잡채 (Japchae)

Japchae!

We generally love all forms of starch – potatoes, bread, rice, and in this case, noodles. We love noodle dishes from all kinds of cuisines – Italian to Chinese to Korean. This Korean dish is one that is often served at parties and special occasions, but is really nothing complicated or labor-intensive. It is a pretty basic stir-fry served over sweet-potato noodles. The noodles have a fantastic texture, and the combination of the simple seasonings of sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar, salt and pepper with the lightly stir-fried ingredients makes for a simple, yet satisfying meal.

Ingredients

  • Carrots, cut into small sticks
  • Zucchini, cut into small sticks
  • Green onion, chopped
  • White or yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • Mushrooms, cut in small pieces
  • Thinly-sliced beef, cut into small pieces (optional)
  • Large handful of sweet-potato noodles (당면)
  • Sesame oil
  • Soy sauce
  • Sugar
  • Mirin or rice vinegar

Directions

  1. Put a large pot of water on to boil for the noodles. Once the water is boiling, follow the directions on the package for cooking the noodles, then drain, rinse with cold water, and remove to a large mixing bowl.
  2. Toss the noodles with a small amount of sesame oil and soy sauce, just to coat the noodles and keep them from sticking together.
  3. In a wok or frying pan over medium heat, heat up a small amount of sesame oil until it is quite hot, and stir-fry the onions until soft and/or lightly browned, seasoning lightly with salt. Remove to the mixing bowl.
  4. Add another small amount of sesame oil to the wok or pan, and stir-fry the carrots until they are as soft as you would like, seasoning lightly with salt – we prefer them to still have a little crunch. Remove to the mixing bowl.
  5. Repeat step 3 with the zucchini.
  6. Add another small amount of sesame oil to the wok or pan, and then add the mushrooms and beef and stir-fry until the beef is just cooked through, seasoning lightly with salt. Remove to the mixing bowl.
  7. Mix together about 2 tbsp of sesame oil, 2 tbsp of soy sauce, 1 tbsp of sugar, and 1 tbsp of mirin or rice vinegar (if you use vinegar, maybe add another 1/2 tbsp of sugar), stir until sugar dissolves, and the pour into the mixing bowl.
  8. Toss all the ingredients in the mixing bowl until all the ingredients are well-coated with the sauce, and then plate and serve!
Japchae!
Japchae!
Japchae!

Fresh Salsa

It’s a bit late in the season, but a few of our tomatoes finally ripened by the midle of September, so we made some salsa using those, and some tomatillos we got from a friend. Fresh salsa can be so good, is really flexible just based on whatever you like in it and how spicy or not spicy you like it to be. This one turned out fairly spicy, but is really tasty. Good combination in my book :) So better late posted than never posted, here’s one of our many variations on fresh salsa…

Ingredients

  • 6-7 small tomatoes
  • 12-13 small tomatillos
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1 jalapeño pepper
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • salt & pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2-4 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1-2 tablespoons lime juice

Tips

  1. The easiest way to do this is to just chop everything up and put it in a food processor to finely chop it.
  2. Optionally, if you want chunkier salsa, just crush the tomatoes/tomatillos, and then dice everything else and mix it together
  3. Let it sit for a day to really develop good flavor, but it is good right away if you’re making it to use for a recipe.
  4. Be creative and use different types of tomatoes, different mix of tomatoes and tomatillos or only tomatillos, add spices or beans or corn or anything that sounds good to you. This is a good base to go from to experiment.

Fresh salsa Fresh salsa Fresh salsa