Korean Style – Vegetarian Japchae

I always had a liking for Korean food, especially their stews and glass noodles.  The texture and simplicity in flavour of the glass noodles make it a good choice for any time of cooking style in Asian cuisine.  Stir fry glass noodles is usually served cold as an appetizer, mixed together with vegetables and meat.  It is served hot as dumplings, sausages, rolls and with stews or noodle soup.  As can be seen, many varieties of dishes can be produced with glass noodles.

Although glass noodle was originated from China made from mung beans, yams,potatoes, cassava, or canna, this is one food that shows cooking is an art with no borders.

Ingredients

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1 Pepper, cut into bite size

1 Broccoli, chopped into bite size

1 Carrot, cut into thin sticks

1/2 Medium Onion or 3 Shallots, cut into thin sticks

2 Garlic Cloves, minced

4 Ounce Green Leaves

4 Ounces Sweet Potato Noodles

2 Tablespoon Soy Sauce

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1 Teaspoon Sesame Oil

1/2 Teaspoon ground white pepper powder

*optional* couple of fresh basil leaves, for diverse flavours
I substituted most of the sesame oil with olive oil because it tends to lower cholesterol and is good for heart and arteries.  Not saying sesame oil is not healthy, but sesame oil is very aromatic, that the natural flavours of the vegetables will be covered, at least I find.  In general, I used less oil than usual because I do not like my food swimming in oil, and sometimes the over loaded oil makes me feel full.  Sugar was not used, as the fresh vegetables have a sweet taste to it.

How to Make It

1) Bring a pot of water to a boil.  Put the noodles into the boiling water, cover and cook for 1 minute.  Stir to ensure the noodles do not stick together.  Cover and cook for another 7 minutes until the noodles are soft.  Strain and cut them a few times with kitchen scissors.wpid-20141105_223115.jpg

2) Bring another pot of water to a boil.  Add the green leaves and blanch for 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Take it out of water and rinse the greens in cold water.  Squeeze it with your hands to remove any excess water.

3) Heat a skillet with 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil over medium high heat.  Stir fry the aromatic vegetables, ie. shallots and garlic until fragrant, and a bit translucent, about 1 minute.  Add the remaining chopped vegetables into the skillet.  Add a pinch of salt and stir fry it for about 2 minutes.  Transfer to bowl or plate when done.

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4) Put all ingredients together.  We can start adding the condiments for the upcoming mixing process.  Add 2 Tablespoon Soy Sauce, 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil, 1 Teaspoon Sesame Oil, 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper powder and mix it together by wooden utensils or by hand.

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5) Garnish with a few basil leaves and further mix.  You will get a final vegetarian japchae with diverse flavours.wpid-20141105_230347.jpg

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