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Vegetarian Korean Noodles (Japchae)

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 40 min
  • Active: 35 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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Ingredients

Sauce:

1/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup tamari or soy sauce 

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar 

1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil 

1 1/2 teaspoons grated ginger 

Noodles:

Kosher salt

12 ounces sweet potato vermicelli, cellophane noodles or angel hair pasta 

2 tablespoons grapeseed oil 

4 ounces oyster mushrooms, sliced into 1-inch pieces 

4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps quartered 

1 large shallot, chopped

1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch strips 

2 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped 

3 scallions, cut into 1/2-inch pieces 

6 leaves kale, cut into 1-inch pieces 

Sesame seeds, toasted, for garnish, optional

Directions

  1. For the sauce: Combine the sugar, tamari, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil and ginger in a small bowl. Whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
  2. For the noodles: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the noodles and stir to help submerge them. Cook until the noodles are just barely cooked, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Using kitchen shears or a clean pair of scissors, cut the noodles into approximately 8-inch lengths. Set aside.
  3. Heat the grapeseed oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the oyster and shiitake mushrooms and cook, stirring often with a wooden spoon, for about 5 minutes, or until the mushrooms are beginning to brown. Add the shallots and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until fragrant, another 2 minutes. Add the red pepper, garlic and scallions to the pan, reduce the heat to medium-high and cook for an additional 3 minutes, or until the peppers are beginning to soften. Add the kale and the cooked noodles and saute another 3 minutes, stirring often to coat the noodles in the oil and to wilt the kale. Add the sauce and toss to coat. Top with sesame seeds if desired.