I think I may have been Korean in another life. Lately, I just can't get enough Korean food. I remember the first time I had japchae at a friend's birthday party many many years ago. It was so good, I could not stop eating it. I had no idea it was so easy to recreate at home otherwise I would have made it myself a long time ago. Now, it is very rare that you will see me cook with mushrooms. I just have never liked them. I'm weird, I know. However, I do appreciate a good portabello or shiitake once in a blue moon so a while back I had picked up some dried wild mushrooms at TJs. This was the perfect time to use them up. The mushrooms provide a wonderful earthiness to this dish and are really a key ingredient so if you're like me and think you don't like them, I urge you not to skip them if you try this. The meat adds a nice sweet contrast and this is full of enough vegetables to not make you feel guilty. So...what's the next Korean dish I should try?
Japchae with Beef Bulgogi
(Japchae adapted from Whisk the Pantry)
Makes 2-3 servings
1 medium carrot, peeled with a vegetable peeler
1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
1 baby bok choy, sliced
3 green onions, sliced on a bias into 1-inch pieces
Small handful dried wild mushrooms, soaked for 15-20 minutes
1/2 bunch of cellophane noodles
2-3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Add in the noodles. Cook for 5-8 minutes, or until they have softened. Drain and set aside.
While the noodles are cooking, heat a bit of oil in another large frying plan; saute onion until golden brown. Add in the carrot, bok choy, green onions and the mushrooms, stir and cook for another 5 minutes. When the vegetables have softened, add the noodles and the beef. Cook for another 2 minutes. Add in the soy sauce and sesame oil, stir and toss to combine.