Tofu Japchae (korean sweet potato noodles)

 Japchae is a savory Korean noodle dish, made with sweet potato starch noodles. You can easily find these noodles at your local Asian market or online. This dish is pretty quick, and easy, making it a great week night dinner! 

Japchae is a savory Korean noodle dish, made with sweet potato starch noodles. You can easily find these noodles at your local Asian market or online. This dish is pretty quick, and easy, making it a great week night dinner! 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 package Japchae (sweet potato) noodles, available at asian markets.  
  • 1 package extra firm organic tofu
  • 1 can straw mushrooms, or you can use a few cups of any fresh mushroom you like. I just love straw mushrooms.
  • 1 zucchini 
  • 1 carrot
  • 4 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 1 small white onion
  • 3 green onions
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons coconut aminos or soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic 
  • A few teaspoons sesame oil cooking

The sauce

  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos or soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons hot water

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Fill a 9x13 baking dish with hot tap water. Soak the noodles in the water for 20 - 30 minutes.
  2. Wrap the tofu in a clean kitchen towel or a few paper towels, and stack a few books on top for 15 - 20 minutes to remove the excess water.
  3. Once tofu is done being pressed, cut into 1 inch by 1 inch cubes.
  4. Cut all the vegetables, except the green onions into small matchstick sized cuts, including the mushrooms.
  5. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add all of the spinach and allow to cook just until wilted. Once wilted, move spinach to a colander and run cold water over it for a minute. Wrap the rinsed spinach in a clean kitchen towel then squeeze until no more liquid comes out. Remove the now ball of spinach from the towel and chop it up. Set aside.
  6. In a wok, or large skillet, heat a teaspoon of sesame seed oil and add the tofu, 3 tablespoons aminos, and a teaspoon of garlic. Cook until the tofu begins to brown. Remove from pan and place on a plate.
  7. In a small bowl whisk the ingredients for the sauce, first adding the sugar, then the hot water to help dissolve it, then the remaining ingredients.
  8. Drain the noodles, and with a clean pair of kitchen scissors, cut the noodles in half. They are very long and much easier to work with if cut.
  9. Add another teaspoon of sesame oil to the pan or wok you cooked the tofu in, along with all the vegetables except the spinach and green onions. Cook the vegetables for about 5 minutes over medium heat.
  10. Once the vegetables begin to soften, add the noodles and half of the sauce. Allow to cook for about 5 - 7 minutes, using tongs to move the noodles around the pan to avoid having them stick. Check the noodles after 5 minutes to make sure they are done. After the noodles seem done, add the tofu back in along with the chopped spinach, and remaining sauce. Heat for a few more minutes, just long enough to rewarm the tofu. 
  11. Sprinkle with chopped green onions and sesame seed to serve. 

Serves 4 - 6.