinach and dried shiitake mushrooms. Cook for a few seconds or until the spinach is wilted and the mushrooms are soft.
2. While the water heats up, slice the onions. Peel the carrot and cut it into long thin slices. (Lazy tip: Use a peeler to turn the carrot into thin ribbons instead)
3. Add oil to a large deep pan. Turn heat to medium high. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant. Add the carrots and onions and cook until tender. Mix in the egg with the vegetables. Turn heat to medium low.
4. Drain the pot of noodles, mushrooms, and spinach and add them to the pan of vegetables. Add the soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and gochujang. Mix well.
5. Add pepper and more soy sauce to taste.