Friday, January 14, 2011

Japchae (with soba noodles)

"Got Kimchi?" was the headline a this article on Korean cooking in the September, 2010 issue of Women's Health magazine. And pictured on the first page was Japchae. Described as a word that means "mixture of vegetables", my mouth watered with all the yummy veggies and noodles piled together.

Always looking to cook new kinds of foods using new ingredients, I couldn't wait to give this one a try. I had to visit the Asian market to get the hot pepper paste and enoki mushrooms, but I was able to find all the other ingredients at my local grocery store. In fact, you don't really need the enoki mushrooms, but they are fun. I'm not sure they add much flavor, but they do make this dish look super fancy.

Go ahead and make this one evening and save leftovers for lunch the next day. The flavors combine more and it even tastes great cold!

I did a little research and discovered that this dish is usually made with cellophane noodles but I like that this version is made with soba noodles because they are healthy for you and one of my favorite noodles.

Serves 4

2 Tbsp sesame seeds
3 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp sugar
2 tsp hot pepper paste (kochujang)
1 Tbsp sesame oil
½ lb soba noodles
2 tsp vegetable oil
½ medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 large carrot, cut into matchsticks
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
5 oz baby spinach
3 oz enoki mushrooms, ends trimmed

In a dry skillet, toast sesame seeds over medium heat until golden brown, stirring frequently. Remove from skillet and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, 1 tablespoon sugar, hot pepper paste, and sesame oil; set aside. Prepare noodles according to package directions.

Meanwhile, heat vegetable oil in a wok or large skillet. Add yellow onion and carrot; cook for 4 minutes. Add garlic, green onion, red pepper, spinach, 1 teaspoon sugar, and salt and pepper to taste; cook for 3 minutes. Stir in noodles and sauce; heat for 2 minutes. Serve topped with enoki mushrooms and toasted sesame seeds.

Nutritional information per serving as provided in magazine:
332 cal, 9 g fat (1g sat), 57 g carbs, 889 mg sodium, 4 g fiber, 12 g protein