It’s no secret amongst my family and friends that Korean food is my favorite. It’s the cuisine I crave and it’s my first childhood food memory. My recent switch to vegetarianism has not curbed my appetite for the spicy garlic flavors… the change is that I can no longer pop into a Korean restaurant and order everything off the menu. I must now make my own recipes without meat, using tofu or meat substitutes. One of the easiest recipes to convert is chapchae or japchae-Korean glass noodles (dangmyeon) with beef and vegetables. It’s versatile and easy dish to prepare and it that can be eaten as a hot main dish or a room temperature “salad”. This recipe contains beef, but you can easily omit the meat and restyle for vegetarians.
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 2 cups thinly sliced beef
- 1 tablespoon shoyu
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced ginger
- 2 teaspoons Korean chili paste (kochujang)
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoon, minced garlic
- 1 (3.75-ounce) package uncooked glass or cellophane noodles (dangmyeon)
- 2-4 garlic cloves, minced (how garlicky do you want it?)
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- crushed red pepper to taste, but not too much
- 3 cups sliced shiitake mushroom caps
- 1 cup long sliced green onions
- 1 cup julienne cut carrot
- 1 cup julienne cut red bell pepper
- 4 cups fresh spinach
- 1 or 2 tablespoons of brown sugar or honey
- 1/4 cup shoyu
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- sesame seeds for garnish
Coat cornstarch over beef and add the remaining beef ingredients. Mix well to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerate from 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Heat a large nonstick skillet at medium-high heat. Add beef mixture then stir-fry until done. Remove from pan and keep warm.
Prepare noodles by placing in boiling water, turn off heat and let stand 10 minutes or until tender. Drain and rinse with cold water. Cut a few times and set aside. (using kitchen shears makes this task much easier)
Wipe the skillet then heat 1 teaspoon sesame oil and vegetable oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add red pepper and 5 garlic cloves; stir-fry 30 seconds. Add bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, and carrot; stir-fry until tender. Add spinach; stir-fry until spinach wilts. It may be easier to add the spinach in partial batches.
Reduce heat then add beef mixture and noodles to pan, stirring well to combine. Combine 1/4 cup shoyu, brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon sesame oil. Drizzle over noodle mixture; stir well to combine. Cook on medium to low heat stirring constantly until thouroghly heated. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Serve immediately, but don’t forget to put some aside for your bento box!