Japchae is a Korean stir-fry made with sweet potato glass noodles and veggies. We love making this dish, because you can easily make a large batch (or a small one-- if that's all you need then cut this recipe in half and you will have some leftover) in very little time, plus it's super simple to make.
Another great thing about this, is that you can put in whatever veggies you want or have on hand. Onion, carrot, bell pepper, and mushrooms are some of the vegetables you'd find traditionally, but we say the more the merrier. Add whatever veggies your heart desires!
In true #bare fashion, we personally love to load it up with lots of vegetables. Some favorites we like to include: purple cabbage, carrots, onion, snap peas or snow peas, bell pepper, mushrooms, kimchi*, broccoli or kale, and sometimes we top with microgreens and cilantro or green onion.
*We loveeee the addition of kimchi to japchae. Kimchi is a Korean staple of fermented cabbage (usually also with radish or other vegetables) seasoned with chili, ginger, garlic, etc. Think sauerkraut, but Korean. You can find it at the grocery store where you'd find the sauerkraut.
We've done this vegan/vegetarian, with just the noodles and veggies, we've also added tofu, and we've also done it here with shrimp.
Ingredients: Serves 6-8
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 orange or yellow bell pepper, chopped
1/2 - 1 C shredded or chopped carrots
1 C purple cabbage
8 oz mushrooms (we use shiitake or wood ear mushrooms)
1 C snow peas or snap peas
1 C kimchi
1 head of broccoli (florets) or 1 C of kale
1 lb of wild caught shrimp (we get fresh peeled & deveined or omit for vegetarian)
optional cilantro for topping
optional green onion for topping
2-3 Tb sesame oil
2 Tb coconut aminos or tamari (soy sauce alternatives)
3 Tb rice vinegar
1 Tb coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
juice of a lime
chili flakes, to taste (and/or sriracha)
optional ginger and garlic powder
*Feel free to use all or some of the veggies listed. You may even experiment with other vegetables that sound good to you. You can't go wrong!
In a large skillet or pan on medium heat, drizzle a tablespoon or two of sesame oil, and add your chopped onion and bell pepper. Season with a few shakes of ground ginger and chili flakes. Cook for a couple of minutes, until slightly tender.
If using broccoli, add that now. If using chopped carrots, add as well. If using shredded carrots, add later.
Meanwhile, fill a separate large skillet or pan with salted water and bring to a boil. Add the glass noodles, and cook for 5-6 minutes. As they start to cook down, make sure they are completely submerged in the water (it's ok if they are not fully submerged initially due to their long length.)
Add all remaining veggies and the shrimp (simply omit for vegetarian or sub with another protein) to the first skillet/pan. Add additional sesame oil or a splash of water if needed.
Once the noodles are cooked, strain and rinse the noodles, and add them to the skillet with the veggies.
Add all wet ingredients plus the coconut sugar and additional sesame oil if needed or desired. Add additional ginger or chili flakes if desired.
Top with cilantro and/or green onion, and enjoy!