Jap Chae is a sweet Korean dish that serves as a filling meal. All ingredients were found in my local food store.
Makes 6 servings: 257 calories per serving
1/2 small sweet onion
2 boiled eggs
4.6 oz. saifun noodles (or 3 bundles)
3 sweet baby bell peppers (1 red, 1 orange, 1 yellow)
12 oz. lean beef (I used T-bone trimmed of all fat, fillet mignon will also work well)
3 shittake mushrooms (if using dried, allow 3 hours to rehydrate in 2 cups of cold water)
2 cups fresh baby spinach
1/3 large carrot
fresh ground pepper (a few dashes or 1/8 tsp being 1 dash)
4 Tbs. + 1 and 1/2 tsp. soy sauce
1/2 Tbs. white wine
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. sesame oil
1 and 1/4 tsp. minced garlic
1 and 1/2 Tbs. + 2 and 1/2 tsp. white granulated sugar
Julienne lean beef and marinate in bowl with 1/2 Tbsp Soy Sauce, 1/2 Tbsp Cooking Wine, 1 tsp Garlic, 1 1/2 tsp Sugar and a pinch of black pepper for 12 minutes or more. While waiting for beef to marinate, start 2 cups of boiling water to a rapid boil to cook the fresh spinach.
Cooking the Spinach: Drop baby spinach into boiling water, pushing down with spoon for 30 seconds. Immediately remove and drain in strainer with cold water to stop cooking process. Squeeze excess water from spinach and place in small bowl with 1 tsp. soy sauce and 1/2 tsp. sugar. Set aside.
Start boiling water for noodles. Saifun are a lot like regular spaghetti noodles only infinately better for you and have an interesting texture. They will turn clear like glass as they cook. While waiting for the water to boil, gather together sweet onion, carrot, sweet bell peppers and julienne with either a sharp knife or mandoline. Mix together in a bowl and set aside.
Start boiling noodles. It takes 11 minutes in rapid boiling water with frequent stirring to prevent sticking. While your noodles are cooking, gather mushrooms and remove stems (if using dried, remove from water, squeeze out excess water, remove stems) and julienne placing in small bowl with 1 1/2 tsp Soy Sauce, 1/2 tsp Sugar, 1/4 tsp garlic.
Also, have a large frying pan handy, you’re going to need it with heated olive oil when the noodles are done! Once your noodles are done, strain and drop directly into frying pan with 2 Tbsp Soy Sauce and 1/2 Tbsp Sugar. Fry for about 3 minutes and slide into very large bowl.
Return frying pan to heat. Drop marinated beef with marinade into pan and fry until fully cooked through, about 4-5 minutes or until done. Add to noodles.
Return frying pan to heat. Drop in mushrooms with marinade and saute about 2 minutes or to desired doneness. Add to noodles.
Return frying pan to heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil and drop in fresh vegetables, sauteing for 1 minute. Add to noodles.
Add spinach to noodles.
Julienne 2 boiled eggs and add to top of noodle pile. (It will be a pile of food!) In noodle mixture, add 1 1/2 Tbsp Soy Sauce, 2 Tbsp Sesame Oil, 1 Tbsp Sugar, and 1/8 Tsp Black Pepper.
Using your hands (or tongs as the mix may still be a little too hot to handle) mix gently all ingredients until well incorporated; then it’s ready to serve up and eat!
Leftovers can keep for 2 days and are just as delicious nuked in the microwave later as fresh out of the pan!
For those newer cooks that don’t have the best of knife skills, a mandoline is an inexpensive, quick way to get the beautiful julienne vegetables in a short amount of time. A cheap mandoline is around $8.00 and an invaluable tool for new cooks to keep all of their fingers!
Sesame oil is usually found in the ethnic aisle in your local food store next to soy sauce and saifun noodles also known as cellophane noodles. This is much less intimidating than going into an Asian food store to shop.
Garlic can be a pain in the thumb so instead of buying bulbs of fresh garlic, look for jarred “minced garlic” in your local grocery store (usually in the produce aisle). It’s inexpensive, keeps for months and takes the headache out of peeling and dicing garlic bulbs!