Thursday, September 17, 2009

Potato Noodles with Vegetables/Japchae

I, for some reason really enjoy eating noodles, maybe it's cause I'm Asian or maybe it's just the fact that there are so many varieties and so many different ways of cooking them. This noodle dish is one of my favourites and is great if you want a light but filling meal :)

Note: If you don't like cloud ear fungus, you can substitute it with sliced Chinese mushrooms instead

Serves 4


300g dried potato starch noodles
10g dried cloud ear fungus (becomes 50g once rehydrated)
¼ cup sesame oil
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 cm piece of fresh ginger, grated
2 spring onions, finely chopped
2 spring onions, extra, cut into 4cm pieces
1 carrot, cut into 5cm matchsticks
1 bunch baby bok choy, roughly chopped
¼ cup shoshoyu (Japanese soy sauce)
2 tablespoons mirin
1 teaspoon sugar
1-2 tablespoons sesame seed and seaweed sprinkle

  1. Pour boiling water over the fungus and soak for 10 minutes. Drain thoroughly and chop roughly.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the dried potato noodles in a large pot of boiling water for about 5 minutes or until the noodles are translucent. Drain and then rinse thoroughly under cold running water until the noodles are cold. (Thoroughly rinsing the noodles will remove any excess starch). Use kitchen scissors to roughly chop the noodles into lengths of about 15 cm, to make the noodles easier to eat with chopsticks.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil with the vegetable oil in a large, heavy-based pan or wok. Add the garlic, ginger and spring onion to the pan and cook for 3 minutes over medium heat, stirring regularly. Add the carrot sticks and stir fry for 1 minute.
  4. Add the cooled noodles, extra spring onion, baby bok choy, remaining sesame oil, shoshoyu, mirin and sugar. Toss well to coat the noodles with the sauce. Cover and cook over low heat for 2 minutes.
  5. Add the drained fungus, cover the pan and cook for another 2 minutes. Sprinkle the sesame seed and seaweed sprinkle. Serve immediately.
Tips & Notes:
  • Potato strach noodles are sometimes called Korean vermicelli.
  • Cloud-ear fungus is a delicately flavoured dried mushroom- when rehydrated in hot water it triples in size. Substitute with dried shiitake mushrooms if unavailable.
  • Japanese soy sauce is lighter and sweeter than Chinese soy sauce.
  • All the ingredients mentioned above are available from Asian food specialty stores.

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