I saw a photo of japchae, a Korean noodle and vegetable dish. and decided to try to make it. Well, when you look for it around the Internet, you discover that there are hundreds of variations, some with meat and some vegetarian. The standard items appear to be sweet potato noodles (called dangmyeon), carrots, onions, soy sauce, sesame seeds, and sesame oil. Commonly, spinach is added and often sugar and beef.
So, how to make it my way, whatever that is? There are too many types of noodles and pasta in our cupboard. I didn't want to buy more. I substituted saifun (a cellophane noodle made from mung bean starch) for the dangmyeon. I also would rather have seafood, so I substituted fresh salmon for the beef.
First, I boiled a few cups of dashi (using hondashi powder in water). I soaked the saifun in it for 20 minutes. Then, I drained the saifun, putting it into a bowl with some soy sauce and sesame oil. I used kitchen scissors to cut it into bite-size sections
I stemmed and sliced a few shiitake mushrooms, cut a peeled carrot into matchsticks, cut up some red onion into rings, sliced a green onion into 1" sections, and minced a garlic clove.
I skinned and sliced a salmon fillet. In a ziplock bag, I poured in some sesame oil, soy sauce, sugar, ground black pepper, minced garlic, and sesame seeds. In went the salmon. I mixed it up with the other stuff in the bag and let it sit for 15 minutes.
In a wok, I sauteed the mushrooms for 3 minuted in sesame oil, then put them on a plate. Then, I sauteed the carrots and onion in the wok in sesame oil until soft and translucent. They went in the plate. I sauteed the green onion until slightly browned -- for about a minute -- then it went into the plate. Finally, I sauteed the salmon pieces until cooked through.
The vegetables were mixed in with the salmon in the wok. Then, the saifun was mixed in. Finally, I mixed in some baby spinach leaves until they wilted. When it all got hot, I emptied the japchae into pasta plates and sprinkled sesame seeds on top. Maybe next tine, I'll toasted the seeds first.
It tasted pretty good.
On the plate