Japchae – Korean Stir Fried Cellophane Noodles with Vegetables and Tofu
Japchae is a famous Korean dish made of stir fried glass noodles and veggies cut in matchsticks. I used to eat that quite often back in Poland in my high school years. Back then however I was pretty sure it was a Chinese dish because we used to get this in little Chinese stands that were plentiful in my hometown Lodz. I usually treated myself with stir fried glass noodles with veggies during lunch time when I played hooky with my friends. I am not proud of skipping school but hey….who has never done that? At least when you’re a kid you can still do it, once you’re adult you have to stick to your responsibilities and there’s no way you can skip work without consequences.
In my recipe I added some tofu to increase protein content of the food and I used wood ear mushroom but feel free to use any mushrooms you wish. Shitake or oyster mushroom works great in japchae. Also I used Bragg Liquid Aminos instead of soy sauce or tamari, but that’s because lately I’ve been experimenting a little bit with that stuff. Oh yeah, and unfortunately I do not own a wok but as you can see regular frying pan works just fine.
Ingredients (2 main dish servings or 4 appetizer servings):
1 x 3.75 oz package og cellophane noodles (other names: glass noodles, Saifun noodles, bean threads)
3 oz cubed firm tofu
1/2 onion sliced into half-moons
1/2 cup julienned carrots
1/2 cup julienned red pepper
1/2 cup soaked wood ear mushrooms (or shitake or oyster mushrooms)
2 scallions cut into 1 inch pieces
Small bunch of fresh spinach
1 minced garlic
2-3 Tbsp Liquid Aminos, Soy sauce or Tamari
1 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
Start with preparing the cellophane noodles according to the package instructions.
Brown cubed tofu on a frying pan.
Heat 2 Tbsp of sesame oil in a wok or frying pan. Add onion and pepper and fry on a high heat for 2 min stirring constantly.
Add mushrooms and carrots and fry 1 min longer. Keep stirring to prevent burning.
Add garlic, spinach and scallions. Fry for about 1 min longer until spinach is wilted.
Remove from the heat and add noodles. In a cup mix soy sauce with 1 Tbsp sugar and add to the noodles. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and mix everything until well combined. Add tofu and serve. If you prefer saltier taste, feel free to add more soy sauce.