A brief chat about the joys of Korean food last week led to a twitter pal’s first experience cooking (and eating) the Northeast Asian cuisine. After he mentioned that the next dish he would tackle was Jap Chae, it really got me craving the savoury stir-fried noodle dish, full of sweet vegetables, flavoursome beef and soft elastic sweet potato glass noodles. This recipe is from the lovely Judy Joo, which I’ve essentially stuck to with a few vegetable substitutions here and there (i.e. oyster mushrooms for shitakes). A quick, simple and nutritious (it contains all of your 5 a day!) meal – ideal for mid-week.
Jap Chae (Korean Glass Noodles with Beef and Vegetables)
adapted from Judy Joo’s recipe
200g-225g sirloin or rib eye steak, thinly sliced
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp mirin
1 tsp dark toasted sesame oil
1 tsp sesame seeds
250g sweet potato glass noodles*, broken into thirds
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 eggs, beaten
4 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
3 spring onions, sliced
1 carrot, julienned
12 oyster mushrooms, sliced
1 red or yellow pepper, julienned
180g baby spinach leaves
3 tbsp toasted sesame seeds, crushed
3 tbsp dark sesame oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp black pepper
Marinade the beef with the soy, sugar, sesame seeds, sesame oil and mirin. Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, or overnight.
Cook the noodles according to packet instructions, then drain and rinse under a cold tap. Shake to remove excess water then place in a large bowl and toss through the soy sauce. Set aside.
Heat 2 tbsp of the vegetable oil in a large flat-based pan on a medium-low heat. Pour in the beaten eggs and swirl the pan around so the egg covers the base evenly to make a thin omelette. Cook on a low heat for 3-4 minutes, taking care to not colour the egg, then flip over and cook the other side until set. Remove from the pan and cut into thin strips.
In a wok or deep pan heat the remaining vegetable oil on a medium flame and cook the onions and garlic for 5 minutes until soft and translucent (lower the heat if they start to brown).
Increase the heat to medium-high and add the marinated beef with its marinade and quickly cook for 2 minutes. Stir in all other vegetables and cook for a further 4-5 minutes, until cooked through and tender.
Add the noodles, egg strips and all remaining ingredients, and stir-fry for a couple of minutes, until the noodles are hot and glossy. Dish up into individual portions or pile up in a large serving dish for guests to help themselves.
* sweet potato glass noodles are available at most oriental grocery store. if unavailable, rice vermicelli would make a fitting substitute.