Tuesday, January 3, 2012
I'm not really one for New Year's Resolutions unless food is involved - it was a goal years ago to go vegetarian and then vegan, which did happen. I want to post more recipes and food experiments on the blog, since I've realized how much cooking and baking (and then eating!) relaxes me. Plus it's fun.
My dad's co-worker gave him a bag of Dangymeon (Korean glass noodles made from sweet potato starch) before I left for London, and I then happened to try the dish at a vegan restaurant in the city. I fell in love with its colorful, comforting taste, so I prepared it for Christmas Eve dinner with my family based on a recipe from the aforementioned colleague. This time around I used whatever veggies I had on hand, thus I omitted a few ingredients, but I'll give the original, more authentic recipe.
VEGAN JAPCHAE - makes roughly two large servings
-Dangymeon noodles (I used 1/3 of the pack)
-Two or three carrots, julienned
-One red pepper, finely chopped
-One yellow onion, sliced into long pieces
-Green onion, sliced vertically then horizontally
-Two cloves garlic, minced
-Toasted sesame seeds
-A block of tofu, drained and pressed, then cut into cubes
*You can use fresh, dried, or canned mushrooms. If using dried, I'd recommend soaking these prior to starting cooking, since it takes a while. Then slice into smaller pieces. If using fresh, just slice them. If using canned, rinse.
1. Parboil the spinach, then drain. Put it in a large bowl, then toss with sesame oil, soy sauce, and sesame seeds.
2. In a wok, saute the onions in olive oil until clear and fragrant, then add to bowl.
3. Use the same process for the carrots, red pepper, and green onion.
4. Saute the garlic until fragrant, then add mushrooms. Add to the bowl.
5. Mix all vegetables in the bowl.
6. Cook the noodles according to the directions on the package, drain.
7. In a separate pan, cook the tofu in oil until golden on each side. Add soy sauce or teriyaki sauce, then cook a bit longer.
8. In the hot wok with a little oil, add all vegetables and the noodles, but not the tofu.
9. Heat thoroughly, then add soy sauce, sesame oil, and sesame seeds.
10. Top dish with tofu, then eat!
I have modified this dish slightly from the original recipe, but I think overall the integrity remains intact. By no means am I an expert on Korean food or cooking, but it's pretty similar to the serving I tried at Itadaki Zen in London. Even if it's not entirely authentic, it's still pretty good!
What recipes are you eager to try this year?