Thursday, February 19, 2009

jab chae

Jab chae is the Korean take on glass noodles with veggies, playing up on the sweet and savory with a soy and mirin based sauce. The sweet potato noodles used are slippery and translucent, but thick like spaghetti. The dish can endlessly be adapted to fit what's in your fridge. Forgo your usual Asiany stir-fry standby and give this a try. Leftovers are also delightful cold.

Protein and veggies are cooked separately, then tossed all together at the end with the jab chae sauce. Cooking each component one at a time seems like a pain, but your noodles will be too watery by the end if you try cooking everything at once. Each component only takes a few minutes anyway. If your produce deviates from the recipe, split them up by cooking time. ie - cook carrots, celery, and onion together because they soften at about the same rate. Below is a fairly standard version of the recipe.

Jab Chae

4-5 oz sweet potato vermicelli (tang myun), soaked in hot water per package’s directions
½ medium onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 scallion, sliced
2 carrots, cut into strips
1 bunch spinach, cut into thirds
2 cups fresh shiitake or button mushrooms

¼ lb chadolbaegi (thinly sliced beef)
½ kamaboko cake (Japanese fish cake), thinly sliced

sesame seeds
fresh ground pepper

Jab Chae Sauce
3 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp sesame oil
3 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp sugar
6 tbsp water

Mix all components of jab chae sauce together. Set aside. Set pan on medium high heat. Coat pan lightly with oil. Pan fry chadolbaegi until cooked. Remove and put into a large bowl.

Reset pan on medium high heat. Add more oil if necessary. Cook button and shiitake mushrooms. Remove and set aside in the same bowl as the cooked beef. Repeat and cook carrots and onions. Toss thoroughly until cooked, about 3-4min. Remove from pan and set aside in the same bowl.

Repeat and cook spinach, about 2-3min. Set aside. Repeat and cook fish cake and scallions. Toss for about 2-3min. Set aside.

Finally, reset pan onto medium high heat. Lightly coat pan with oil. Add garlic, stirring for one minute, Add noodles and precooked components to pan. Add jab chae sauce. Toss. Cover for 2 min till sauce has absorbed and everything is heated through.

Generously add fresh ground pepper to taste and finish with sesame seeds.

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