Japchae (Vegan Sweet potato starch noodles stir-fry)
Japchae or "mix vegetables" is a very popular Korean dish. It is a combination of meat, mixed vegetables and Korean sweet potato starch noodles cooked in a sweet and spicy sauce. For our vegan version, simply use pan fried tofu or soy crumbles or plant-based meat of your choice. The recipe below captures all the flavors & colors of this dish. It is very simple, quick & so delicious. It's very easy to prepare ahead and definitely a crowd pleasure.
Ingredients Time 40-45 mins Servings 4
1 package (250 grams) Sweet Potato Starch/Glass Noodles
1 package (12 oz) -Extra Firm Tofu crumbled/Plant-based meat crumbles
1/2 Yellow onion sliced
1 Red/Yellow Bell Pepper sliced
1.5 cups Carrot matchsticks
8-10 Shiitake Mushrooms sliced
2 cups Baby Spinach chopped
2-3 Tbsp crushed peanuts
2 tbsp - Neutral cooking oil
For garnish -2 Scallions cut on bias, black/white sesame seeds
For the sauce - Mix the below ingredients in a bowl
Soy sauce/Liquid Aminos/Tamari -4 tbsp
Brown sugar - 3 tbsp
Rice Vinegar- 1 tbsp
Sriracha - 2 or 3 tsp
Garlic -2 tsp minced
Sesame Oil -1 tbsp
Cook the glass noddles in boiling water for 5 mins, drain & rinse. Let it cool.
In a sauté pan heat 1 tbsp oil & cook the soy crumbles/plant-based meat till it browns, add half of the sauce and cook till it is absorbed. Now add the noodles (if the noodles are sticky just rinse in cold water) and mix. Add other half of the sauce and mix throughly. Remove in a large mixing bowl.
In the same pan add 1.5 tsp of oil and cook onions & bell peppers for 3-4 mins. Transfer to the mixing bowl with the noodles.
Add 1.5 tsp of oil to the same pan, cook shiitake mushrooms for 2-3 mins and add spinach. Once the spinach wilts (30s) remove and add to the mixing bowl.
Toss everything together in the mixing bowl, adjust any seasonings if needed and refrigerate (it can be served cold or warm). I prefer it cold.
Divide into 4 serving bowls, top with scallion, peanuts & sesame seeds. You can drizzle some sriracha for extra heat. Enjoy cold or warm!