Monday, October 20, 2008

eating glass: jap chae

glass noodles are cheap, healthy, easy to prepare and remarkably versatile, how can you NOT love them?

glass noodles - aka - cellophane noodles - aka - mung bean noodles - aka - various other monikers are enjoyed all over asia in soup, salad and stir-fry recipes. you can locate them at any asian market, well stocked super market and even some korean convenience stores. glass noodles are packaged in various ways depending on the manufacturer, some are sold as one giant 12oz tangle and others are package in neat 3oz bundles. i prefer the latter.

jap chae is a traditional korean stir-fry recipe, and a great way to get to know glass noodles.

Jap Chae
yield 1qt

2 bundles of mung bean noodle (about 6 oz)

2 TBS soy sauce
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp mirin (or rice wine)
1 TBS sesame oil + 1 tsp to toss with noodles
1 TBS sesame seeds, toasted

canola oil as needed
1 cup shitake mushroom, fine julienne
1 large carrot, fine julienne*
1 onion, fine julienne
1/2 # fresh spinach, blanched, stems removed and coarsely chopped (or 1 (10oz) box frozen spinach cooked and drained)
3 scallions, sliced on the bias
3 cloves garlic, minced

1. cover noodles with boiling water, allow to sit off flame until tender - 6 MINUTES. drain noodles and shock in icewater to stop cooking process. toss with 1 tsp sesame (or canola) oil to prevent sticking. cut into 4-6 inch strands.

2. combine soy sauce, sugar, mirin, sesame oil and sesame seeds in a small mixing bowl, whisk to combine. set aside.

3. heat wok or 12-inch saute pan over high heat, add 1 TBS of canola oil then add the mushrooms, cook until tender, about 4-6 minutes; set aside. add onion and carrots to hot saute pan, cook until tender, about 1-3 minutes add the garlic, scallion, spinach, mushrooms, and half of the noodles. toss to combine

4. add the rest of the noddles along with soy sauce mixture, toss to combine. if you find that tossing in the saute pan isn't really working out for you, just transfer the whole shebang to a big 'ol mixing bowl and have at it there.

--serve immediately, or at room temperature. enjoy. tiiiiiiiiiite

*i use a mandolin to get those carrot strands so uniform and proper.

© 2008 c. c. villani @ "mission: insatiable" -

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