It’s a great day for a picnic, and we are ditching the usual picnic fare for some lip-smacking Jap Chae. If you have been to a Korean restaurant, chances are you would’ve come across these pellucid strings of chewy sweet potato noodles. This traditional stir-fry may be a breeze to whip up, but it sure leaves a pleasant, lasting impression. With it also scoring points for being satisfyingly light and deliciously healthy, a tub of jap chae is the best companion you can have for a trip to the great outdoors.
- 200g of Sweet Potato Noodles
- 1 Carrot (cut into matchstick strips)
- 4 Brunch of Green Onion (cut into 5 cm sections)
- 150g of Spinach (washed & cut into 5 cm sections)
- 3 Cloves of Garlic (minced)
- 100g of Fresh Shiitake Mushroom (sliced)
- 1 Onion (thinly sliced)
- 150g of Thinly Sliced Pork Belly (those used in Shabu Shabu)
- Soy Sauce (to taste)
- Sesame Oil (to taste)
- Caster Sugar (to taste)
- Black Pepper (to taste)
- Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
- Olive Oil
- Toasted Sesame Seeds (for garnishing)
Methods:1. Cook noodles in a large pot of boiling water for 4 to 5 minutes. Noodles should be soft yet chewy in texture. Using tongs, transfer noodles onto a sieve and rinse them under cold water. Drain well and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Season with a tablespoon of soy sauce with a tablespoon of sesame oil, Mix and set aside.
2. While cooking the noodles, fry carrots with a little olive oil till semi-soft, which takes about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Likewise, fry green onion for a minute till soft.3. Reuse leftover boiling water to blanch the spinach for 1 minute. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process. Squeeze well to get rid of excess liquid. Season with 1 teaspoon of soy sauce and half teaspoon of sesame oil. Mix and set aside.
4. To cook mushrooms, heat a little olive oil over medium heat. Stir in mushrooms, 1 teaspoon of soy sauce, half a teaspoon of sesame oil, half of the minced garlic, and 1 teaspoon of sugar to taste. Stir well and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes.
5. For stir-fried pork belly, fry onions with a little olive oil till soft and translucent. Add in pork belly slices, followed by rest of the minced garlic, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, half a tablespoon of sesame oil, 2 teaspoons of sugar, a pinch of cayenne pepper and black pepper to taste. Stir fry until the pork belly is cooked. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
6. In a large mixing bowl, combine noodles, carrots, green onions, mushrooms and stir-fried pork belly. Season with 3 to 4 tablespoons of soy sauce, 2 to 3 tablespoons of sesame oil, 3 to 4 tablespoons of sugar and a generous pinch of black pepper to taste. You can season to your preference. Mix well. 7. Serve with a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds. Enjoy!