6 ounces clear sweet potato or bean noodles (called dangmyeon)
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon rice wine
1 block of organic tofu, diced
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon + 1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, sliced (or 2 green onions, green and white parts chopped)
1 carrot, peeled and shredded
4 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced (optional)
2-3 rabioles, grated or julienned (optional)
1/2 bell pepper, julienned
3 green leaves (kale, swiss chard, or kohlrabi leaves), cut into 1” lengths.
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
Soak the dangmyeon in hot tap water until it’s fully rehydrated (20-30 minutes).
Mix the soy sauce, sugar, and rice wine in a bowl to combine, then take 2 tablespoons of this sauce and add it to the tofu, letting it marinate while the noodles rehydrate and you prepare the rest of the vegetables. Add 1/4 cup of water to the remaining sauce.
When the noodles are rehydrated, drain them, and then use scissors to cut the noodles into 6” lengths.
In a large frying pan, add 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and fry until fragrant. Add the marinated tofu and stir-fry until the tofu is fully cooked, and then transfer the tofu to a bowl.
Add another tablespoon of sesame oil to the pan, and then add the onions and carrots. Stir-fry until the carrots are almost cooked, then add the shiitake (if using) and bell peppers. Continue stir-frying until the carrots are fully cooked.
Add the dangmyeon and greens, and then pour the sauce over everything. Stir-fry until the noodles are tender and all the liquid has been absorbed. Return the tofu to the pan, sprinkle with the sesame seeds, and then toss everything together. Serve immediately.
Pairs Well With
Japchae is a korean dish second only to Bi Bim Bap in popularity. Most traditional Japchae preparations have you cook and season each ingredient separately, but, like Marc Matsumoto (Food Network), I’m a fan of the simplicity of making it as a stir-fry. You can add lots more veggies if you want.