There’s something immensely comforting about eating noodles in a bowl. Is it the inviting colours of the noodles, meat, and veggies, or the thought of loading your fork with a bit of everything before making that one big bite? I definitely think it’s both.
Everyone at home loves eating noodles, and the Korean stir fry noodles, more commonly known as japchae, is one of our favourites. Japchae, which also translates to mixed vegetables, used to be a plain stir fry of carrots, spinach, scallions, and shiitake mushrooms enjoyed by high-ranking officials and the royal family. When the use of sweet potato starch was introduced to Korean cuisine, the once noodle-less and luxurious japchae earned the chewy cellophane or glass noodles as its star component.
Luckily, there is no need to be part of a noble clan to cook this at home. This one-pot Korean stir fry noodles recipe, which serves four, is really simple to make as it uses basic pantry ingredients. The noodles in the recipe are made of sweet potato starch, making this dish deliciously gluten-free when paired with gluten-free soy sauce. You can even turn it into a satisfying vegetarian meal by using pan-fried tofu instead of beef. Make these stir fry noodles at home as a side dish, hearty snack, or main, or wow everyone when you bring this to your next potluck party!
- Sauteuse or wok
- Kitchen shears
- Chef’s knife
- Chopping board
- Vegetable peeler
- Kitchen spoon
- Food container or resealable plastic bag
- Tongs or pasta server
- 250g beef sirloin or chuck, sliced into thin strips
- ½ tbsp brown sugar
- ¼ cup soy sauce, regular or gluten-free
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 200g sweet potato starch noodles
- 2 tbsps vegetable oil
- 50g white onion, chopped
- 2 pcs garlic cloves, minced
- 100g carrots, peeled and sliced
- 100g zucchini, sliced into strips
- 100g fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 150g baby spinach, washed and drained
- 2 tsps sesame oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 eggs, scrambled (optional)
- White sesame seeds for garnish
- Make the marinade by combining the brown sugar, soy sauce, and sesame oil in a food container or resealable plastic bag. Add the sliced beef and let it marinate for 30 minutes in the fridge.
- Fill your sauteuse or wok with enough water to cook your sweet potato starch noodles. Once the water is boiling, add the dry noodles and cook for about 10 minutes or until noodles turn glassy and soft.
- Transfer your cooked noodles to a colander to drain. Use the kitchen scissors to cut your noodles into shorter strands. Toss your noodles with some sesame oil to prevent them from sticking together. Set aside.
- Pour and heat up enough vegetable oil in the same sauteuse or wok to start sauteing your onions and garlic. Add in the marinated beef. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes. Once the meat is cooked, add your sliced carrots and zucchini. Stir-fry everything until tender.
- Add the shiitake mushrooms and spinach leaves. After a few minutes, add your cooked glass noodles and mix them all together. Season with sesame oil, salt, and ground black pepper.
- Use the tongs or pasta server to plate your noodle stir-fry. Top it with scrambled egg and sesame seeds. Serve warm.