Japchae – Korean Glass Noodle Dish

This weekend I have been in Germany to visit my family. My sister recently turned 30 years old and we were having a celebration at our home with relatives and friends. It was super nice seeing and catching up with everyone, but the best thing was the vegetarian, libanese menu. I am from a small town in North Rhine Westphalia and you can imagine that it is not very common to serve a vegetarian brunch for a birthday. My dad’s first reaction after my sister told him it will be fully vegetarian was: Oh.. But.. Don’t worry, I can make a barbecue. Suprisingly, everyone loved the food and most of the guests even took some leftovers home. Today we flew back to Barcelona and I was keen on eating something easy and healthy for dinner since it is Sunday and well.. Sunday is lazy-day. On our way from the metro to our flat we were crossing my favorite veggie-asian shop which happens to be open from Monday to Sunday. They have the perfect mix of fresh vegetables and asian food that I secretely (now not secretly any more) call it my grocery-paradise. They also have sometimes fresh Tofu, which is my absolutely favorite Tofu in the whole wide world, anyway… I told my boyfriend to wait outside with our luggages while I wanted to take a ‘fast’ look around and there they were! Dangmyeon! Dangmyeon are glass noodles out of sweet potato starch, which are typically used in the korean cuisine. The most common meal (at least in our home) is called Japchae, which is such a quick and easy dish that you wouldn’t believe its tastyness. If you want to treat yourself or family or friends or enemies with something korean, pleaaase follow the recipe:

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For two people (if more, just adapt the recipe):

  • 200 g Dangmyeon (Glass Noodles out of sweet potatoe starch – the taste and consistency is very distinctive from normal glass noodles)
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 4 handful fresh spinach
  • 1 onion
  • 3 big carrots
  • 5 tbsp soy sauce (if you like it less salty or are not the biggest fan of soy sauce use a bit less)
  • 1 tbsp neutral plantoil (e.g. sunflower oil)
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil (take the one from the asian supermarkets since the taste of the ones from the supermarket is very different)
  • 1 cup sesame seeds
  1. Start washing the spinach and set aside to drain.
  2. Then, peel the carrot and onion and cut them into slices.
  3. In the meantime cook the water with the salt for the Dangmyeon and prepare after package instruction (they should be not to soft in the end – rather wait until they are al dente).
  4. Carry on frying the onion and carrots in sunflower oil and add the spinach after two minutes.
  5. Add 3 tablespoons of the soy sauce and the sesame seeds and let it simmer until everything becomes soft.
  6. When all ingredients are done, mix them together, add the rest of the soy sauce, the sesame oil and  and sprinkle some sesame seeds on top for some fancyness. Et voilà! I promised it is a very easy dish..

Note: You can also use other vegetables: mushrooms, paprika, spring onions…… Be creative!

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